In no particular order…
1. Don’t be afraid to leave right after school and arrive right before school (some days). Ignore the twenty-year olds who arrive at 6 and leave at 6 (and talk incessantly about it.) Ignore the evil eyes of the ones who are two days from retirement. If you’re set to go for the next day, leave.
2. Use your prep periods and your lunch. Gone are the days of chatting and wiling those away. Use those times for what you need to do so you can follow piece of advice #1.
3. For breastfeeding moms-this was the hardest for me and I confess do as I, not as I did. Try to pump in your classroom or be vocal about being provided a place to pump. Don’t end up in a gross staff bathroom (or worse yet a student bathroom stall) with angry teachers knocking down the door. Believe me, it sucks.
4. Try not to bring work home. Especially weekends. You won’t do it and you can’t always count on naptime. If you are in a busy grading time and you have to bring work home, try to bring the mindless stuff and structure a time to work on it. When I was in IEP progress note time, I told myself I would work on hour a night after my son’s bedtime. It really helped.
5. Leave any frustrations with students at work. Try to switch your mind over to just being a mom. This can be the hardest and most important. It’s hard to have demands made on you all day and then face more of the same at home. Try not to think about your students at home and focus on your kid.
6. Take an afternoon off for yourself every once in a while. Leave right after school, go get a coffee, go get a haircut, something so you’re not making the teacher to mom switch in ten seconds.
7. Put up pictures of your family at work, especially if you’re just coming back after maternity leave. It helps.
8. Be assertive about your limits…but remember you’re not the only teacher who moms out there. Chances are, there are many women you work with who have gone through it. But cut back on the committee volunteering and dance chaperoning at least while you have the super young ‘uns. Most people will understand.
9. Be grateful! You’re not doing the 9 to 5 grind and picking up your kid at 6. You get summers off and any teacher who says that isn’t a huge perk is a big liar by the way. You can take your kid to the park in the afternoon and do the stay-at-home mom thing in the summer.
10. As every parenting advice article or book will tell , get into a routine. Especially in those late afternoons before dinner. Even if it involves some tv shows.