I am starting to think of my new role at home in the same way that I thought of my role as a classroom teacher. Here are the things that I have found that motherhood has in common with teaching.
1) You must have coffee. This is the most essential step in the day.
2) You must get dressed to feel competent. I remember showing up to school a few times looking rough. Maybe I had greasy hair or I was wearing pants that were wrinkled or too tight. You have to have confidence to tackle the day, and looking presentable is an important step. I find now that the days I don't change out of my pajamas seem to be the most stressful, draining days.
3) You have to have some sort of routine. My students and I thrived on routine in the classroom. I currently have little to no routine at home and it's so hard. This "on demand" parenting is best for my baby, right??
4) You have to have some adults to talk to or you will go insane. Said adults must also be going through the same things you are going through at roughly the same time. I remember not being able to wait until lunchtime at school so I could tell my teacher friends about the shenanigans that had taken place in my classroom that morning. Now I call my friend who had a baby a few weeks after me. I called her this morning and said, "If you're looking for positivity or encouragement, you're not going to get it from me today!" I was able to go on and on about all the things that are frustrating to me right now, and it was okay because she understood. We share war stories until one of our babies becomes hysterical. Strangely, that baby always happens to be mine!
5) Fake it until you make it. I'm talking faking smiles when you're exhausted, faking that you're an adult, and faking that you know what to do in any given situation. I'm not sure if the "make it" part ever happens though!
6) You have to have hobbies. I love blogging, and my newest obsession is blog design. I have been slowly teaching myself how to do things, and I'd eventually like to start designing blogs for other people. Anybody want to be my guinea pig? :)
7) You have to enjoy the small stuff. The smiles, the hugs, and the light bulb moments make it all worth it. If you're having trouble focusing on the positive at any time, repeat step 1.
I have to admit that I got a little sad when I saw all my teacher friends start back to school this week.
I try to remind myself that what I'm doing now is the same, just different. Except for the whole getting paid bit. All parents are teachers when it comes down to it. Just like with actual teaching, it is our job to pray, plan, and do the best we can with what we have.