I see that there are quite a few teacher-mom followers around here, so I wanted to write a post specifically for you! Let me just start out by saying that each and every one of you are rockstars and you are doing a great job at balancing everything. Just in case you need a bit of motivation and help on how to balance your life even more, I have a few tips for you:
Make It Easy On Yourself
There is a lot of guilt that surrounds working mother, one of which is not being able to make elaborate home cooked meals 5 nights a week. After a long school day, your energy is drained and the last thing you want to do is come home and whip up a 20 ingredient Pinterest recipe. No. You need quick and easy meals that your children will eat. It is survival mode during the school year. That might mean boxed Stouffer's Mac and Cheese will become your new best friend. Or maybe you are one of those people who like to meal prep on Sundays for less stress during the week. Whatever your preference may be, I have two helpful tips that will save your sanity when it comes to food in your home. First, online grocery shopping with Walmart or Amazon Prime. This will save you multiple trips a week to the grocery store, which you really don’t have time for anyway. Second, there is nothing wrong with picking up some fast food for dinner when you have to juggle extracurricular activities during the week. Picking up a pizza after soccer practice is not a crime.
Now onto the other two struggles of being a working parent: housekeeping and laundry. Laundry piles up like it is nobody’s business. Honestly, it seems like I am never not doing laundry. Then on top of that, I have to keep the house in order. How on earth can one person manage to do all this, while working? The truth is, it is not possible. Your family is a team and therefore, when the children are old enough, each member should be given specific responsibilities.
This is a hard one for me. I find my purpose in contributing and helping others. However, it is very important not to overextend yourself. In the end, you are not only hurting yourself but also those you signed up to serve. It is important to understand your limits. You need time for yourself. You need time to devote to family. And you need time to devote to work. The key is finding a schedule that provides you time for each. Do not sign yourself for every possible committee only to realize your family time has been compromised. The most important work you do takes place within your own home. That means, when you get home from work, it is ok to turn off teacher mode and turn on mom mode.
Establish Personal Boundaries
I cannot stress the importance of this one enough. It is very important, as a teacher and a mother, to establish boundaries when it comes to communication with students’ parents. You are a parent first and a teacher second, meaning you can’t be answering emails all night and setting up lengthy parent meetings after school hours. It is essential that you start off the school year at a pace you are able to keep up. Inform parents that you are also a mother and therefore, will either answer emails during school hours or within 24 hours. Ensure you start off the year by managing communication with students’ parents in a way that is healthy for you and your family.
Schedule Time For You
Oh yes! This one is key for a successful balance.
I know some of you might have laughed when you read that. How in the world are you supposed to schedule in “you time” when you have work, family, and a million other things to manage? Well let me tell you, just as simply as you schedule a doctor’s appointment, you can schedule “you time.” Write it down on your “to do” list! Make it a priority. It could be as simple as going to get a pedicure, or going to Target with some girlfriends while your husband watches the children.
In addition, “you time” includes couple time for you and your spouse. Alone time with a spouse or significant other is necessary. It must be a priority! So go ahead and schedule that on your “to-do” list alongside “you time.” Time spent alone could be as simple as sitting out on your back porch after the children are in bed or as fancy as hiring a babysitter and going out to a nice dinner.
Lesson Plans Made Easy
As a mom and a teacher, I am sure you know how little time you have leftover. How are you supposed to take out even more time in the evenings to grade papers and make lesson plans? Well, luckily, you do not necessarily have to with the help from Teaching Point. Would you like to have an expert teacher provide all of your lesson plans and prep work for you? Think about how much time that would save in the long run! According to Teaching Point, decades of research shows that a better-prepared teacher leads to improved student achievement. While this is great, it’s just hard to be really prepared when you go home to a house of kids, as well. That’s why I think Teaching Point is so beneficial! If you are a teacher, I would highly recommend talking to your school system about purchasing TEACHINGpoint for all of the teachers. It is much less costly to help better prepare a teacher than recruit more teachers, so they would save on recruitment, development and retention, graduation rates, and college and workforce readiness, as well.
“Teaching Point is impact committed, mission driven and dedicated to serving the educational community by addressing the issue of the unequal distribution of highly-qualified and highly-effective teachers – without moving them around from school to school. Teaching Point is a provider of teacher training solutions through a patented and registered program that offers 3 distinct levels of professional development support:
- Subject-specific instructional support materials (details posted below)
- Subject-specific mentoring teacher access
- Subject-specific university hosted online courses to assist teachers in their efforts to be highly-effective and, where necessary, certify teachers in additional subject-areas
Teachers with new assignments have different needs. Some may be technically qualified to teach a subject, yet as they have never taught it before, will benefit from instructional support materials and/or access to a subject-specific mentor. Others new to a subject assignment (or those unavoidably assigned out-of-field) will benefit by taking the university hosted online course for continuing education credit as a practical way of working toward recertification credits (the online courses include the materials and mentoring).”