first time mom - nervous about the upcoming school year

April - posted on 07/13/2009 ( 41 moms have responded )

2

15

0

I felt very blessed to have my son very close to the end of the school year so that when i went back to work I didn't have to be there long and we were pretty much winding up the school year so I didn't have the usually load of work to grade and lots of lesson plans to create. I am somewhat nervous to see how I will budget it all.

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Sheri - posted on 07/17/2009

11

7

0

I also had a March 2009 baby, but I was able to afford to stay out for the rest of the school year. I am having a very difficult time anticipating leaving my son. I chose a daycare I was comfortable with, but now I am questioning everything about the place. Did I make the right choice? Will he make the kind of progress he would if he were home with me? I am driving myself crazy!! Also, I have a long commute that takes up about 2 hours of my day. I will have under two hours a day to spend with my son between pick up from day care and bedtime. I feel like I won't get any quality time in with such a small amount of time. I cry almost every night. Will I survuve September?

Melissa - posted on 07/16/2009

63

5

4

At the beginning of school, I tell my kindgergarten parents that I have 2 small children at home and they are my first priority so I would not be at school past teacher's hours. I have been amazed at how understanding the parents have been. I have one night a week that I stay late to get ready for the week, and I have one night a week that I take work home with me, but I do work after my kids are in bed. I really had to make an effort to keep work at work. By doing that I have more time to focus on my kids.

Jennifer - posted on 07/15/2009

6

1

0

I was at that point two years ago. Yes there are days when you think what am I doing??? You will treasure the time you have with your little one I think more than Moms that stay at home (I am not positive of that, but that is my personal feeling). Keep positive and focus your energy on one thing at a time. If you are at school, focus on school. If you are with your baby focus on your baby. Don't let guilty thought come to your mind like I wish I was home instead of at school, because it will venture into your attitude.

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

41 Comments

View replies by

Heather - posted on 08/22/2009

1

13

0

I'm in the same boat as many of you. My baby was born in February, and I'm lucky that I was able to take the rest of the school year off, so I am just now returning to work. What is breaking my heart is that he is getting colds now that he is in daycare, and it's hard for me to see him feeling sick when he never was before. I'm lucky because I am a reading teacher, so I have the flexibility to build pumping into my schedule. I think the most important thing is to find someone you trust to watch your baby and then to be with them 100% when you are together. Good luck mommies!

Melissa - posted on 08/17/2009

28

21

0

Seems like I'm not the only one out there with my heart breaking as I need to return to the classroom in a week. My daughter was born May 17th so I was able to stay home with her all summer. Usually I take an entire week to prepare my classroom. This summer I have yet to go in! Though I have found someone that I think will be the best babysitter I can't help but feel guilty as I leave my daughter to work with 12 other children (I teach special ed.). Guess we'll all have to talk about our first days back!

[deleted account]

I went back to work when my son was 9 months old. It broke my heart and I cried on my way from the daycare to work almost every day for a couple weeks. Some things that helped me through

1) have your daycare provider take pictures. Mine had a digital camera and they would randomly take pictures to send home or email to me at work with a message saying how much fun he was having (this was at a Children's Courtyard). If they don't have a camera, send a disposable one so you can have some of those moments you miss.

2) Make use of every minute you get during the day. Other teachers laughed at me for going to the workroom, turning on my ipod and zoning out. I was amazed at how much grading and planning I could do in my 48 minute conference and for 20 minutes of my lunch.

3) When you have to bring something home, wait until your kids are in bed and recruite your husband. Mine has become excellent at tallying grades and entering them in the gradebook- it saves me time and lets me focus on the math my students are doing and not the mundane tasks.

Kimberly - posted on 08/13/2009

12

7

0

I will have the same situation this year. My first baby is due Feb 2010. So keep me posted and any advice is apprecitated.

Apps+8278986302 - posted on 08/13/2009

5

30

1

You will manage. I had my first son in Aug. of 07 and had to go back to work at the end of Oct. It was hard, but it seemed like I was so busy at work that I didn't have time to think. Then I got pregnant again and had my second son the following Sept., 08. I started the school year and then went out and stayed on maternity leave until after the holidays. This is really when I worried. How am I going to handle 2 kids and my school work? You know what I did, and it wasn't terrible. You as a mom manage! Just have faith in yourself. Their will be nights where you pass out at 9 pm, but that's ok.
Good luck!

Sarah - posted on 08/10/2009

21

37

1

Me, too! I guess fortunately for me, this is year 5 of teaching, and I'm not changing a whole lot. It's the grading that worries me.

