Dear Teacher Moms,
To all those teacher moms out there… I see you.
Teacher moms… I see you. First, I see you waking up especially early and getting your children up and out the door before the sun is even up. You get the littlest ones to child care as the door opens to jet across town to get to school on time. One false move on the traffic flow, train crossing, or even volume could make you late. No one may notice that your day started almost two hours ago. You didn’t oversleep or under prepare. (In fact, your car now contains everything you and your children will need for the next 12 hours and three locations!) Sometimes it is what it is. But I see you rocking the morning routine and doing everything in your power to start the day off wonderfully.
Next, I see you walking into the school building, maybe even without your coffee or breakfast. Where did those go?! You did not put yourself first today, and most likely not second, third, fourth, or even fifth. I am going to guess you can’t recall the last time you put yourself first. You may even send your own child down the hall to their classroom with a hug and a smile. Instead of taking a moment for yourself, I see you smiling and unpacking the schoolwork that you did last night as you prepare for your students. That is right… I see you balancing the mother/teacher job here.
Still more, as you teach your students all day, I see you. You don’t get to run to the bathroom when you want to or even need to. Instead, you teach each and every lesson while putting on a show… full bladder and all. Then, you find ways to encourage each student in your class, secretly hoping that the classroom that contains your own child is doing the exact same thing. You do get to peek at your own children from time to time and grab a hug for confidence from them at lunch until they think you are less cool. That is right… I see you as encouraging and uplifting. Then you run to the restroom and grab a few bites of food to eat before your lunchtime is over. Again, you are not putting yourself first.
Then, after school you teacher moms tackle meetings, paperwork for days, planning your next activities, and playing a game called “email catch up.” You check on your own child’s grades, and the status of the field for the upcoming sporting event that night, and pack up all unfinished work in your bag for later. You clean up your classroom and gather all your own children’s things before hitting the door to head to your unpaid job we could refer to as “carpool parenting.” Keeping calendars and schedules for all the things for all the children is a job in itself, and yet I see you doing it daily.
Next, you drive to all the doctors’ appointments, sporting activities, and errands. This may mean you, teacher moms, packed dinner to eat in the car or that you will pick up dinner to go. You drive as they eat and sometimes you may not get to eat. You make a stop to pick up school supplies, snacks, or other needed items for your classroom. Child pick up, drop off, carpool, and exchange is all options! Then, you arrive at the said field. Watching your own child is awesome and because you live close to where you teach, you also catch up with a few former/current students. You are doing a fantastic job of supporting your children and your students and I see you. After all, seeing a teacher outside of school is a moment children remember.
Then, at the end of the night, maybe you haven’t been home in 12, 14, or even more hours. You and your family arrive home to unload the car, work on homework, and read with your own learners to make sure everything gets done. Baths, a load of laundry, and maybe some dishes are also in order. You may or may not check your school email. How long have you been on your feet? You lost count, but I see you. You are smiling and going through that end-of-the-day to-do list.
Everyone is ready for bed and you are tired. But your job isn’t done. Now you finish your paperwork and reset everything for the next day. Are uniforms and team snacks loaded in the car? How about lunches packed for tomorrow? Did you grab that book you wanted to read to the class tomorrow? What are you forgetting? I see you, planning and prepping and going above and beyond.
Lastly, it is time for bed. Okay, that is a lie. It was time for bed hours ago! You are trying to calm your brain. But you are a teacher and mom. This means you are now stressing and thinking about each student in your classroom AND your own children. You are looking up strategies to try to encourage a student in your classroom and then searching for a book you think your own child would like to read. At some point, you fall asleep because you have no choice. I see you working so hard for everyone.
You do this day in and day out. Some days are long, while others fly by! Many days are full of fun and laughter, and some are challenging. You are amazing, strong, giving, and the definition of a hard worker. You are an amazing teacher mom!