Already stressed about this year

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Bella2010, Jul 24, 2011.

  1. Bella2010

    Bella2010 Habitué

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    Jul 24, 2011

    I'm not quite sure if I should post this thread here or in the Teachers Time Out area.

    The main thing I'm stressing over is juggling everything, and I don't have a lot to juggle compared to a lot of y'all seeing as how I only have one child. There really isn't one thing in particular, if that makes sense - it's just everything rolled into one. Last year when he was smaller, I could give him a bottle and he'd crawl around. I was able to get a lot accomplished during this time. Now, he's walking and into everything! I've kind of given up picking up after him and do it after he goes to bed. I just feel like I'm going to drop the ball with something or someone. I want to do the best job teaching that I possibly can. I really feel like I'm lacking in a lot of areas, which is going to take a lot of time to overcome. Being a mommy is the most important thing to me, and I'm not going to put school before my child and my time with him. I just want to do the best I can in every area, and I'm afraid I can't juggle everything the way I need to in order to make that happen. IDK if any of this makes sense to anyone else except me. :unsure:

    Beth
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jul 24, 2011

    Breathe! It's not easy trying to juggle it all, and you will occasionally drop a ball...you're human! Putting your child and family as a priority is the right thing, but working helps support your child and family...you don't have to do it all on your own, though. Plan with colleagues, let students self correct some of their work, do as much of your paperwork as you can at school so you don't have to lug it home. While it's still summer vaca, talk to your spouse about sharing more of the household responsibilities. Run laundry/dishwasher at night. Cook a few casseroles/soups on the weekends and portion out, freeze for meals on the hectic days.
     
  4. webmistress

    webmistress Devotee

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    Jul 24, 2011

    That is the reason I prayed for God to let me get hired early in the summer so that as a new teacher I could at least be getting prepared. That's not the case unfortunately but even if I get hired next week, I still feel I can get a hold on things if I stick to the schedule I put in my head. Have you tried a schedule.

    If you are married it will make a big difference.

    This is what I will TRY to do to keep that mommy, wife, me, and career balance.
    ---Get out of my classroom 30 minutes after the kids leave. Come home.

    ----I will get home a little before hubby and baby, so I will use that time for organizing, filing, dinner, etc.

    ---I'm giving myself approx 1.5 hours max to work at home on weekdays. I will shut myself in the office while hubby takes over with baby. After that, I need to spend time with my family and myself.

    --Weekends....give myself about approx 6 hours to lesson plan and gather material for the next week.

    ---I remember Mopar suggesting to plan in units. I don't know how to do this but it's something I will look into it.

    ---Since people talk about RTI on here...I'm going to RTI my career life. Meaning, curriculum/lesson/testing and grading papers should always come first, tier 1. Then I can move on to something less important, but still important, such as newsletters, blogs, special activities...last tier is classroom decorations, supplies, and things like that. (Not exactly like rti but the pyramids gave me that idea)

    They are all important, but if I don't triage and place the most emphasis and most time on the the highest priority (like they do with patients in an Emergency Room) I'd go crazy. And I don't plan to go crazy this time around :D

    Hope some of that helps. Good luck! We can do this.
     
  5. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jul 24, 2011

    Deep breaths. It's not the nightmare you're imagining.

    First things first: do you have childcare set up? Do you know who will be watching your son each day while you're at school, where, and from what time to what time? Do you have a backup, in the event that your sitter gets sick, or your son gets too sick to send to the sitters?

    OK, let's assume that's all good to go.

    You'll find a way to work the rest, I promise. I did, 5 years ago, when I returned to work after 5 years as a SAHM. My kids were 3, 6, and 8.

    Sure, my schoolwork gets handled differently than before kids. (BK). BK, I spent my free periods hanging out and brought a lot of work home. It all got graded overnight. After kids, (AK :)) I grade at school with a cup of tea in my hand, and my normal turnaround time is 48 hours.

    BK, I could go years withough missing a single school day. AK, I know that the sight of a sub showing up at my door very likely means I have to call a school nurse and go pick up a sick child.

    BK my wardrobe was a lot more fashionable. AK it's still very professional, but next year's won't see a whole lot of new additions.

