Friday, February 10, 2012

my daily grind

Paige in front of "our" school

Tonight I'm linking up at Kelly's Korner on a topic close to my heart - Working Moms.

I've always been a bit carefree and spontaneous. I was recently reading posts from another linky party about SAHM's. I noted that almost all of them had planned (like my best friend) for years to stay home, and took the necessary financial steps pre-baby. I was impressed!

Similarly, I guess, in my 20's I had an itchy feeling that I wouldn't be able (financially) to give up working (not sure how I predicted I'd become AND marry a teacher!) I was mildly concerned before I was even engaged about how I'd balance working and my desire to to be totally present for future kids.

Fast forward a bit to the year 2000 in which I married and quit my job to pursue a teaching career. I knew teaching wasn't an easy way out, and truly felt (feel) like it was my calling. A second big plus, however, was knowing how well it would potentially fit in with family life.

And it does, for the most part. I'm now on my 11th year of teaching kindergarten, and if you live in CA and watch the news, you've seen education have its ups and downs. The job has definitely gotten harder.

My second grader, Miss P, and I are out the door around 7:30ish (see post below, under 'what makes mommy mad') every morning for the 20 minute drive to her school, aka my work. I keep my kindergartners reigned in, while teaching them to 'think while they read,' write detailed facts, and write their numbers with proper formation. Occasionally I do this while walking on my hands or riding my unicycle. The kiddos leave at 2:10,* and I gear up for part two of my day, which includes planning, prepping, and meetings. Miss P does her homework with her bf in my room on Mondays, gets picked up by dad on T/Th, goes to an after school class on Wed, and plays on the playground 'under my watchful eye,' on Fridays (when I sometimes haul a*& to leave early). Most days we leave close to 5:00 for the drive home and phase 3 of the day. Tues and Thurs I often stay late trying to catch on my neverending list.

Pro's: There are many. I have the best of both worlds, in the sense that I am working, yet know Miss P's teacher, her friends, and their parents all very well. If I want/need to, I can usually catch a glimpse of her during the day. I check in with her after school for the requisite hug/kiss/how was your day. And I feel like I'm not missing much in that respect. Then of course there are the school breaks, summer and the ability to leave at 3:10 (not that I ever take advantage of it.)

Side note: I had a glorious three year stint of working part-time, teaching with a job-share. That was the life, and I wouldn't trade my days at home for anything! Alas, all good things come to an end.

Con's: The challenges of working with 30 five year olds and their parents is exhausting. I often come home and just want to curl up with a good book. I shushed (without realizing it initally) my husband the other day. I envy friends who have time to exercise and run errands during the day, but I remind myself that most people have 'paid their dues' one way or another. : )

*or whenever their parents get around to picking them up!