This is a shout out to my teacher moms out there, particularly to the moms with babies under one. These teachers are pouring their hearts out to other children, while their child goes to daycare. They are the ones getting up before sunrise, pumping a bottle, or preparing formula for their baby before washing their own face. These teachers start their day long before the morning bell rings, and they do it with pride, and several cups of strong coffee.
This is no easy task, they should know. These ladies came straight off of their maternity leave and headed back to the classroom. Filing for short-term disability gave these supermoms part of their income for 6-8 weeks during maternity leave, while FMLA allowed for 12 weeks unpaid family leave time. Many moms returning to work will be leaving babies, who have been dominantly breast-fed, in the hands of someone who is foreign to them, praying they will take a bottle.
Leaving their baby at 12, 8, or even 6 weeks old is an unnatural feeling, one that takes your heart outside of your own chest and puts it in daycare, miles away from you. These moms not only do it, but they do it and then show up to work with a smile on their face, knowing their classroom kids need and deserve a happy environment.
I know the teacher who juggles the morning daycare drop off in the dark so that she can still be on time before her students arrive. I know the teacher who uses all of her breaks to pump in the closet while simultaneously grading papers. I know the teacher who wipes noses, ties shoes, mediates fights at recess, and puts bandages on cuts, while her baby is in daycare.
When this teacher finishes her school day, she may have to slide out of school like a ninja in the night to avoid any chit-chat in the parking lot. Now she is off to her second, most sacred job of all, her job of being a mommy.
These teachers are in your schools, and they are getting the job done. They may even be your son’s or daughter’s teacher this year. What you need to know is that these moms are teaching with passion. There is no other explanation.
If it were just for the money, these ladies would be gone by now. These teachers are the ones planning their lessons at night, amidst sound machines and glowing baby monitors. They may still be waking up in the middle of the night to feed their baby, but you can bet they are on time for the school day at 7:30, dressed and caffeinated.
These teachers know that you are trusting them with your most prized possession, your child, your heart outside of your chest. They understand it all too well. While they may not be able to stay late after school like they once were, they are planning, checking, and responding to emails at home, with a baby on their hip.
Even at home, thoughts of your child will never be far from their mind. They are thinking of that student who needs extra help in reading or math, while bathing their child. They are thinking of how they could help that student who comes to school in dirty clothes, while rocking their baby to sleep. They will come to school tomorrow ready to inspire students, and they will greet them with a smile. These moms deserve our respect, compassion, and a handclap.
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