You know kids. You teach 25 of them all day long.
You know long days. You give your all to your students.
So maybe that ever-growing baby bump doesn’t have you all that concerned.
You’ve taught for a few years, you’ve got this.
And you know what? You do. You really do. You’re an amazing teacher and I know you’ll be a great mom.
But at the same time- there are so many differences between being a teacher and being a mom.
The biggest difference is that this baby, he will be yours. Always yours.
I know that you treat your students like they are your babies. You take care of them, you love them. You even cry over their successes because you are so proud of them. You still check in on them when they go to the next grade.
But the reality is that when those kids walk out of your classroom door, they aren’t your responsibility any more. Whether it’s to go home at the end of a school day or it’s to head down the hall to the next grade, it’s someone else who is taking care of them. You can go have a break(even though I know you still think of your students some when you’re having that break).
When it’s your own child, they aren’t just yours for the length of the school day or the school year. It’s all the time. No having the next teacher deal with whatever issues there are… but also no next teacher to celebrate the successes. It’s all on you.
And it’s an entirely different feeling.
You might at times think that some parents overreact in parent-teacher conferences. Because you’ll look at a problem and talk about how it can get better. And a lot of the times, you’ll know that in the grand scheme of things, the “problem” isn’t a big deal. But when you are on the parent side, that’s your child and you’ll wish there was a magic solution for everything. You’ll know that all kids have their struggles, but in that moment, you won’t care so much about “all kids” and you’ll just want everything to be okay with yours.
This past fall, when an anxious group of parents had tears in their eyes and didn’t want to leave their kindergarteners on that first day of school, you smiled reassuringly at them, telling them it would be okay. You’d take care of their babies. And I know you have.
But when it’s five years from now and you are the one dropping your baby off in the hands of another teacher for a full day, you’ll suddenly understand those tears in a way you never did before. You might even want to go back and apologize to those parents for not getting it(don’t worry, you don’t have to).
In fact, you might find yourself wanting to change the way you do a lot of your teaching and dealing with students after you have your own. Know that you did an amazing job before you had kids, please don’t doubt that. But it’s different when it hits you in the gut and you think what if this were my child? How would I want this handled?
I don’t know if anything can truly prepare you (or anyone) for what it is like to become a mom. At times, your teaching experience will help you. And other times, you’ll still be learning as you go, just like all the other moms out there.
Know that it will be different from your days spent in your classroom. And that it will be wonderful. You will be an amazing mom.
Shell’s note: My son’s kindergarten teacher from last year is pregnant for the first time, as are two other teachers on the kindergarten team. Seeing their pregnant bellies reminded me of my days when I was the teacher waddling down the hallway, expecting my first baby. And while I didn’t think teaching automatically prepared me for all I’d encounter as a mom, I did think it would give me good perspective. But once my babies were born… years of teaching did help me with a few things, but in general, the differences between being a child’s teacher and being his mom were worlds apart.
Last Week’s Pour Your Heart Out Highlights
- And There Was a Hush from Our Giggles and Grimaces: “There are other moms that want to yell and scream and beg their children to be quiet.”
- Mistakes Are Proof You are Trying from Hooked and Happy: “I try to tell her she’s doing okay, but she needs it too be right. Have we corrected her too much?”
- Figuring Out How to Be a Mom from Emmy Mom: “As soon as you feel like you are getting it figured out, something will change.”
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