    BK I spent a lot more time cooking. AK I tend to "make dinner" more quickly, because there's homework to do with the kids.

    BUT being a mom has made me a far, far, far better teacher than I was before. I can't explain it, and have gotten chewed out here before for saying it, but I can tell you with absolute certainty that it's true for me.

    Don't spend your summer sweating this. Work out the logistics, then spend the rest of your summer enjoying your little bundle of joy.
     
  6. GAteacher87

    GAteacher87 Companion

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    Jul 24, 2011

    ^I really enjoyed reading your advice, Aliceacc! I'm not a mommy (yet), but it was still a nice, relaxing post for a first-year teacher to read.

    Bella2010, I'm really nervous too. I'm nervous because I have a tendency to take on too much at once and to overwhelm myself, and I don't want to do that. I think we will get through it, though, with some deep breaths and breathing and a little organizing! Good luck to you. :)
     
  7. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jul 24, 2011

    Oh, one more thing, and please hold all the eggs and tomatoes until I'm done.

    That first year back, my 2 older kids had homework every single night and my youngest was just hitting "cranky time" at 4:00.

    Guess who came to the rescue???







    Wait for it.....






    BARNEY!!!! HE was on every school day from 4-4:30, and Kira adored him!!!!! So she watched Barney and I had time to work with the other 2 on their homework. She was safe, in the living room, getting some rest, and peace reigned in our home for half an hour.

    I know all the experts have written articles that will say I'm a bad parent for putting a 3 year old in front of a TV. I can live with that. She was happy, I was happy, and the homework got done.

    OK, ready, aim, fire.

    Oh, and some practical stuff:
    - Most of the laundry can wait till the weekend. I do a ton almost every Saturday morning, or thow in loads of things that can sit without wrinking till I get to them-- things like towels. Fold those clothes at the dining room table, or on your bed, with some Motown playing so you can keep an eye on your son playing and dancing.

    - Before school starts, play with dinners that are easy to fix. Pre-breaded chicken cutlets are a godsend! As is pasta with jarred sauce. (Hey, I'm Irish. My Italian friends make "gravy" on weekends and freeze it.) Consciously think of things you can do to streamline your workweek.

    - If he's at about teething age, invest in some mini-bagels at the supermarket. Split them and freeze them. They'll come in really handy when his gums hurt.
     
  8. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jul 24, 2011

    Loading my catapult, Alice...

    Item: Eggs - hard-cooked, one half dozen
    Item: Tomatoes - Roma, firm but nicely red​

    It's up to you to provide the lettuce, tuna, and capers.
     
  9. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    Haha--my mom had to record a tape of Barney episodes when our local station moved it from the morning to the afternoon--it was the only thing that would appease my 3 year old sister when my brother and I were getting ready/being picked up for school (and she wasn't...). When Barney suddenly wasn't on in the morning, there was almost a riot!
     
  10. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Jul 24, 2011

    I so agree with Alice. My advice is to plan out your meals in advance. Make a list for the grocery store for everything you need. It so helps to know that all you have to do is look at the list & know what you're going to make for dinner. I have a cookbook of recipes that only take 20 min. to make.

    I know what nights dh works late, so those nights I know I'm not as rushed to make dinner.
     
  11. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Oh, and here's something else that worked well:

    Find a couple of pre-teen neighborhood kids and hire them from time to time to act as mother's helpers. They don't have to be old enough to 'babysit", just old enough to play with your son as you get schoolwork done. They can call for help if they need it. The few dollars per hour you'll be paying will be worth it, and there's the added bonus of having a trained babysitter in a few years.
     
  12. Bella2010

    Bella2010 Habitué

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    Jul 24, 2011

    Thank you all so much for the words of advice and support. I really appreciate them all. It helps so much to hear y'all's advice and experiences because it reminds me that I'm not alone in this journey. :) I'm really lucky in that I have great family support. DH works a lot of hours, but he does what he can. My mom keeps my little boy - so thankful!!! I usually leave not long after the kids so that I can pick him up because taking care of him wears me out, and my mom has about 30 years on me, lol. Leaving like that kind of got me in a bind last year - I got way behind. I had some really late nights catching up/staying caught up. My mom always tells me to stay as late as I need to, but I feel guilty about it. Maybe I can stay later, like about 5:00, a couple of days a week, and then catch up and get prepared for the upcoming week over the weekend. My plan is to be super organized, both at school and work.

