This entry was written by Tracey Allen and the original can be found here on her blog.
FIND YOUR COCOON PEOPLE
I recently came across the following video on my Twitter feed and quickly found myself overwhelmed with emotion. As I intently watched this five minute video, the tears just seem to pour from my eyes. Now I am the first to admit that I love a good “Chicken Soup for the Soul” story, but I connected to this 300 second video in quite a profound way. Why? You ask. Well, let me try and explain.
As a principal, wife, and mother to three daughters, ages 13, 10, and 5, I frequently find myself asking those questions, experiencing those emotions, and contemplating those very thoughts! This school year was especially tough for a variety of reasons, but the internal struggle between my professional life and personal life was at an ultimate high! The following list highlight a few of these tumultuous thoughts and questions that bombarded me:
- I would love to have “me” time, but I hardly have time with my daughters during the week.
- My husband and I really need a date night, but were both so busy.
- I am not a perfect principal, wife, or mom, and that is okay. Right?
- Is it possible to balance it all?
- I want to be at the cutting edge of my profession, how can I learn it all?
- What if I fail?
- I’m going to miss another practice because I have a meeting.
- Dinner? How do you feel about take-out?
- I need to start exercising, but how do I make the time?
- I want to attend that conference, but my daughters need me to ____________
- Is this too much?
It wasn’t until I connected with like-minded principals, that I realized that I wasn’t alone. And in fact, that these very questions haunted them as well. Thankfully, Adam Welcome connected me with other principals from around the country via Voxer and Twitter and my feelings of inadequacy diminished and my sense of purpose radiated. Among these numerous connections, I ended up finding my cocoon people (via Lyn Colon).
What are Cocoon People?
They are our friends, our support system, our sounding block, our mentors, our motivators, our cheerleaders, and our pushers. So whether you refer to them as your “cocoon” people, your PLN, your tribe, your crew, your inner circle, or your peeps, is irrelevant. The meaning of these people, however, is priceless.
Several months ago, Lindsy Stumpenhnorst
, Kelley Begley McCall
, Liz Garden
, Lyn Colon
, and Claire Giardino
and I began chatting, via Voxer, about school initiatives, parenting, the principalship and the celebrations and struggles that come from both worlds. As our “surface” level messages on Voxer became more vulnerable and we began to collectively take risks with one another, our friendship, confidence, trust, and belief in one another flourished.
We knew that we couldn’t be alone and that there were other principals out there that needed to be connected, needed to feel a sense of belonging, needed to be validated, and more importantly, needed to know that being a principal and a mom was actually possible! We recently started reaching out to other moms with the hashtag: #momsasprincipals and even started a Blog
in hopes of connecting with other crazy moms that are trying to do both as well.
Sure, I still have days when I doubt my ability to juggle it all, but now I have a group of principals and moms that are only a button push away and willing to cheer, console, and push me to be the best principal, wife and mother that I can be! I am definitely one blessed girl and am proud to have found my cocoon people!