Work Life Balance: Is it Possible for a Teacher Mom?
Teacher mom work life balance is really hard. Is being a teacher and a mom a benefit or a drawback to teaching? I’ve seen it both ways and they both have benefits and drawbacks. After many years of staying home with my children, I returned back to teaching. While returning to teaching, the question, “Is having children a benefit or drawback to teaching?” has crossed my mind. As always, everyone is different along with lifestyle, priorities, and circumstances which dictate this answer. There seem to be positives and negatives with both.
I spent many years in college receiving a formal education on best practices to teach both early childhood and special needs. Then, I had several years of teaching before I had my own children. I remember at a conference, a parent jokingly said, “You will understand when you have kids.” At the time, I was slightly offended by this. After spending 6-7 hours a day with their child, I was with my students more than most parents were with their children each day. I also spent all my free time, planning, preparing, and researching for their child. My top priority was my class. But once I have kids, I understood her point.
Teacher without Children
Then my daughter began kindergarten. Her teacher did not have children, had a few years of experience, and was the most kind-hearted woman. None of those things were determined by her lack of parenting. Her personality, experience, and calm nature all came from within. My daughter thrived educationally and socially. The benefit of her not having children was that I could see her taking extra time out of her own schedule to plan. She went above and beyond with some lessons and her passion for teaching was evident that she was taking personal time to go the extra mile. Personal time a mom may not have time to give.
Teacher and Mom
Next, my son had a teacher with five children. She was equally wonderful in nature but had a lot going on at home. I could tell her nights were filled with much-needed family time and that work was mostly at work. The thought ran across my mind, who gets the short end of the stick? My child, as her student, or her child? It feels unfair to think, but it’s inevitable someone won’t get full attention. With that said, teacher mom-work is never done. She had an extra glimpse of how home life can be and the balance of life. Most importantly, the understanding of how deep the love of being a parent goes and how scary it can be.
Mom Work-Life Balance
I am now a preschool teacher with a preschooler. I teach part-time and get a chance to be a full-time mom still. My preschooler is not in my class but our classes run at the same time so I only work while my children are in school. I can honestly say, everyone gets the best of me. I feel so blessed to find a balance between doing the job I love, teaching; and doing the most important job of my life, being a mom. It’s an incredibly tough balance but I get to do it all!
Teacher Mom Work Life
Being a stay-at-home mom prepared me for anything. There is no better training of children than having two small ones, a husband that travels, and chronic migraine. To say I know how to balance, delegate, plan ahead, and multitask is an understatement. I’ve learned how to entertain my babies while being in excruciating pain. I’ve sacrificed my body, and mind, and given up the occupation that I love all for my babies and family. I put myself on the backburner and was happy to do it, but it was really, really hard. I turned into a superhero and did a job that not every mom can or wants to do. Work/life balance did not exist. My work was my life and there was no day off. They were long days and fast years that I feel beyond grateful for.
Teacher Mom Work with Migraine
Now that I’m back to teaching, my students and families are getting the best and healthiest version of me. I feel like I can give 100% to my children, students, and my health. Working part-time really motivates me. I LOVE my job and arrive each day happy to be there. On my days off, I am often migraine sick but no one would know. Part-time allows me to be sick and take time for self-care. For those of us who have a chronic disease, scheduling self-care time is more than necessary. I have learned to use my spoons wisely.
Work-Life Balance: Is it Possible for a Teacher Mom?
Overall, I understand teaching both with and without children. I understand the fundamentals through education, the student’s point of view through not having children, and the behind-the-scenes of what parents and children go through at home. After all these years, I feel that I’m the best teacher and mom because of these experiences. With these experiences, I know that not all teachers and moms are dealt the same hand. There is no answer that fits all and what is great one year may fail the next. Not every mom, teacher, home, or classroom is the same. It’s a constant ebb and flow of work-life balance.
Thank you to those teachers teaching my babies
Thank you to those parents for allowing me to teach their babies
May we all grow and learn endless lessons both inside and out of the classroom this year!