Being a teacher and a mom can be quite a struggle. If you’re anything like me, it’s hard to balance being a teacher mom!
Back when I was pregnant, my husband and I used to joke that when we had our daughter, I’d be “in charge” of the early education. You know, baby/toddlerhood all the way to about 5th grade. He’d take over at 6th grade and get her through high school. We said we’d tackle college together.
Well, now our daughter is two and I find it SO interesting having the perspective of TEACHER and MOM. Holy moly. Mash those two together and being a teacher mom is a blessing and a curse (mostly a blessing but still).
The Teacher Mom Struggle With Academics
Because I know what we need to be working on, I put WAY too much pressure on myself to make sure we’re doing all the things. For awhile I told myself I was going to have a weekly focus and each day we’d do activities to help learn colors, numbers, letters, or whatever. Big shocker: it didn’t go well.
I see other moms with toddlers younger than mine who know all of their letters and numbers and mine over here just knows the letter U. (I don’t know why but for some reason she’s attached herself to the letter u and points it out ALL. THE. TIME.)
I’ve learned to scale back my control over needing everything to have a specific focus. Now at the beginning of the week I write down 3 activities I think she might like and I give them a go when I think she might be up to it. I’m trying hard to take the pressure off, especially for her!
I was going to sign her up for the 1,000 books before kindergarten at the library because I know how important reading is. But you know what? I’M NOT DOING IT. My girl loves to read. I’m pretty sure we’ve already tripled that 1,000 books because it’s something we do ALL DAY LONG. Plus, I don’t want to write all of those titles down every time we read. It’s like a reading log for my toddler. No thanks.
The Struggle with Behavior
As a former teacher, I’ve dealt with tons of different behaviors in the classroom. Now, as a mom, I’m analyzing (or maybe I should say overanalyzing), my child’s behavior and how I handle it. Unfortunately these behavior charts aren’t quite appropriate for my two year old.
Let me share some scenarios with you…
We’re in dance class and she wants to run around, free as a bird, following absolutely zero directions from the instructor.
We’re at library story time and she wants to color on the sign-in sheet instead of listening to the stories and participating in the songs.
We’re leaving the park and she wants to keep playing so she goes full on slippery noodle and collapses on the ground in anger.
We’re crossing the street and she doesn’t want to hold my hand so I have to carry her surfboard-style, screaming, so that we can safely cross the street.
Now listen, I know all parents deal with these kinds of things, but as a former teacher my mind is racing! She’s got to learn how to transition from one activity to another. I need to make sure she listens and follows directions right away when given instructions. Okay, what strategy am I going to use to help here? Should I actively ignore her? I don’t want her to think she can get away with this type of behavior. Is she going to act like this when she starts school?
So Why Am I Writing This?
Okay, so you’re probably thinking I’ve shared all of these struggles, frustrations, etc. and NOW WHAT? What’s the point of me telling you all of this?
Well, chances are, many of you reading this are mamas and teachers. If anything, I want you to know that you’re not alone in the pressure you put on yourself. Just because you’re a teacher doesn’t mean your child has to be the first to know her ABCs and 123s. Even if you’re a teacher with awesome classroom management, that doesn’t mean your child is always going to be well-behaved.
Keep doing what you know is best. Try to take the pressure off of yourself. What you’re doing is enough, and you’re doing an amazing job!
P.S. If you’re a teacher mom returning back to the classroom after maternity leave, my friend Alisha has a blog post full of ideas for you!