My title

I’m not very good at being Nobody.

Once upon a time, I was Somebody at work. When you are the homeroom teacher, yours is a starring role. Everyone watches to see what you’re doing and how you’re doing it. Meetings are geared toward you. Your mailbox is filled, and so is your inbox. Parents and kids know who you are before you know them.

Back then, when I walked into my school building, I heard my name echoed down the hallways by a dozen people smiling their good mornings and how are yous. When I needed help, it always appeared quickly. I knew what was going on. I belonged to a team.

But now? Now I’m Nobody. I’m new in the school, so no one remembers my name. I’m only there once a week. I’m just a specialist, and not one of the important ones like Music or P.E. No one else at the school does my job, so I’m a team of one.

When I make a request for someone to fix my broken projector, it goes unanswered for three weeks because the homeroom teachers needed their work done first.

And I get it. I say, “When you have time…” and “I appreciate it,” and “Whatever is the easiest for you.”

I try to act like I belong. I smile and say good morning and wear my badge so I don’t have to hear, “What was your name again?” more than twice a day.

I tell myself that my job is important to my students, even if I’m just playing a tiny role in a very large production.

At the end of the extraordinarily long day, I wave goodbye to my classroom for a week and go pick up the boys at one school and then another.

As I walk through the door to each classroom, I see the little head look up, lock eyes with me. Suddenly there is a huge smile and whole-body happy and arms reaching out to hug me.

Which reminds me that where it counts, I’m more than Somebody.

I’m the Mama.

I love joining in at Pour Your Heart Out. I find so many thoughtful posts there every Wednesday.

16 Responses to My title
  1. Missy | Literal Mom
    October 12, 2011 | 6:12 am

    You are TOTALLY somebody special. But I get it too. Some “roles” I have are virtual “nobody” roles and it’s an interesting position to be in. But like you, I’m Queen Somebody at home. Every day. 🙂

  2. Shell
    October 12, 2011 | 6:43 am

    It is hard switching roles like this.

    When I taught, everyone knew me. I was a leader in the school. Please don’t explain to me how the math curriculum works, as I was one of the 5 in the county who made the decision to purchase that curriculum for all the schools.

    It’s such a world of difference now.

  3. Missy @ Wonder, Friend
    October 12, 2011 | 8:48 am

    I think my comment just got eaten. 🙁 Bummer!

    I said it better than this, but yes, I think even with the honor of such an amazing job title as “Mom,” women struggle with being known for something beyond that.

    And P.S. – isn’t is the best feeling when you see those little faces light up when you arrive to pick them up?

    • Jessica@Team Rasler
      October 12, 2011 | 9:49 pm

      Yes, I definitely do struggle to be more than just the mom. I think that’s why it’s especially hard to have my teacher role demoted. I had counted on it for balance! Thanks for understanding what I meant and how I feel.

  4. Life As Wife
    October 12, 2011 | 9:38 am

    You are always somebody even if you feel like nobody.

  5. Rach @ This Italian Family
    October 12, 2011 | 1:56 pm

    You are such a special mama. 🙂

  6. Gramma
    October 12, 2011 | 2:20 pm

    I also like seeing the parental faces light up when grandparents arrive to pick up the little ones. Priceless for all generations 🙂

  7. Grumpy Grateful Mom
    October 12, 2011 | 3:17 pm

    I loved this post. Funny how the ultimate important job gets so little recognition. Thankfully those who matter most notice, usually. And I’m guessing your one day a week at the school also makes a huge difference, even if it’s on a smaller scale.

  8. carina
    October 12, 2011 | 11:20 pm

    oh, this is lovely. it is so true – your are SOMEBODY to those kids. and that matters in a forever way 🙂

  9. Evonne
    October 13, 2011 | 5:47 am

    It’s hard to make the switch from working where you feel like someone to a mom where you feel like just another mom. You are somebody where it counts and it’s good you recognize that.

  10. momof12
    October 14, 2011 | 1:07 am

    Being a mom is so important!

  11. Blond Duck
    October 14, 2011 | 4:38 am

    Oh my gosh! I’m not a mom (yet) but I felt this way when I had to leave my job. I was important– a reporter. Everyone wanted to be my friend because everyone wanted a story. I reviewed restaurants, stores–free meals all the time at 5 star places, tickets to invitation-only events…

    Then for a year, I was Nothing.

  12. Sorta Southern Single Mom
    October 14, 2011 | 6:47 pm

    In my humble opinion, the Mama is the best person to be.

  13. Ms Kate
    October 16, 2011 | 12:37 pm

    Oh gosh, this post hit home! I hate being ‘nobody’ and often feel like that now that I’m a stay at home mum.
    Thank you for reminding me I’m somebody 🙂

    Visiting from comment love day

  14. Pamela
    October 17, 2011 | 10:33 am

    I could relate to this post:) I’ve always taken on a leadership role or been successful in “achieving.” It has taken some serious introspection and an identity shift to let go of the validation that comes with having a work outside the home role. I started writing again to fill some of that void, but learning to validate myself and my mommy job has been an important part of coping with that change. Thanks for sharing:)

  15. Brianna Storch
    October 21, 2011 | 2:14 am

    I don’t know how you do it, but you ALWAYS seem to know how I am feeling.
    Like, spot. on.

    This is why I love you! *lol*

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