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Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by purple77, Mar 11, 2019.
Can you be a headteacher and mum of 2 ( young children)?
The answer is obviously yes. Whether you want to be, is a different question that only you can answer, taking in your individual circumstances and other factors, such as your personal drive, ambition and resilience.
Others who have considered it it will be along to discuss it I expect.
Yes. It’s a job. An important one but still a job. Too many people in this profession equate obsessionally long hours with effectiveness. You can put your family first and be a highly effective Head too.
I am a HT and Dad of 2 young children (3/5). I find it's good for ensuring I leave work at a reasonable time and helps me switch off at home. It does cause some stress and pressure; especially when I'm having a hard time and feel like leaving but know I can't because I've got a mortgage to pay!!
You may hold both positions simultaneously but you will find it an ultimately unhappy & unhelpful experience, as you suspect.
Our head has two young children (2 and 4) and seems to manage very well. The 4 year old is in our school.
As long as you can cope with the gossip about arriving late and leaving early, you'll be fine.
I am in a similar situation. The straightforward answer is yes, however I know from having been a full-time Head with one young child, life was busy and manic. I'm undecided whether to return to Headship now that I have two young children. I think if you have family members to support with childcare then the unexpected long days when issues inevitably arise are easier to manage. However you may begin to resent the increasing tally of missed bedtimes, I know I did.
I totally agree.
Yes you ‘can’ but it is tough at times. When you’ve had a tough day/ week , it can sometimes be hard to be that fresh,smiley parent.
It can mean that you are torn between important school events and family ones as they go through school.
My personal opinion is that I wouldn’t rush into a headship. Enjoy your children while they are young.
I often want to walk away but the worry of the impact of this on the family budget prevents me from doing so . I do then worry about my own personal health.
Disagree. Although I actually manage this well, I feel constantly inadequate.
You can but you need to get the balance right for the demands of the job and spending quality time with your children as they are growing up.
I’ve known HT’s that have done it, and it’s worked well for them, and I’ve also known HT’s that have struggled with it and ended up stepping down or leaving the profession completely.
If you want my personal opinion, I think that you should wait until your children are older, and then consider a headship then.
Not only will you have had that quality time with your children, you will have gained more experience as a Deputy Headteacher (assuming that’s the role you’re in now) and you’ll be more than ready to take up a HT post.
Don’t to it!
Wait and do it later .......
I will expand my answer. I accepted my first Headship when Smallest was one. I made some careful decisions around childcare and location of my children’s schools and it has been absolutely fine. However I was a very experienced deputy so knew the job well and I am evangelical about work-life balance for me and my staff. I haven’t felt resentful or torn because I haven’t had to. Certainly not working at all would be easier but I don’t think being a Head has made it any more difficult.
Primary or secondary? I think it makes a difference. I took on my first (secondary) headship when my kids were all almost through school/university - not sure I could have given the job the time it needs when I had really little ones! I do know primary heads who have young children and it works for them.
Ah no! You’ve really got to be careful with this. I was in this position and I only just escaped with my physical and mental health intact.
It was solved when I moved from a small school to a much bigger one. That will come as a surprise to some but not others.
I was a deputy at a big school when my children were very young but because they were at my school it worked really well. When I moved to Headship at another school my youngest was just doing GCSEs which was tricky as she needed my help with revision but we coped. However, whatever age they are, they still need support and at times it has been very hard and they didn't always come first- my job often seemed to take over and I still feel guilty about it. There is no good time to be a Head when you have children, you just have to try and split your time between the job and your children. The holidays definitely help!
I took on my first headship when my youngest was three, seems crazy looking back now thinking I could juggle it all. I think if you have a good network of support it can work, if not it is a real balancing act just sorting out drop offs/pick ups especially for meetings and events. Not sure I would do it again.