Another SAHM post :/

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by DrivingPigeon, May 6, 2015.

  1. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    May 6, 2015

    I posted something similar a few months back regarding becoming a SAHM. I really need to make a decision soon, so I have a few more questions for those of you who have spent time away from teaching to stay home with your child(ren).

    My biggest concern is that I will lose a big part of myself if I stay home. I'm the crazy teacher who works every Sunday, stays at school until 8:00 sometimes, volunteers for everything, and spends thousands of dollars of her own money on her classroom. I love my job. I love being a teacher. My husband is always telling me that I need to find a hobby, and I tell him that teaching is my hobby. It's been my life for the past 7 years, and I've loved almost every minute of it.

    With that being said, the past few years I've felt more and more pressure from administration, which is really stressful. My district is in a suburban area and is very competitive. My principal's motto is "good enough never is," and she's actually told us that she expects us to get on our computers and work at 9:00 at night when our kids go to bed. Before my pregnancy, I had gained 20 pounds in the past 2 years, due to stress. I never feel like I'm doing a good job, which is frustrating, because I invest so much of myself into what I do. But my team is changing a lot for next year, and my new teammates are awesome teachers, and I know that we would do a great job of supporting one-another.

    When I went to visit my students about a month ago, I didn't feel like I missed being at school at all. I almost felt weird going back...Like I didn't belong anymore. But now that I've been gone a little longer (9 weeks), I feel like I'm really starting to miss my job.

    Another concern I have is that my only friends in the area are my work friends. I live about an hour from where I grew up, and I don't know many people in the area. I worry that if I don't work, I won't have a social life. Sure, I could spend time with my work friends, but we wouldn't have much in common anymore.

    The thought of packing up my classroom at the end of the year both excites me and saddens me. I worry that if I leave my job I won't be able to find another one down the road when I go back to work, since it's such a competitive market. But I can't imagine working such a demanding, stressful job while raising my DD (and we would like to try for #2 in a year). During my whole pregnancy I was planning on going back, and then when she was born I was dead-set on staying home. Now I'm getting the urge to go back to work again. (Part of me thinks that I'm just forgetting how stressful it really is!)

    If you are/were a SAHM, did you miss teaching a lot, or did you get over it? Was it difficult to get back into teaching after being gone? Did you feel out of the loop, or was it easy to pick up where you left off? If you only had "work friends" before, did you have a social life when you were staying home? Did you feel lonely?

    Thanks for any insight you can share!
     
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  3. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    May 6, 2015

    I was home for 10 years, and I don't regret a minute of that time. I decided to return to work when my son was in Grade 4 and my daughter in Kindergarten. I started with day-to-day subbing then did two long-term sub positions, one for 9 months, before getting a permanent contract. It was a steep learning curve when I returned, and I am a fair bit older than other teachers with the same amount of experience, but having those years was precious.

    I did do in-home daycare so that I had my "own" money, and I involved the kids in a lot of activities--drop-in centres, playgroups, gymnastics, library programs, etc, and made some good friends at each of these.

    It is such a personal decision, but I feel so fortunate to have been able to do what I did.
     
  4. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    May 6, 2015

    I would be staying at home next year in a heartbeat if I could, but we unfortunately just cannot afford to do so right now.
     
  5. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    May 6, 2015

    I had a different career before becoming a SAHM. I didn't particularly enjoy my job, so leaving was easy. Teaching would be harder, especially since - like you - I would be concerned a bit with getting back into it later. However, I did love the time with my kids when they were little. That's something I feel fortunate to have had.

    Could you take a year of maternity leave and then decide later if you want to stick with the SAHM thing or go back after a year?
     
  6. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    May 6, 2015

    I was also a teacher like you describe yourself. However, when they placed that first baby in my arms, I knew immediately that I would not leave her to go back full time. The time they are young is so precious and irreplaceable.

    I stayed home until all my children were in school. I earned money working nights, opening a preschool, working at a church preschool, subbing when my husband had days off, etc.

    I made new friends when my children were young. Park visits, storytime at the library, exercise classes with my children, even walking around the neighborhood and meeting other moms helped me feel less alone.

    Right now, your concern, rightly so, is your baby, not your classroom. If you want to go back in the future, you could try job sharing with another SAHM. I know teachers who watch each others children in order to share a job.
     
