This one almost didn’t make it up today. I am SWAMPED y’all. But, we are here. Twenty-one days in and going strong. Blogging for 31 days – even when you aren’t the one writing all the posts – is no joke!!
Today’s interviewee is Melanie. She’s a self-described math guru, special ed teacher, beer enthusiast, new mama, and wannabe fashionista. She has been teaching high school special education math since 2009. She’s also momma to 8-month old Tripp. I love what she said in her intro email: “I always knew I wanted to be a teacher and I always knew I wanted to have children, but I never could have imagined how difficult it would be to juggle both. It’s a hectic life, but I’m happy to make a difference in lots of children’s lives, not just my own.” I know MANY of us can agree with those sentiments. 🙂 For more from Melanie, check out her blog www.hoppyinlove.blogspot.com that chronicles wedding planning, her journey trying to conceive, the first couple of months with the baby, and life as a teacher. Welcome Melanie!
1. What is your typical day like?
My day officially begins somewhere between 4:30am and 6am. I’m still nursing, so it’s always a surprise as to when my son will wake up to feed before I get ready to go to work. Because I’m the lead teacher of my department, I have to arrive early to school to sort things out with any substitutes that may be filling in for my colleagues, so it’s out the door by 6:20am so that I can get things organized by 7. I spend the next 7.5 hrs teaching 6 classes in 4 different rooms on 3 different floors and lunch is typically spent in the nurse’s office on milkmaid duty, pumping for my son. (Bless you!) Assuming I don’t have any students staying for extra help, I fly out of the parking lot like a bat out of hell to pick my little nugget up from daycare around 3:30. We get home around 4 and spend the next hour rocking out in the kitchen while cleaning bottles/lunch containers/pump parts. It’s then time to nurse and squeeze in a quick nap (him not me) before starting dinner. After dinner, we play for about an hour, followed by Tripp’s bedtime routine, snuggling on the couch with my husband, and (on a good night) passing out by 9:30.
2. Why do you work?
I would love to stay home and spend all day every day with my son but it’s not realistic for my family. My husband opened a brewery a year and a half ago while still working a full time job, so I work to support his dream in addition to my family. Part of it is also for my own sanity. I love being with my son but I also love touching the lives of high schoolers and helping them tap into their potential. (Me too!)
3. What’s the best thing about being a working mom? What’s the worst or hardest thing?
The superwoman feeling of juggling a full time job while providing for my family is what keeps me going as a working mom. The hardest part is leaving my little guy in the morning — and pumping. I look forward to weaning him to whole milk so that I can retire my breast pump and get my 30 minute lunch back. (YES. You will be amazed at how freeing that is! But… Good for you for sticking with it this long. That’s no small task, and one you should be very proud of!)
4. What items or tips do you recommend to help “make it work”?
My husband takes a picture of my son every morning before dropping him off at daycare. Getting that text with his picture is an absolute pick-me-up when I’ve already been on my feet teaching for 2 hours. It also helps that we did a ton of research before choosing a daycare. Knowing that Tripp’s teachers love him and treat him like their own makes being away from him much easier…and prepping everything the night before. I pre make our lunches, pick out my clothes, and pack everything up the night before so that I can get out the door faster in the morning. (Love the photo every day idea.)
5. What encouragement, scripture, etc. has been important in your life and might be meaningful to another working mom?
Accept that you are not a superhero. You will make mistakes. No mother is perfect so focus on what you do, not on what you miss.