Working Mom Woes

Once upon a time there was a teacher who loved her job. She didn’t mind bringing home stacks of work or staying at school late. She could frequently be found in her classroom on a Saturday or even a Sunday. She enjoyed spending her summer planning for the next year and buying whatever she thought her classroom needed. She felt like her job was one of the most important jobs in the world – after all she was “touching the future”. She even dreamed of doing her job so well that she garnered the respect of her peers and her bosses. She could see herself retiring from her job an old lady. Then that teacher became a mommy and her world changed.

Yesterday was a rough day. It was one of those days where I felt overwhelmed by work (which honestly is most days now) I had a stack of things to do for work, papers to grade and papers to fill out for my principal to prove I was doing my job. Plus ANOTHER observation to plan for – another person coming into my room for 45 minutes to tell me all the things I’m doing wrong as a teacher. Oh and ISTEP starts in 8 days. It was a day that had lasted 8 hours, but felt more like 12. All that frustration was bubbling at the surface when I arrived home with my little man – it had to go somewhere. I’m very ashamed to say it ended up being directed at David as mommy snapped at him for silly things. By the time Steve got home Davey was crying because mommy had yelled at him and mommy was crying because I had yelled at my little man about something stupid that in the grand scheme of things didn’t matter.

By the time I finished explaining to Steve that I felt overwhelmed – like I had two full time jobs – I think maybe he was starting to get it. Unfortunately, his solution was to take over part of my mommy job, when in my heart of hearts I was composing my resignation to my teaching job. If I had to choose one job – mommy would be the job I chose. In some ways I feel like I’m being asked to choose daily, and I try to be strong and pick mommy. But when all the paperwork (no- I’m not talking about grading – I’m talking about all the things we have to fill out and turn in to a boss – who can be found at school on a Saturday) still needs to be done and we’re asked to give up a Saturday or an evening to come in and participate in a school activity and we’re late or we refuse we’re not seen as a team player. (Wow that was a run-on sentence) Now for all of you out there thinking but teacher’s get their summers off – you’re wrong we leave at least a week after the kids get out b/c we have to pack up our rooms. We come back usually two weeks before the kids b/c we have to set up and plan for the new year. We usually have two to three weeks of trainings to attend in the summer – which aren’t mandatory, BUT are highly recommended. So if school is out for six or seven weeks in the summer….. teachers actually work all but one of those weeks and we do it without pay. Hmmmm most jobs give you at least a week or two of paid vacation. Let’s not forget that as teachers it is our fault kids fail week long tests – that are supposed to test what we taught in 180 days. Of course we’re going to give the test in March, and there’s still two months of school left, so you might not have gotten to what we’re testing yet. Oh yeah and we’re going to test ALL the kids at grade level – even the ones who started out the year two grade levels below where they were supposed to be reading. Teacher’s being the miracle workers they are can teach 2 or 3 years worth of reading in a year – right? Then since we’re sure it’s your fault your kids aren’t passing the test, we’re going to require you to do more paperwork to prove to us that you can teach. Of course you’ll have to do that on your own time at the end of the day, b/c you can’t spend the time your supposed to be teaching do the paperwork to prove you can teach. And when it’s all said and done, it’s still going to be your fault. I mean we can’t blame the parents for not reading to their kids or helping them with homework. They have jobs and being a parent isn’t one of them.

AAAAAARGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Okay excuse my rant, but I feel better. On a happy note after discussion with Steve it looks like if we can stick to the new budget for the rest of this year and all of next…. then maybe I can give up one of my jobs and do only the one I love the most in a year and a half. (Yes that would be being a mommy) You’ll also be glad to know mommy and David made up with a bubble bath adventure and a wonderfully rare cuddle during his bedtime bottle. I love my little man to the ends of the earth and back.

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