Going back to teaching after having a baby is so tough! Here are 10 tips for going back to teaching that will help you set boundaries and balance work as a new mom.
This post was written by Chelsea of Team Around the Kampfire. Chelsea is a third grade teacher who recently had a sweet baby boy.
Teaching after having a baby
Being a teacher is one of the most challenging jobs out there. Teachers balance so much already, and it can seem overwhelming to even think about adding full-time motherhood into the mix. Here are 10 tips for teaching after having a baby to help you balance your job, your home life, and your health.
Leave work at work
No grading at home, set guidelines about parent communication; embrace the fact that you’re forced to emphasize this—you don’t have the flexibility to stay late anymore or do more work than you have to. You have a whole other full time job.
Learn to say no
This kind of goes along with my last tip! When you’re returning to teaching after having a baby, you’ll need to learn to say no to the extra responsibilities. And that is completely okay!! You’re still going to be an excellent employee if you can’t coach that team or host that club. It’s okay to say no to after school events when you have an entire job to go back to at home each night.
Set a routine at home
Making sure I was on a solid routine at home was super important when I returned to teaching after having a baby. I say routine because we know that babies don’t truly operate on a schedule!
It’s really about the little things—I found it helpful to make taking a walk with my son after work every day a priority. It helped me separate work from home and also spend some much needed quality time with my baby.
Having a morning routine and an evening routine at home helped me and my baby know what to expect during each part of our day. This routine really helped out my mommy brain since I could kind of just go on autopilot!
Keep a strict schedule at school
While it’s a routine you’ll need at home, I found it most helpful to follow more of a strict schedule at school. In order to leave work at work each day, you’re going to need to stay on a planned out schedule at school. This way you’ll be able to utilize every precious second of your prep and planning periods to get as much done as possible.
I planned out how I needed to use each moment of my prep time and school day. After becoming a mom, you’re kind of forced to make the most of your time. I optimized my time during the school day, and it was so important to allow me to get back to my baby each evening!
Accept the fact that not everything will get done
Whatever can’t get done at school, try to release it—sometimes things are not going to get finished and that’s OKAY! It doesn’t mean you need to take work home. It doesn’t mean you should feel guilty or stressed. This is advice for any teacher, really, but it’s especially important for teachers who are teaching after having a baby.
When I was setting my schedules for each day, I really tried to lower my expectations of what would get done. I tend to expect a lot out of myself at work, so this was a huge lesson to learn for me when I went back to teaching after having a baby. But practice makes perfect, so keep the mantra in your mind that it’s okay if some things don’t get done! There are more important things in life.
Communicate your situation with those around you
You’re going to need some extra help and support when you return to teaching after having a baby. Now is the time to lean on your teacher tribe! It’s tough trying to do it all on your own, so do yourself a favor and communicate with your grade-level team any extra help you need to get back on track.
Don’t forget to clue admin in on your situation as well. It can be easy for people to forget what comes along with a brand new baby. If you’re in need of extra admin understanding and support, reach out and let them know.
Recruit help at home
This can look different for different people, but it is so crucial! I had a really hard time accepting help as a new mom, and I wish I had released more of my stress by asking for help. Returning to teaching after having a baby is hard enough—don’t make it any harder by taking on all the tasks at home too!
Maybe the most helpful thing would be hiring cleaners to clean your house once a week. Maybe it’s asking your partner to cook half the meals (if they don’t already!). If you have family and friends that can help you out with things at home, don’t be afraid to ask for and receive that help, too.
Embrace your alone time
This is a hard one, but every minute of self-care time counts at this point. However, it doesn’t count if you’re still stressing during your me-time so try to really allow yourself to clear your mind.
Since it’s nearly impossible to get alone time in during the day, consider using your commute to work as your me-time. Blast the music. Sing out loud. Be yourself. Maybe it’s in the shower, wherever you can get a few minutes.
Remember, you aren’t the first or the last
Sometimes it helps me to remember that I am not the first person to go through something and I won’t be the last. That reminds me that others have survived and thrived with teaching after having a baby, so I can too.
Remembering this also helps remind me that others have made mistakes during this time and others have taught classes after sleepless nights. It will all be okay! So when you’re thinking “How am I going to do this?!” try to relax and remember that others have gotten through this difficult time, and so will you!
Give yourself grace
You just had a human. This is the biggest event of your life, and you are now the most important person in another person’s entire world! Becoming a mom is truly a wild ride.
Remember that fact, and remember to give yourself A TON of grace when you return to teaching after having a baby. It’s a huge adjustment.
I hope these tips help make the transition back to teaching after having a baby a little easier for you and help you to set boundaries and find a balance that works for you.
Don’t forget to Pin this post to remind yourself of these tips later on!