Casey - posted on 08/09/2009

1

14

0

It was truly amazing to me that I could go from being such an obsessed teacher to one that didn't really care so much because I had something so important waiting at daycare! You will learn to juggle it all. School is not as important when it comes to your personal children!

[deleted account]

I agree. This post is refreshing. I've read through it twice and it makes me feel a little better. I keep wondering how I am going to do it, but then I remind myself that: I didn't know how I'd get through labor...and I did it. I didn't know if I was going to survive that first week home....and I did it. I didn't know how I was going to survive those 3 weeks where my daughter screamed incessantly if you put her down...and I did it. We all have done it! I think having a baby digs into a well of inner strength we never knew existed.

Tory - posted on 08/07/2009

60

34

11

It is so refreshing to read about people in my situation. My daughter was born in January, but I didn't go back until after spring break. I was so busy then and knew that time would pass quickly. I know I can't start out the year thinking the same as then. Does anyone else feel looked down upon for going back to work and not staying at home?

Jamie - posted on 08/07/2009

6

15

1

Hi, I was in a similiar situation. I had my son in May, and so I had the summer with him. However, going back was really hard for me. It does get easier as they get older though. I live almost 50 miles away from my school. Trying to balance it all is hard. I actually decided to stay home with him this year. I am sure you will budget everything well. Good luck to you and congratulations-

Dawn - posted on 08/06/2009

1

1

0

Leave all your work at school! Your baby is your #1 priority. You will be able to do it! You will experience the guilt of going back to work, but you get over it. I won't lie, the first year is hard..but I have learned that you can go to work and still be a great mommy! And don't worry..you will not miss any milestones! You will understand your students better and you will feel more now that you are a parent!

Laura - posted on 08/05/2009

3

14

0

My son was born in late April 2008. I thought I would be able to take a year's worth of leave, but it did not work out that way. As people have said, this isn't the highest paying field. I had to return at the end of January. My son was at the age where he would cry when I left the house. It killed me every day that I went to work. I would cry in the car on the way to work. My first week back, I found out that the Principal had loved the person they sent to cover me. She could not stop talking about her. I felt so crappy, plus it took a while to learn all the changes. I am a School Social Worker and work with a lot of Special Education students and the rules change all the time. I spent from end of Jan to June getting adjusted and only in May started to feel normal again -- after my son began sleeping a little more. I was so tired. I stopped breastfeeding when I returned to work (my son must have sensed something and weaned himself), so I started on caffeine.



Unfortunately, it is very difficult not to bring work home. The caseloads are high and the paperwork requirements in Chicago tripled with the introduction in May of a new computerized IEP system. Yikes. I don't know how I will be able to deal with a whole year of this. One day at a time.



I tried to change to schools that were going year-round. I think that would be a great option for me, but I was not able to do it. I hope it works for someone else. You don't have to wait until summer vacation to spend long chunks of time with your child.



One last thought: this is NOT a family-friendly field. In my school system, the administrators called one Social Worker up two days before they were supposed to start to tell her not to go in, but that she would start at the beginning of September. How do you plan logistically and economically for that kind of inconsideration?

Krista - posted on 08/05/2009

24

11

38

I'm surprised at how many of you had to go back to work so early! I really don't think I could have done it, so I'm impressed by your strength! I had my son in Nov 08, and I don't go back to work until Nov 09, but I'm already getting nervous about it. I've found a great babysitter that I trust, but I really don't know how I'm going to be able to drop him off and drive away, after being with him for the first year of his life. I feel teary just thinking about it! I don't know yet how I'll manage being a mom and a grade one teacher.

Robin - posted on 08/05/2009

1

17

0

I am in the same position! I know how you feel! It's kinda scary, isn't it? Just know that it might be tough at first, but you will work it out!

Gretchen - posted on 08/05/2009

1

21

0

I have been in this same boat twice. My daughter was born in July of 2004, so I missed the beginning of the school year (what a pain). My son was born in February of 2008. With him I came back for the last three weeks of school. When the beginning of each school years comes closer and closer, I really think about how much I will miss my kids. My daugher is now starting kindergarten at the same school, so I will see here, but I know how much I will miss my son, even though he is only 10 minutes from the school.



The best advice I can give is to spend as much time with you kids as possible. Most of the school year, I try to grade a little after my kids go to bed, or on Sundays (when my husband is home). I also try to stay at school a little later so I don't have as much to do at home.



