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Mums with a baby - how do you cope?

Discussion in 'Parenting' started by neeyore, Jun 24, 2011.

  1. hi all, I'm just after some tips/advice on how to cope with workload once back to work after maternity leave ends.
    I'm due back at work full-time in sept and will be teaching a year 3 class. My daughter will be 7 months old by this point. The person caring for her whilst I am at work needs me to leave school pretty promptly to come pick her up so staying at school after hometime to work isn't going to be an option for me. As for taking care of her outside of work, I'm responsible for her feeding, bathing and putting to sleep so I know I'll be pretty busy with her up until at least 8pm.
    So I guess my query is: if you're a f/t working Mom with a baby how do you manage to get your planning and marking done? And given my situation, does anybody have any suggestions on how to juggle my responsibilities or manage to get school work done without falling behind?
    Really appreciate any suggestions/advice, however small.
  2. You do less work, work later in evening. You work smarter at school. You might find that you have to find childcare to look after her later. I had a CM who looked after my son until 4pm, so went early to get him. She stopped childminding and now he is at one until 5.30pm, which is more realistic.
    You will have to start work when she goes to bed at 7pm. You generally care a little bit less as you have other priorities. But then I have never been much of a workaholic, and only rarely bring huge amounts of work home (I am HOD).
    Can't your partner help with picking up/bathtime etc?
  3. sjw2007

    sjw2007 New commenter

    <h1>Hi! I've just gone back and have Year 3 too. Definitely you do less work plus I am a whole lot more organised. I sit and chat less at lunch and break. I only have childcare until 4pm a few days so leave straight after school. I do try and go in earlier on those days though. I also am a lot more focussed on what needs doing when I sit and work. At the weekend I work on a Saturday morning while she sleeps. Can you try and get ahead with planning now so you don't have lots of pressure come September? You'll worry until you go back but once you are you'll soon settle into a routine.</h1>
  4. kittenmittens

    kittenmittens New commenter

    People I know who are F/T with chn work very efficiently, eg no chatting in the staffroom, mark during breaks, plan simply without all-singing-all-dancing resources, mark during lessons while chn are working (I did this while pregnant and shattered. You just go round with a pen and scribble as you help them). Reduce marking by using self-assessment, peer assessment or whiteboards sometimes. Get a marking stamp or use a code (key stuck in their books) for generic comments. Share planning if you work in a year team (primary).
    At home, can you get a cleaner or get OH to help with some cooking or cleaning jobs? Shopping online is great, just save your basket and amend each week. If you're not bothered and don't have any visitors, let it go! At the weekend OH can take LO out for a long walk while you catch up on essential jobs and then relax with a cuppa. Any family around that can bring round a meal or help with LO every now and again? I was quite brazen when LO was first born and just asked for help, friends and family rallied round and didn't seem to mind- not the same thing but might be worth a try?
  5. kittenmittens

    kittenmittens New commenter

    Forgot to say, I'be always taught year 3- a lovely age group- and they can be trained to help you out lots. I got them to stack their exercise books, opne on the page they were working, in the middle of their tables after each lesson. Breaktime and lunchtime I quickly marked their books (minus the ones I did during the lesson) then put away, Afternoons- only took 15 mins or so to whizz round and mark topic work. Obviously extended writing, summative assessment takes longer but the day-to-day stuff is ok if you keep on top of it.
    Get the chn to sharpen pencils, tidy the book corner, cut out resources, stick work in their books, etc- they will love staying in at break and helping! I had a little rota of helpers who stayed in. I had a work experience lad who loved laminating- bonus!
  6. I went back full time after baby number one, and have to say, found my work load more manageable than when I went part time later. As the others say, you become more efficient. I did find I was still planning every Sunday morning for a couple of hours, but my OH took the baby off for the morning. You do more self-assessment/peer marking, less chat at lunch time and generally become super organised! But then if you're a mum you'll be juggling all sorts of pressures already :) Good luck, it's not as bad as you think.

