Ending maternity leave ...

Brooke - posted on 01/28/2010 ( 4 moms have responded )

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Well, I am nearing the end of my maternity leave and I'm wondering if anyone has advice about the first week I go back. I really have an ideal set up (my husband will be staying home in the morning and we have a sitter coming to our house for 2-3 hours in the afternoon until I get home) but I know that it will be stressful. I teach 1st grade and my class this year is on the young side, so my students require a lot of my energy while I'm at work. Any helpful hints?

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Laura - posted on 02/02/2010

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Hi and congragulations!
I went back from maternity leave in October when my son was 3 months. It was hard and I was exhausted, especially because I teach KIndergarten!! Frist, know that you do become less exhsausted as you get into a good routine. Second, I try to do as much work as I can at work, but I do bring work home with me because I would rather leave as soon as I could and be home with my baby doing work than away form him. I do work after he goes to bed or my husband plays with him for an hour so I can get some work done. I also make sure that I leave a night or two during the week when I do not bring work home, and I work alot on the weekends when the baby naps. I like workng on weekends or at home becasue I can relax and work on my laptop. I am to tired to do work alotat school after I finish teaching for the day. I plan with another Kindergarten teachers so I have less planning to do. Lastly, My husband helps a lot. We split up the work load in the evenings. I feed the baby dinner, pack his bag for the next day,give him his bath and get him ready for bed and my husband cooks and cleans up from dinner. The best thing I have done is become very organized. I get already to go and pack the car the night before, because it is so hard to get out of the house in the morning when there is 2 of us now!

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Melissa - posted on 01/31/2010

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#1-I used to feel guilty about leaving my babies, until someone wisely reminded me that they don't remember it---it's the moms that do. So, your baby sounds like he or she has the perfection schedule set-up.
#2-organize your lesson plans whenever you have a second at school. The more organized I was, the less stressed I was.
#3-Your husband can help with the house chores, and I do a lot of my cooking for the week on Sundays. I take @ 1 hour to make 2-3 casseroles, bread, etc., and then I'm ready for the week with my lunches and dinners.
#4-Take care of yourself with quality vitamins, naps on weekends, and stress relief (whatever works for you). I get up early in the a.m. to work out and have some "me" time. Then, I'm energized for the day and ready to relax at night. Great tips for the household are at www.ahealthcafe.com/family.

Take care!

Jeannine - posted on 01/30/2010

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Knowing it will be tough will help, but knowing you have your sweet new baby to get home as a new priority will help you get through the rough spots. Bring pictures with you, freeze food ahead.-or drop the hint for daddy to get it delivered, because you will want to run in and grab that baby. Know that your overlap time may be spent just adjusting to being away from home, and not necessarily planning. learnned to use my planning time more efficiently, so I didn't have to take it home with me (wished I was still so good) but i am much better now. Rememeber that in the end that this is a job, and how can you be good to the children you teach if you can't make your own child a priority! Congratulations and good luck!

Rebecca - posted on 01/29/2010

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Brooke,



First congratulations on your new little one!



My son is now 18 months old. When I went back to work he was about 3 months old. I was hit by the worst case of "Mommy guilt," and I still srtuggle with it from time to time. I give 100% at work, then come home and try to make up for the fact that I've been gone all day. I felt so guilty about not being home with my son, that I didn't even think to ask for help. I wanted to do it all, and I did. Man, it is exhausting! The mosting important thing for me to remember is that a tired and stressed out mommy isn't any good to my son, and I can't be everything to everyone all the time.



So, I have rules for myself about leaving work at work, even if it means I go in early or stay late on some days. I make exceptions for this if I'm doing work on weekends during nap times or after bedtime. It's unrealistic to think I can come home, make dinner, feed my son, handle bath and bed, clean up, etc, and then sit down to grade papers! If I'm not well-rested I'm no good to anyone.



Try to let people help. Even when you want to do it all. This applies to work as well. Work with the other teachers, when possible, to help plan lessons. Even if you have to tweek them for your own class, it's still faster than starting from scratch. Find another young mom, and maybe you can switch off planning weeks. (Plus, you get free feedback this way on lessons, and can become a stronger teacher!)



Lastly, realize that there will always be something that needs doing--laundry, grading, vacuuming, dishes--and it IS okay to put it off so that you can spend time with your baby or get some sleep!!!!



Good luck! And, again, Congrats!!!

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