Friday, June 19, 2015

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Being a Teacher Mom (or Dad!)

So we've all heard the term 'preacher's daughter' right?  There are certain stigmas of being a child of a preacher:  they act proper, they are a 'goodie two-shoes', OR they are rebellious and are a 'WILD CHILD'.  Either way, there's a certain picture that comes to mind when someone finds out that the child and the preacher and related.  As a mom and as a teacher, I've started to think about the stigmas that come from being a teacher's child and even more, a teacher MOM.  Now - they aren't as prominent as the preacher's daughter's ones, but they definitely are there.  All of this got me thinking - what good is going to come of being a teacher mom and what bad will come from it too?  Here is the Good, the Bad, and the UGLY of being a teacher mom!  


Because I want to make sure this post ends on a positive note, I'll start with the "bad".  ;)  

*  Time


Being a teacher takes a LOT of time...  and I mean a LOT!  Outside of working 7-3 (even more for most), there's lesson planning, grading, creating or finding materials, professional development and meetings, and communication with parents.  Not to mention the set up and up keep physically of the classroom.  See?  Lots of time!  When calculated, I spend more time with my students than I do with my own kids..  And when I am home, I'm trying to balance being with my family and having to prepare for the upcoming day or week for my students.  It's all about balance.  I, as a teacher, HAVE to be diligent about keeping work and home as separate as possible.  If not, work can and will definitely consume..my...life.. 

*  Using Your Teacher Voice


If you're a teacher and a mom, you've been there - You're out in public and your child is acting up.  So you start by giving them the 'stare', but because they are YOUR child it doesn't always work.  So they keep acting up.  Then you get IT out..your teacher voice.  And BOOM - they are in line.  But then you have others looking at you like.. DAMN!  (excuse my 'French').  You didn't say anything impolite or rude and you still said it 'nicely' but that tone would have gotten a drill sergeant to stop talking.  It makes me think of the quote "With great powers comes great responsibility".  Your child, no matter the age, hates the fact that you have this power - but as a mom, you definitely aren't afraid to use it!

*High Expectations



Now, having high expectations for your kids clearly is NOT a negative - however it can be demanding.  As a teacher mom, you are a public figure and by default so are your children.  Therefore they have double the amount of expectations coming from the teacher's side and the mom side of things.  This can create a lot of pressure on your children.  Now, my kids (right now, 2015) are 2 1/2 so there isn't a lot of pressure that they can feel now but its there.  You better believe I have those ABC flashcards in my hand at all times and we are practicing, practicing, practicing!  I have extremely high expectations for them because I know that people will say or think "You're a teacher and your kids don't know their ABC's!?"  This also can translate into other aspects such as sports and then even jobs.  The judgement is there folks..  Just remember, they are YOUR kids and you know what's best for them!  


I have thought of a few more but for the length of the post, I don't want to go into detail about them.
*Acting proper - all the time!
*Teacher's kid stigma
*Studying - requirement, not optional!  

Now onto the positives!

*Organization


Look around your house...  Does it somewhat resemble your classroom?  Mine does!  Teachers, by default, have to be organized and thankfully that translates over to my personal life.  Kitchen cabinets, play rooms, and you would HOPE even your kids' rooms!  Some of have it in our blood but others have to work at it.  Maybe for you, though, organization should be on the 'negative' side?  ;)  But for a lot of us we are thankful we have this trait and that it helps us keep that balance of time that was discussed earlier in the post.

*Patience


One of the best gifts I could have been given of all time is patience.  I couldn't do either my teaching job nor my mom job without it.  And after having kids I feel that my patience in the classroom and at home is even stronger.  Moms who are not teachers do have patience, but there's something special about having a group of 20+ little ones in a room and having to be patient and having 1-3 children at home and being patient.  Being a teacher has truly helped me be the patient mom I want to be for my kids :)

*Consistency


Being a teacher means you have to be consistent in many important areas of your job.  Your expectations, routines, procedures, management, and communication just to name a few.  Do you think this is a positive when you become a parent?  Absolutely!  My household is a well oiled machine!  My kids know that if they do A then there will be a consequence.  My kids know that at this time they will be taking a nap.  My kids know where all of their toys go and when to put them away.  I'm not a robot, but I'm concise and consistent.  If I wasn't a teacher I'm not sure if I would have the same expectations and structure as I do now.  

Again, I had a few more in mind but don't want this post to take hours to read.
*Balance between being strict and loving
*Academics are a priority
*Having supplies (glue, crayons, etc) for both school and home :)

I'm in no way an expert but I can say that by the time my kids are grown (many moons from now) that they will be able to look back and agree on these aspects of having a mom that's a teacher.  Not all is good and not all is bad.  It's about finding that balance and remembering what's important in life.  


If you have anything to add, please let me know!  I'd love to hear your good, bad, and ugly stories about being a Teacher Mom!  (Or Dad of course!) 


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