Happy Saturday morning to you! This morning we get to have our coffee with Stephanie from Missouri. Stephanie has been teaching third grade for 18 years and is happily married to a Leiutinent for the Department of Corrections and the mom to two boys ages 3 and 5. On top of everything else, she blogs every day at everydayevelsizers.blogspot.com. Welcome Stephanie!
1. What your typical day like?
My husband and I both wake up at 4:30AM. It definitely helps that we get up at the same time. I do a 30 minute workout of either “21 Day Fix” or “Pivo” before I start getting ready for the day. My husband heads out the door about 5:45 for work, and I am showered and dressed by 6:15. I wake up my boys at 6:25. My oldest is five years old, but he is not a morning person, so I really have to work with him to get him up and dressed. My youngest is working on potty training, so I am now waking him just a few minutes earlier to sit on the potty for a few minutes. The boys are dressed and ready, and we head out the door about 6:45. They eat breakfast at daycare and preschool, so we don’t have to worry about that. I drop my youngest off at a home daycare in town and then head towards school. My oldest goes to a preschool that just happens to be right around the corner from my school. I usually have them both dropped off and am pulling into school about 7:30. We have to be at school by 7:45 and can leave when the buses leave about 3:10PM.
After school, I pickup my oldest first, then go across town to pick up my younger son. My husband gets home about 3:45 and – depending on how much I talk to the teachers – we usually get home between 4 and 4:15.
Once we are home, the boys play outside or find a quiet activity to do inside. I cook most nights at home, and we have a Friday night tradition of pizza either carry out or homemade. While I cook, I may also throw in a load of laundry or straighten up. We usually eat about 5:30PM. After dinner, I straighten the kitchen and do other little chores around the house while the boys play. My husband is very good about playing with them during this time. If dinner isn’t too time consuming, I will join them on the patio or in the living room while it is cooking.
At 7:00 we start our bedtime routine. My youngest takes a bath first and together we pick out his clothes for the next day (both of my boys have recently gotten very picky about this). He usually has some time to play after his bath, and about 7:45 we brush teeth and get books to read. He goes to bed at 8:00. As soon as my youngest is in bed, I get my oldest in the bathtub. While he is playing in the tub, I can usually get his clothes picked out and begin ironing outfits for all of us. By 8:30, he is out of the tub, in pjs, teeth brushed, and in bed.
At this time I grade papers, record grades, straighten the house, make my lunch, do laundry, write checks for daycare and preschool, and get everything ready for the morning. My husband and I usually get in bed at the same time – about 9:30 – 10:00. We talk, answer emails on our phones, and watch a little TV. I am usually asleep before he is, and HOPEFULLY I can sleep through the night. If I happen to wake up in the middle of the night, I’m usually up for a bit. Trying very hard NOT to do this! (Well, you lost me at 4:30AM workout. Just kidding. 🙂 Seriously though, this is an impressive day!)
2. What’s the best thing about being a working mom? What’s the worst or hardest thing?
I feel very blessed to have the career that I do. It is like the best of both worlds. I absolutely love my job, my students, and my co-workers. I love being creative and working with kids. I love that I get to interact everyday with women that have become my best friends over the years. I also love that I can usually, unless I have a meeting, walk out at 3:10 to go pick up my kids at daycare and preschool. This was a huge bonus for me when my kids were younger because they went to bed soooo early. I was able to leave right after school and get my boys, play with them, feed them, and then when they went to bed at 6:30 or 7, I was able to get my grading, recording, and lesson planning done. I also love having a few extra days off during the year that most careers don’t get. I love our two weeks at Christmas, and my summers with my boys. (YES. These are all the things that make my job so perfect too! We really are very fortunate.)
The hardest things about being a working mom: As an elementary school teacher, I am constantly “on” at work. Little ones are always calling my name, I usually take my bathroom break along with the students, there is little down time in the day. Therefore, I feel like I would love a little “break” after school to just have time for myself. I go from a classroom of children to my own children and sometimes feel like I can’t give everyone everything they need and deserve. I feel like in the morning I am saying, “Hurry up, we need to go, mommy is going to be late.” Then, in the evening, I am saying, “Hurry up, we need to get in the tub and get to bed.” (I can totally relate to this too!)
My pediatrician said something that stuck with me. She said, “Always listen to your daycare providers because they are with your child all day. Many parents brush off a sick kid because they think they are tired and the parents are worn out at the end of the day.” This made me sad thinking that, yes, my daycare providers are with my children more during the day than I am. However, I always try to remember to really tune into my kids in the evenings.
I think every working mom has guilt of not being with their children all the day, being tired, and being pulled in a million directions.
3. What items or tips do you recommend to help “make it work”?
As I mentioned above, my boys have always gone to bed really early. It is very nice being able to leave work as soon as the buses do. I like being able to get home by 4 or so, and spend time with my boys before dinner and bed. Since they go to bed early, I am able to work at home after they are asleep.
I have also made a commitment to myself that Saturday is my family day. I do not do any school work on Saturdays. Even if we are just staying home and hanging out together, I need to have a day to disconnect from school. It helps me to be a better mom and wife. (This is great advice!)
Probably the number one way that working outside the home works for my family is because my husband and I are a team. We raise our children together and work together. I will be the first to admit that I like the housework done a certain way, so I usually do most of it; but, I KNOW that if I need help with anything I can ask my husband, and he will always help me.
4. What encouragement, scripture, etc. has been important in your life and might be meaningful to another working mom?
Working outside the home is difficult. I think of this verse: “The Lord says, ‘I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.'” – Psalm 32:8.
If working outside the home is what you need or want to do, remember that Psalm. (Amen!)
Thanks so much for sharing Stephanie! Enjoy your day with your cute family!