“Sometimes You Just Have to Hit a Pause Button and Take a Time Out”

Kimberly Oteri

20-Somethings’ Stories is a 4-part series of blog entries written by women attempting to conquer their Quarter Life. Check back every Monday to follow Kim’s journey.

Time flies when you’re having fun. It travels even faster when you’re me. My whole life in my 20s has been a revolving door. The circus could probably hire me as an All -Star juggler. I have taken on so many roles; sometimes I even surprise myself at how I can juggle them all at the same time.

First and foremost I am a mother. God has blessed me with such an incredibly smart and handsome son. I always new I wanted to be married with a child by age 25. That happened, and now my son is two years old. He had his second birthday party last week. (If you think planning a wedding is tough, try planning a kid’s party!) To use a cliché, being a mother is a full time job, with no time off. Every worry you have in life you have to multiple by two. Every decision you make can affect your little one. Being a mom is my favorite role. It also has many sub-roles: chief, baker, personal assistant, fashion consultant, teacher, role model, etc. The list could go on and on.

My career is a teacher. Growing up with two younger sisters we also played school. Naturally I was always the teacher. However, that was not a career path for me when I graduated high school. I wanted to work either work in the computer programming field, or become a journalist. I did not go to college when I first graduated high school. The plan was to wait for my best friend, who was a year under me, to graduate and we would go to the same school together. However, she decided she wasn’t going to college, so neither did I. So for the next two years I worked at a daycare. That is when I knew I wanted to teach and I enrolled as an Elementary Education major. Now I am in my third year of teaching. I teach 6th grade Literacy and Social Studies. “Teachers do not get paid much, but they have the perfect schedule”. Everyone always tells me that I am lucky and I shouldn’t complain because my job is easy. HAHA! Being an educator is a very stressful job, with countless hours off the clock.  This is probably the hardest part of my juggling act. However, it can be rewarding and I do get summers off!

Learning is an ongoing process that never ends. I am a teacher, but I am also a student. I have recently enrolled into Drexel University Online to receive my Masters in Special Education. I am in my second quarter. I am taking two classes at a time. Most of my free time is spent doing homework assignments. Even my breaks during work, are used to observe and do field work experiences for my classes. Luckily with the technology we have, I am able to work online and on my on time.

I am also a wife. This is probably the easiest job for me. I married my high school sweetheart and my best friend. Everything I am, I am because of my husband. We grew up together and helped mold each other into the people we are now. He is my hugest support system. He has done a lot for our little family, and now he has decided to go back to school. I am proud to be his wife!

In a nutshell, I have learned how to sleep less. My entire week goes like this: wake up, get ready for work, dress the baby, leave for work, work all day, come home, play with the baby, cook dinner, wash baby, put baby to bed, grade papers, do homework, relax, and sleep. Then I wake up in the morning and do it all over again. On the weekends I am lucky to sleep in until 8 A.M. I still have to grade papers and do some homework. I love spending time with the baby. Any free time I have is usually spent visiting family and running around.

My advice for anyone struggling to juggle multiple roles in their life is to find a great support system. Also, I would let them know that sometimes you just have to hit a pause button and take a time out. All of your roles will still be there waiting for you when you hit play again. Sometimes I get anxiety attacks, and sometimes I crash in bed by 8 P.M. Sometimes I have knots in my back the size of baseballs, and sometimes, more than often, I contemplate calling out of work. And even though sometimes I just sit in the shower and let out a good cry, I tell myself that I chose all of these roles that I have taken on. I have decided to better myself for my family. In life, I will lose some of the roles I am now, and I will adopt some new ones. All of these roles can be a struggle, but it helps create me!

“Read Part 1 and 2 of Kim’s 20-Something Story”
Kimberly Oteri is a South Philly girl with a severe case of the Dreamer’s Disease. She spends most of her time with her husband Chris, and beautiful baby boy, CJ. In her free time she teaches 6th grade Literature and Social Studies, is a graduate student in pursuit of a Masters in Special Education, obsesses over anything Harry Potter, and sings and dances like there is no tomorrow. Her passion for reading has inspired her to write–and now she blogs!

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Life2PointOh is a 20-Something blog with features on fashion tips, style, beauty, relationship tips, dating advice, health articles, homemade simple recipes, exercise tips, and personal blog stories from 20-somethings.