Change is Coming!
In two weeks, my life is going to change dramatically. I have been looking for a teaching job since December, scouring school websites and working with a recruitment firm to find a position. By the end of May, I didn’t have any leads and felt very frustrated. I was worried that my time away from teaching was causing my resume to be overlooked.
I reached out to an experienced teacher I knew to ask for his help. I hoped he could give me some pointers on my resume and cover letters so that I would be better prepared for the next hiring season. He gave me wonderful suggestions. When a last-minute teaching job popped up online, I sent in my new materials, but truly did not believe I’d hear anything.
So I was shocked when the school called for an interview. It was the second week of August and suddenly I was chatting about my teaching experience and thoughts for my future in education In less than a week, I was signing a contract with the school, overwhelmed at the thought of two weeks of prep before the year started, but also feeling very excited at the opportunity. With very little time to process and prepare, I am suddenly going to be a working mother.
I don’t even know where to start.
My husband and I always hoped that I work reenter the workforce in the fall of 2018. We’ve talked frequently about how this will work for us as a family. Up until now, I have handled everything related to the kids and the house. I get the girls up in the morning, prepare breakfast, get them dressed and bring them to school or whatever activity we are participating in that day. We’re usually out all morning and then come home for lunch and naps. After naps, I usually put on some TV while I prepare dinner. After dinner is more playtime and then baths and bed.
We have a nice little routine going. Now that is all going to change.
I need to be at school at 8 AM. The campus is about 35 minutes from home, not counting traffic, so until I get a hang of the drive, I’ll probably leave home by 7 AM. This leaves my husband in charge of the mornings. As someone who doesn’t have to be in the office at a particular time, he often sleeps until 7 or 7:30 when I send our daughter in to wake him up. He gets to focus entirely on himself to get out the door. Now, the opposite will be true.
I will be waking up at 5 AM. I’ve worked so hard to get in shape over the last year that I can’t give up now. When I used to teach, I would work out from 4-5 PM most days but that’s impossible with two young kids. I know I’ll be exhausted once I get them to bed, so my only time is first thing in the morning.
This week, I started preparing by waking up at 6 and searching for 30 minute high intensity workouts on YouTube. I plan to subscribe to several free programs to make sure I get exercise into every day. I am used to a gym environment with 55 minute classes, so paring that down to 30 minutes is a huge change. However, research shows that even 30 minutes of high intensity workouts can make a big difference. It will be harder to get up and going so early than it will be to find intensive workouts that will get my heart rate up and have me break a sweat in a short time.
The biggest change will be with my children. I’ve never been apart from them for such long stretches.
My little one was going to be in school this fall anyway, but only for the mornings. Now they’ll have to nap and eat two meals there. Fortunately, we love our preschool. I’m very comfortable with where they will be all day. The director of the school was very reassuring about children learning to nap at school and even suggested we pack breakfast for them to save time in the morning.
My little one doesn’t really understand that I’ll be gone all day, but we’re already preparing both of them for a full day at school. I had them pick out new backpacks and lunch boxes and nap mats. They know they can bring one special stuffed toy to bring to school to snuggle with during naps.
My older daughter suddenly blossomed into such a big girl overnight. She can now dress herself entirely, which will be a huge help to her father in the mornings. She tells everyone she meets that she’ll be in school all day now and keeps reassuring her little sister that they will have so much fun while mommy is at work.
From what I keep hearing, I will have a much harder time adjusting to being away from them than they will. What helps is that the school I will be working at has been so warm and accommodating. Often private school teaching jobs come along with a lot of duties outside the classroom, like coaching a sport. During my interview, the school assured me that they understood that I have young children and that I would be able to leave as soon as classes were done for the day to pick them up. This sold me on transitioning back to the workforce.
One of the biggest struggles for women is maintaining a work/home balance. Finding a job that is understanding and accommodating about having children is an incredible gift.
Yes, everything is going to change. Our budget will have a lot more room in it for things like hiring a housecleaner and taking bigger vacations. On the other hand, I’ve developed such a nice community as a stay at home mom, which I will really miss. This means I need to make more of an effort to arrange time with other moms on weekends.
I will have to be extremely efficient and organized while I’m at work and when my children go to bed. I will have to learn how to find time for self-care as well. Right now, the days can feel very long. I know that when I start work, the days will pass so quickly that I’ll be craving those long afternoons when my kids were napping.
Stay tuned to see how I am coping with this huge transition!