There’s something about teaching that has always struck me as weird. In complete disregard for the fact that we are paid a 9 month salary that’s divided over 12 months and for the hours of roughly 7:30-3:30 (depending on where you work), people think they have to stay late.
There’s no extra pay for staying past clock out time.
In reality, you’re losing something instead of gaining. You’re losing time.
After school gets out, I’m running on family time. Those tiny precious hours we get with our babies who seem to grow at the speed of sound.
Everyday I’m allowed roughly 3 and 1/2 hours a day of wake time with my kids. I get home (after my commute) at about 4 and bedtime is 7:30. I honestly do not sit until 8:30 at night. I’m packing bags, washing and packing bottles, cleaning, bathing kids, cooking and eating dinner, and if all the stars align I workout in the kitchen while cooking … otherwise I’m wearing a grumpy baby.
I know it’s not just teachers; it’s all working mamas who struggle with this.
We need, or must, separate work from home. When we are at work, we work hard. But when we’re home, and at home every moment we can, we Mom hard.
Otherwise we will all see these tiny people grow up, move out, and suddenly notice that we missed so much.
Yes, he was just sitting on the couch eating the ice cream he talked his Daddy into giving him. Yes, the baby was just laying on the play mat kicking away. But at work, I wouldn’t even see those moments. I wouldn’t be present for the mundane.
I want to see the mundane.
It’s bad enough I miss first words, first time crawling, walking, you name it. I can’t also miss the moments that I could spend being Mom.
Those lesson plans and copies are better made during prep times. Not during potential home time.
So Mamas, ignore the stigma to stay late and come in all summer. Get your work done and work hard, but be Mama every moment that you can. Your child’s favorite memories won’t be being picked up last or sitting in your classroom for half the summer. No, their favorite memories will be things that happen at home, with you, when you aren’t working.