When I returned to work after both of my kids were born, I pumped. With my daughter, my schedule worked out wonderfully. With my son, I had to have one of my teammates cover my class so I could pump. The best advice I can give you Jenna is talk to you principal or ap to see what they can do to help accomodate you. Many times I would pump then rush to eat my lunch. I was very lucky that it didn't take me long to pump.

[deleted account]

Oh this thread is just what I needed! As soon as I turned the calendar to August my stomach started to sink at the thought that I would soon be heading back to work. I have a couple of things on my side (4 days of inservice scattered throughout the month to ease me into it, a husband that put career plans on hold to be able to stay with her part of the day, the fact that absolutely LOVE my job) but I am still nervous as heck.

I have been an autistic support teacher for 9 years and I'm well acquainted to how much energy those kiddoes suck out of me each day. I'm curious how I'm going to fit pumping into a schedule that has no prep period and a 25 minute lunch (if I'm lucky). Any other special needs teachers out there returning to school this month??

Laura - posted on 08/04/2009

38

30

0

My son was born on 30 May 2009 (13 days late) and he was just 6 weeks old when I went back to work for 4 days to ensure i got paid full pay for the summer. His father looked after him and it was very hard leaving him but it has meant that i can afford to do the things i want to do over the summer because of those 4 days. I go back to work full time in september and it will be harder still, I feel guilty that I have to leave him so young but I also remind myself that we have so much time off that over the years I get to spend lots of time with him that other moms would not have the opportunity to do. I am looking forward to returning to work too which makes me feel even guiltier still, others moms look at me as if I am telling them I beat my child when I admit to enjoying my time at work. Do any other moms feel this way?

Angelique - posted on 08/04/2009

10

20

2

I have not had my baby yet, I am due in January. I know it will be hard for me to go back to work, the only thing that might help is knowing I have to be back for state testing. This is good for the kids but stressful for me. I need pointers.I know once I see this baby, I will never want to leave it. I am blessed to have a mother who will help until summer break, but it's not the same.

[deleted account]

I've read through some of these posts and I am deeply saddened. I get the impression that most of you only get a few weeks off for maternity leave (6 or 8, correct me if I am wrong). I teach in Canada and have been home for nine months with my baby. I have to go back in October when she is 12 months and I am sad about it but I see how blessed I have been to have been able to be off for a whole year. I complained that my school only gave me top-it for 6 weeks but now I see that I have much to be grateful for. I don't know how you all cope but I wish you strength.

Rachel - posted on 08/01/2009

13

39

1

Don't forget to recruit your spouse into helping you cope with your feelings of loss for this special time in your child's life! My husband used to make snide comments about how much work I would bring home and I felt like he thought I didn't want to be with them. When I shared how he was making me feel, he was so sad because he didn't realize how much he was hurting me. I would spend all day at school wishing I was at home with my baby, and then I would come home and try to get some work done and would feel guilty for not giving my students "my best." It was a very hard time for me, but once my husband realized how much I was struggling, he was able to help and be more supportive. Now he grades papers, too! :)

Megan - posted on 07/24/2009

1

0

0

Wow- I just signed up to the "Moms who are Teachers" board and this is exactly what I needed! I needed to see new moms who are feeling the same anxiety that I am feeling! Everyone else just says- "it'll be okay- you'll get used to it!" I had my little boy in April and I've had all summer with him. I haven't left him but for a couple of hours at a time and knowing that I'm going to have to leave him in daycare all day makes my heart sink. I worry because I have been breastfeeding him exclusively and he's not very good at taking a bottle. I hate that there are going to be moments where he does things that I'm going to miss. I have been told by another teacher that I'll resent my students because I'll be spending all my time with them and not my son. I, too, have a long commute to work and I hate thinking about all the time I'm going to be missing from him. It's comforting to know that I'm not the only one with a broken heart and having such a hard time going back to work with the INCREDIBLE amount of responsibilities I have to my work and my home. One encouraging statement from a friend who isn't a teacher who had to go back to work when her little one was 6 weeks old- she reminded me that I have one of the "mommy-friendliest" jobs there is! She doesn't get all summer and all holidays to spend with her little boy..so I guess there is a bright side to every situation. Still doesn't mend the broken heart though....

