1. What is your typical day like?
I do as much as I can the night before, so I get up at 6:30, wake up the girls, shower, finish packing lunches, and load and run the dishwasher. We head off to school by 7:20. I work all day. I keep my lunch as me time. I then work after school from 3-4 while the oldest is at athletic practices. The little one either plays with other teachers’ kids in the halls or draws on my board. We head home by 4:30. I then immediately start dinner because we are usually all starving by 5. After dinner is clean up and daily chores including laundry, beds, vacuuming, and dishes. Then we watch tv or chat about the day. Hubby usually gets home about 7 and plays with the girls for an hour until bath and bedtime for them. After the kids are tucked in, I get clothes and lunches ready for the next day. If I make it past 9, I am usually reading or grading papers.
2. Why do you work?
I work because I need to (insurance and income), but also because I love what I do. If I had a windfall of money I would probably keep teaching, but I might want to go part-time. I do know that the stay-at-home mother job wouldn’t work for me full time because I would become lazy, bored, or complacent.
3. What’s the best thing about being a working mom? What’s the worst or hardest thing?
The best thing about being a working mom for me is that I appreciate the time I have with my kiddos even more; my job also lets me be involved in the decision making about their education. In addition I feel like I have a good grasp of what they need out of school, so they can be fully-functioning adults in society. The hardest part when they were little itty-bities was not being home with them every day. I remember crying when I had to go back to work after Shmurtz was born. The hardest part now is that because I work in a school, I don’t have the liberty to go on their first day of school and class field trips, help with holiday parties, or engage in that general room-mom fun. However, my dear hubby has picked up those pieces for me. (I often think about those things being some of the negatives of being a teacher – where there are so many other positives. That said, it is kind-of special that Dad gets to do those things instead.)
4. What items or tips do you recommend to help “make it work”?
I am fortunate that dear hubby does a lot when it comes to the girls. Some things that are necessary for me include planning my week out every Sunday. I have a sticky whiteboard on my fridge where I put all our activities and our dinner meal plan for the week. I plan my meals out (including leftover days when we are busy) on Sunday, so I don’t have to think about it. The plan makes sure I don’t forget anything or anyone and helps us to be on the same page. I also think that trying to work at work is helpful. I do bring stuff home, but I try to accomplish as much as I can during the hour after school when my oldest is at practices. I also occasionally go in on Sunday for a few hours. Another item that helps me is scheduling cleaning tasks on my Google Calendar (this item in itself is a lifesaver), so I don’t forget anything important like changing sheets or my quarterly curtain washing. It may seem silly, but the less my brain has to store the better. (You know how I love a good list!)
5. What encouragement, scripture, etc. has been important in your life and might be meaningful to another working mom?
The best encouragement I can give to other working moms is that you aren’t in this alone; there are millions of us in all corners of the world, so if you are struggling, reach out. It took me years to be okay with asking for help from other moms, but I have found that they are always willing to lend a hand or take your kiddos for an hour when there isn’t anyone else.
One week of posts left….