    Aliceaa-

    You have to be clairvoyant!!! My little boy is cutting jaw teeth, and they are giving him grief!! DH is at Walmart, and I just sent him a text telling him to pick up some bagels!

    Again, thank you all so much. I appreciate you all!

    Beth
     
  13. MzMooreTeaches

    MzMooreTeaches Cohort

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    Jul 24, 2011

    Aliceacc You make it sound so easy.. and here I am single... no children and still have difficulty juggling it all. But I will give this advice.. having a babysitter does help!

    When I first graduated from college babysitting was my godsend! I have about 5 families on my babysitting roster... and they will tell you how much it helps for those inbetween times.
     
  14. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jul 25, 2011

    Oh, it's not easy. Just when you think you have it figured out another curve ball comes your way.

    But each of us finds our own way to make it work. And it does all work, more often than not.
     
  15. teachgrade5

    teachgrade5 Comrade

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    Jul 25, 2011

    I have enjoyed reading all of the advice that you have shared with Bella2010. I have been teaching for 13 years and I am pregnant with twins for the first time. I have been stressing myself out over how I was going to balance babies with school work since I have never had to do this before. My whole thing is getting my "waiting until the last minute to do anything" under control....lol! Thanks for all of the great advice. I will keep it in mind!!
     
  16. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    Jul 26, 2011

    "I will get home a little before hubby and baby, so I will use that time for organizing, filing, dinner, etc."

    Don't feel upset if you end up using this little bit of time to decompress instead of work. You'll probably need it and you'll be a much better mom and wife once you've had a few minutes for yourself. A long time ago, we had a similar schedule. I'd arrive home by 4, he'd bring the kids home after daycare and be here by 4:45. I'd come home, start something quick and easy for dinner, then use the rest of the teim to read the paper with a cup of tea. Maybe even sneak in a few minutes of a nap.

    I don't do any schoolwork while the kids are awake. Well, now that they are in middle school, they generally stay up past my bedtime, so I probably should amend that....I don't do any schoolwork until I've put the kids to bed for the night.

    Laundry can indeed wait until the weekend. I wash and dry all weekend long, and get a good movie on Sunday afternoon. I spread all of the clothes all over my bedroom floor and sort and fold it all while watching a movie. The kids use this time to do their weekend chores. A baby or toddler would probably be napping.

    I can't stress how important it is to have your meals planned over ahead of time. I plan and do my grocery shopping on Sunday evenings. DH handles all nap/bedtime stuff. I do my shopping around 7, and spend from 8-9 doing any "prep" that may make it easier to handle during the week, like browning ground beef (you can freeze it that way!) or pre-roasting chicken breasts. I make a menu for the week, keeping in mind which evenings are busiest as far as extracurricular stuff. I use my crockpot religiously.
     
  17. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Jul 26, 2011

    Last year I went back to work when my kids were 2 months old (twins), and it was hard, but I made it and you will too. I was much more concious of really using my prep time wisely. I also went to work really early most mornings because not many people are there and I could get more done than the afternoon, that enabled me to leave on time most days and keep up with my work. My husband works shift work so I would stay later a few times a month and have my husband pick the kids up so I could work on more involved projects. Also, this might not be the year that you really launch something new for your classroom, you might rely more on previous plans and change things in small ways rather than overhauling something entirely, and that is ok!

    If you can afford a cleaning service even once a month it helps to cut down on the major cleaning at least for this first year when your son needs more attention.
    Make friends with your crock pot, when you cook something yourslef, make extra and freeze it, even if it is plain ground meat (you can microwave it and add seasonings or sauce later).
     
  18. MrsHoot

    MrsHoot Comrade

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    Jul 26, 2011

    Good advice from everyone! I had my little one in April and went back for the last week of school. I'm anxious about balancing everything and still being a good mom/teacher. I think once we get into a routine... it will be fine. Lately, I've been sort of riding emotional waves at the thought of leaving him all day.
     

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