Sarah - posted on 07/24/2009

6

9

1

My husband is an 12th grade AP English teacher. I've seen how much work he brings home- hundreds of essays, quizes, etc... so I understand why you are nervous. We all just need to stay organized and try to make it to the next break- Thanksgiving! :)

Tawna - posted on 07/24/2009

2

12

0

I'm also scared. I teach high school AP classes which require a lot of essay writing and grading. Plus, this year we are switching to thematic history standards (instead of teaching chronologically), so I'm basically starting a new curriculum. Yikes! My son was born in February but I got to take the rest of the year off so I'm nervous about the switch from spending all day with him to only a few hours each night. I don't want to bring work home, but I don't know if that's realistic...I'm really nervous.

Sarah - posted on 07/23/2009

6

9

1

I'm nervous too. I had my first on May 11th, so I was able to take maternity leave at the beginning of spring break. The first day of school is Aug. 17th, so I'll have to get used to being a mom while also being a teacher. My husband is a teacher too, so we've been spoiled with being home with our daughter all summer. I'm going to try to get all of my work done at school, so I don't have to bring a lot of stuff home.

Jane - posted on 07/18/2009

20

1

3

First of all, CONGRATULATIONS!! What an exciting time for you and your family. Your baby is adorable. But, he will not stay your baby for long- as you have already discovered.



Most female teachers can relate to your situation. Being an overwhelmed working parent goes with the job. The hardest part of your day will probably be saying your morning good-byes to your son. You have bonded all summer, and now, you must leave him. That will be difficult- extremely difficult.



Because you did not state what grade you teach, I am limited in giving some ideas. But, one idea I do have is this: make yourself a facilitator in the classroom. Have the students do as much of the work as possible. They are the learners, right? Instead of giving them all of the material to be learned, make your lessons discovery based. Actually have the students find the material on their own.



From your statement, it sounds like you may be new to your teaching situation. You made it sound as if you have no lesson plans for your discipline. If that is the case, do not re-invent what is already out there. Beg and borrow- but do not steal. Certainly others at your school have some- if not all -of what you need. Ask for help. Ask your mentor for what you need. Do not try to be a hero. If you need help, ask for it.



Often textbooks come with pre-planning. Use those, or what you can of those. Look around. Possibly you and another teacher can use the same plans.



Again, not knowing what grade you teach dampens my ability to assist you, but when it comes to grading, possibly you can have students work in pairs. If you do this, then you have half the papers to grade. I know that you cannot do this each time, but you can do this for some class work.



Students' trading papers is another way to keep your home grading down. Give each student a colored pencil- to keep cheating at a minimum -and tell them that you will be checking the papers later. You can go over them later. Make sure friends do not switch with friends. You give the papers out.



Peer editing of papers is another way to keep your work load down. Have students check for obvious errors. Students can then re-write. Then, when you check the papers, there should be less errors.



There are many redi-made copyright-free worksheets online. You simply have to take the time to find them.



If you do not have one already, set up a Website. That way students and parents can go there for information about homework, class work, projects, important due dates and the like. That will save on having to make phone calls and note writing.



Be honest with your parents/students. Tell them about your little one. Let them know what is going on at home. Trust me; most will understand. Your baby/family is your number one priority. Your students are imortant, yes. But they will be fine. Your baby needs you, his mom. Always remember that.



a teacher: 27 years

a mother: 27 year old identical twin daughters; 16 year old son

a grandmother: 7 month granddaughter

Kristi - posted on 07/18/2009

5

2

1

I feel for you. I am due in early December and will have a nice Christmas break along with 6 weeks maternity leave. Then, I have to leave my newborn in childcare at 8 weeks old! Do you have a provider chosen? By the way, your baby is adorable!

Sarah - posted on 07/17/2009

6

16

0

i had my son in june of 2008, and i went back to work in august. i remember thinking how lucky i was to have joey during the summer so i could spend each day with him without missing work. it became very difficult for me once august came around though. last year was such a learning experience for me, being a mommy first and a teacher second. i had to teach myself to accept 80% rather than 100% both at work and at home. trust me, there were days that i cried and cried on my way to work. i don't recall feeling guilt and hurt in such a way...but each day i learned to cope with it more and more. it doesn't get easier...you just learn to cope with it better and better. i have such great appreciation for all of you, and i can relate even to this day. now that i've been enjoying this summer with my sweet joey...i feel like i'm back at square one again. it's tough...but with good support and confidence in knowing that we are good parents even though we work we can get through this! :)

Dede - posted on 07/17/2009

1

4

0

I'm in envy of you moms who had March babies and only had to go back the last 3 weeks! I had an April baby, but since he was 2 weeks early, AND I was on bed rest for 2 weeks, I had to go back the last 2 weeks of school because, let's face it ladies, teachers don't get paid enough and I was running out of money quickly... I am also a little worried about getting all my work done and go home to my sweet baby boy. I liked Melissa's strategy of one day late, and only one day taking work home. I think I'll try that!