  7. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    May 6, 2015

    If I was married & my husband had a good enough job to support the both of us, I might want a fun little part-time job, but no one has to tell me I don't have to work if I don't want to! ;)

    I know you LOVE your work, but when kids & other changes in life come along, you have to re-evaluate what's best for you & your family. I'm all for moms staying home to care for their kids...at the very least until they can start school. My mom stayed home w/ me & I'm so glad she did. My parents aren't wealthy, but they saved & sacrificed.

    Perhaps you need a change of pace. Good luck w/ whatever you decide!
     
  8. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    May 6, 2015

    Can you do an extended maternity leave? Like next year? See how you like it, with the option to go back the next year?

    I've been hearing more and more about job sharing as teachers. Perhaps do your research, make a proposal to your school?
     
  9. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

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    May 6, 2015

    When I had my first son, I did not plan to return after maternity leave. I had been driving about 30 miles and wanted to work closer to home. I decided to stay at home because I didn't have daycare opportunities available and no family members were available- and, well, I wanted to stay home with the cutest baby ever. After a year, I did find a part time job ,related to education, at a church. It kept me busy and fulfilled, and I was able to schedule hours so my husband watched the kids when I was working.
    I feel very good about those years, but professionally, it wasn't good. Like MrsC, I started subbing and that led to LTS which led to a job. I missed having colleagues. I did have an identity problem ( I was like you). I didn't know how to describe myself. We accumulated some debt, and did not save for college. I'd probably do it again though.
     
  10. geoteacher

    geoteacher Habitué

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    May 6, 2015

    I also stayed home with my children for 10 years. I loved being the parent who was there for all their 'firsts' - first steps, first words, first day of school, etc. Initially, I did feel a twinge of regret the first year that the school buses rolled by and I knew that I wouldn't have a classroom. However, that does pass if you allow yourself to get involved in the life and activities that go on in the community while others are at work. My kids and I did volunteer activities, went to play groups, attended library programs, went to YMCA programs, etc. - all things that we would have missed had I been working.

    I will also say that getting attuned to a lifestyle change like this does take a little time. You really need to give yourself at least six months to adjust to the change of pace. It takes at least that long to build the new connections with other people who have made choices that are similar to yours.

    I also have to say that I do not, for one second, regret the choice to stay home and raise my children!
     
  11. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    I would give anything to be able to stay home. Teaching for me is not the same as it was before I had my son. I still really like teaching, but my life revolved around teaching before and now I have a hard time with all of the unpaid work and extra time expected. And I hate having to leave my son.
     
  12. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    May 7, 2015

    I think this is exactly how I would feel if I were to go back to my job in the fall.

    Thanks for the replies, everyone! I know that it's a personal decision that only I can make, but I like hearing different perspectives from others who have had to make the same decision.

    To answer a few questions, my district would not allow me to go back to my job if I took the year off. Job sharing may be a possibility, but I don't know that I would be interested in that. I feel like if I job shared, I would still be working a lot!
     
  13. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    May 8, 2015

    I had my daughter in August and I decided to go back to work. However, I work much less than I used to this year. I stay an hour later 3 times a week--one for meetings, and two other days for extra help for my students. However, I am out of the building by 3:15 everyday, and I don't bring work home. I grade papers when my baby is napping or after she sleeps if I can't get it done in school, but I do everything else during my planning, lunch or study hall. I don't have any new preps this year, which is very helpful as well.

    I know elementary is different in terms of prep time, responsibilities, etc. , but I would strongly encourage you to stay at home if you don't feel like you can cut back on your hours. I considered staying home, but we need the money and I don't think I would be completely happy staying at home. However, I would not be happy if I was working the same hours that I worked before my daughter was born. I think teaching is great because my day ends at 2:00 so I can usually spend the afternoon with my daughter, but I did have to sacrifice some aspects of my job to make it work. Next year, I'm working in the same town that I live in, so I'll have a much shorter commute. Very excited about this!!
     
  14. ecteach

    ecteach Devotee

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    May 8, 2015

    I wasn't able to be a stay at home mom due to finances. If I had the chance I would have. You can always go back to teaching, but you can't get those years back with your baby.
     

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