  7. <font size="3">Thanks very much for all the suggestions ladies, I feel so much better about it already</font><font size="3">@ dianaprincess: thanks for the suggestions, unfortunately though my husband will be working away from home during the week ,so only home at the weekend to help out with feeds/ taking her for walks out. Also, the person looking after her for me is a relative as I don&rsquo;t feel comfortable leaving her at a nursery/with childminder whilst she&rsquo;s under 1yr old. I figured that I would just end up prioritising and trying to do less (if I can that is) just as you said.</font><font face="Calibri">@sjw2007: Thanks for sharing </font>J I was thinking that yes, am going to try and do Creative Curriculum (topic), science and PE planning over the summer holidays, and maybe a fortnights worth of literacy and numeracy to try and stay ahead. Guess I&rsquo;ll just have to try to utilise break and lunchtimes as best possible!<font size="3">@kittenmittens: Thanks for all your suggestions, it reminds me that I just need to sit and make a list of all of the things I&rsquo;d like to set up so that I can make life as easy as possible. I was thinking earlier of doing what you said about whizzing round to do marking as and when I can in lesson time. It&rsquo;s not always feasible with Literacy lessons due to the nature of our lesson set-up, typical as it&rsquo;s Literacy work which takes the longest to mark! As for family helping out they all work f/t during the week, so Saturday would be the only option for me to get a few hours away from LO if they had her. I just thought that maybe being away from her so long during the week would make me a bit resentful if I had to lose more time with her on the weekend &ndash; but I&rsquo;ll have to pick my battles! If that few hours means I can get some work done then guess it&rsquo;s the better option. </font><font face="Calibri">@hungryhippo: Thanks for the positivity </font>J I&rsquo;m sure I&rsquo;ll learn to become more organised, I think it&rsquo;s just daunting at the moment because I&rsquo;m thinking about everything at once rather than pacing myself. Hopefully I&rsquo;ll become that super- efficient person I need to be!
  8. not sure why the font is all funny in the last post!
  9. cariad2

    cariad2 New commenter

    I went back full-time when Cariadlet was 7 months old (she's now 8). I've always done the early evenings with her - dinner, bath and bedtime. Mr C would cook dinner for us while I was putting her to bed.
    That's meant that it's always been 8ish (or later), by the time I even start work. I've always taught Reception or Year 1, so I don't have much marking, but there's loads of assessments to complete, and resources to make.
    I used to have Sunday afternoon/ evening as a main school night (planning etc), but since having Cariadlet I don't start all those jobs until late, and I'm often up until the early hours on a Sunday.
  10. hi, thanks for sharing it's so useful to know how everyone copes differently, and I think I will need to make sure that my LO is fed, bathed and put to bed by 8 like yours, if I'm going to get work done. I know it's the marking that's going to be the killer! Am hoping that family will have her for a couple of hours on a weekend so I can get a headstart with work once I start.
  11. I'm Secondary, so slightly different from your situation, but a HoD of a core subject so have a lot of additional duties. My DH is a SAHD but in terms of housework does the hoovering and the washing-up only. Everything else is done by me.
    A typical day goes like this: up at 6 (woken at 5 by DS2), shower and dress in the clothes laid out the night before, get kids up and breakfasted, shout at DH til he joins us. Feed self by cramming in toast and coffee. Point to clothes picked out for children to DH so he doesn't dress them himself (always a mistake).
    Leave for work to get there by 7.10am at latest. Spend about an hour checking emails, replying, filing, reading the endless bits of paper I get, marking work, printing off resources from our intranet and photocopying for the day ahead. Make sure plans are in order (I adapt ones I've used before - nothing is shiny and new).
    Teach. Breaktime - go for a wee, run detentions or go and set things out for next lesson. Chat to other staff about issues with pupils.
    Teach. Lunchtime - in room, putting together schemes of work, catching up with marking, running a detention (I use detainees for tidying up my room and rubbing off the board)
    Teach or have some free time. If free, mark like the wind. If teaching, pray for a break in the lesson so I can sit down on a desk for 2 minutes. Usually fail.
    3.30pm (or 5pm if a meeting) - dash home.
    3.40pm/5.10pm - 6pm - give kids dinner, baths, cuddles and time.
    6pm-7pm - sit down, have own dinner and a good moan about my day.
    7-10pm - marking and HoD stuff.
    Weekends - are sacrosanct except in emergency situations like reports, mock marking, exam marking, assessment marking etc etc. So usually 1/4 are spent working.
    I have low standards with cleaning, my marking is much quicker than before (but also better as it's more focused and therefore more helpful). I don't do any after-school clubs, and I have learned to say no. I've already said I'm not doing a residential 4 day trip next academic year to my deputy head as I am NOT being away from my own children for 4 days. Not a chance.
    Do your best and accept the fact it's going to be tiring! But it's worth it!
  12. Thanks Sedai, that was very helpful, you must be shattered by the weekend! Don't know whether I'll manage to have work-free weekends but will definitely do my best to. I'm getting used to the fact that it's going to be extremely hectic, but am hoping I will get myself into a routine quickly as you have, so that I can manage things as best as possible. Thanks for contributing, appreciate it a lot.
  13. It might be useful to consider a childminder for one/two days a week, when baby is a bit older - I did when mine was 1. It then means you could stay a little bit longer at school and get things done those nights and then have nothing to do at home?
    It is all a balancing act - definately get a cleaner and encourage other half to do his bit. I also do 2 hours planning at the weekends. But make sure you use your time wisely at school, DONT get caught up with that person who starts a quick chat and goes on for 1/2 hr - just say no!
    Good Luck

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