Jackie - posted on 07/17/2009

17

20

1

Sheri,

I was in your same situation last fall. I also have a long commute and would only spend up to 3 hours with my daughter before bedtime. With time it got so much better. Change is hard in any situation, I am sure with time you will adjust. Try out your daycare and if you are still questioning it a month or so in, maybe it would be best to look around at other places. Hang on girlie, you'll make it!

Jackie - posted on 07/17/2009

17

20

1

I was there a year ago with a March 2008 baby. I found that as the year started up it got easier with every day. I also agree that you should try and get all of your work done while at school, it makes relaxing at home so much easier.When I did need to do things at home I would wait until my daughter was asleep or have my husband take care of her or take her to visit grandparents so I could have a little time to finish up my schoolwork.

Somehow we mommy teachers manage to do it all!

Lena - posted on 07/17/2009

7

9

0

I can also relate to your worries! I became a new mom on March 27, 2009. I actually went to work the day my son was born because report card grades were due that day, the deadline was at 5pm to enter all the grades in. I was slightly "leaking," but went in anyways for a few hours. My coworkers and the PTO threw me a surprise baby shower that day too. Since my son was a month early, I had to return for the last 2 weeks of school. I went back to hear my principal RAVE about how great my sub was (newly graduated teacher) and how disappointed she was in me that school year (HELLO!!! I was a walking whale with a classroom of 29 first grades!). And what about the fact that I was there just TWO hours before I had an emergency c-section to have my son?
In any case, I'm dreading going back this year and leaving my little one. He's safe with my mom as his caretaker, but I'm going back to a year of 38 (yes, it's not a typo... 3-8) first graders and no assistant of any kind. Writing this, I think I've realized I need a new school to work at. Sorry... getting off my soapbox now.

To all the great mommy teachers ... We will do an amazing job! We will miss our little ones, hope he/she saves all their special moments for us when we are there, and we'll have a classroom full of pictures of him/her to get us through the day. At the end of the night, I'm happy knowing I've got my Circle of Moms to turn to even if it's just to step on my soapbox for a moment. Good luck!

Melissa - posted on 07/16/2009

120

3

24

Congratulations! I was a new mom last year as well (twin boys!). The biggest decision I made that kept my mind at peace was to leave all work at school. By the time I would get home each day, I knew my interaction and playtime with them was limited. I didn't want to waste it even thinking about papers that needed to be graded. I found that while I was at work I used my plan time more effectively and socialized less. That, and a great teaching assistant, really helped me to go home and enjoy being a mommy!

Britney - posted on 07/16/2009

3

1

0

Wow! We must have all been busy about the same time because my daughter was born in March too! So I also had to go back to work the last 4 weeks of school. Being an English teacher I still had quite a lot of work to do. I just made sure I got it done at school and if I didn't, I just left it there. My students are really understanding...I just communicate with them. But I do teach JH kids, so they're old enough to understand. I'm still nervous to go back as well, but I know it will work out!

Angie - posted on 07/16/2009

4

7

0

I've been there as well. My biggest piece of advice is to leave home for your family time. Once in a while I will go up to school on a weekend to get some work done, but I rarely take anything home. That time is for my kids. We play, eat dinner together, and just spend some quality time together. I do a lot more grading work together in class than I did before kids. It does take some creative time budgeting, but once you get in a pattern it really does become easier.

[deleted account]

I'm with you, as well. My baby girl was born in March, I went back the last two weeks, but she was with my mom, which made me feel better. This school year, we have a nanny that will be coming to our house, who I trust, but I am still nervous! Especially since I know how much work I have ahead of me at school with teaching English 10 classes. It's good to know that I'm not the only new mom/teacher out here worrying about the upcoming school year!

Melissa - posted on 07/15/2009

2

13

0

I am in the same situation and are having the same anxieties. We know how much the school day takes out of you! I am so accustomed to not having a reason to rush home so I always went that extra mile for my job. Now that I will want to be home for my daughter how will that affect my job? How difficult will it be to manage it all? What grade do you teach?

Misti - posted on 07/13/2009

1

17

1

I can relate to your worries! I am also a new mom. My son was born in March 2009. I had to finish out the last three weeks of school and it was extremely hard. All I can say is be sure to leave your son with someone you really trust and won't mind fifty phone calls a day :). I think I called my parents over a hundred times during that three weeks. Good luck. I promise it will get easier :)

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms