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Friday, December 3, 2010

5 Reasons Why I'm Glad I'm Not Mixing Teaching and Baby-Gestating

 Several people expressed confusion and/or surprise when I quit my job before getting pregnant.  One extremely helpful neighbor even told me that I was "doing things backwards" and that "most women work right up until their water breaks!"  (Thank you, sir.  I am no longer going to keep my dog out of your perfect front yard.  Enjoy.).  We knew that we were sort of putting all of our eggs in one basket (hah!) by making the decision not to renew my contract, but our feeling then--as it is now--was that it was the best plan.  I know that most people don't have to luxury of staying home while they are pregnant, and I am completely in awe of the ladies I know who managed to teach--and be great at it--while they were pregnant.  That said, here are my

Reasons Why It's a Good Thing I'm Not Teaching While Pregnant 
  1. The morning all-freaking-day sickness, obviously.  In all of my teacher training, "routine vomiting" was never listed as an effective classroom management technique.  I can't imagine being "that teacher who barfed on her copy of The Odyssey" for the rest of the year.  It would definitely lead directly to reason #2....
  2.  The crying.  In my real life, I'm not really much of a crier, unless I am watching Steel Magnolias or The Notebook (after we watched this one, I didn't stop blubbering until Jeromy promised to read to me when we get old).  However, the magical pregnancy hormones make you into an emotional sad-sack.  To be fair, the only time that I've really, truly cried was when I, a PC-user for 25ish years, couldn't figure out how to get my Mac to do something I really wanted it to do and had a meltdown (Jeromy thought this was HILARIOUS when he came home from work and I told him).  However, several things have had me lip-quivering and teary in the last 3 months, including:  a seeing-eye dog, every single Project Runway elimination, reading strangers' birth story blogs, and Jeromy not wanting to buy a new mattress yet.  I can only imagine the waterworks that would occur if I had been forced to read a nasty parent e-mail or grade a huge stack of essays while I'm in this state.
  3. The need to pee every 10 minutes.  Even if I could have brought myself to use the girls' bathroom on our hall (nightmare) instead of the farther-away faculty restroom, I still would have been in trouble.  It is DANGEROUS to leave a room of 9th graders unsupervised.  You'd probably come back to find one of the principals wanting to know why Little Timmy just used his cell phone to call his mommy to tell her that he'd been taped to a chair.  "Because I had to pee" probably wouldn't cut it in that parent conference.
  4. This is what my classroom would look like if I left the room for more than 45 seconds.
  5. The at-home grading and prep time.   I can't be grading essays and re-reading Romeo and Juliet!  These pregnancy and baby books aren't going to read themselves, hello!
  6. The stomach hokey-pokey. Some of the older teachers I know used to swear that, towards the end of their pregnancies, the students could SEE the baby moving around and would be mesmerized.  That's just what I would have needed while trying to keep 14-year-olds focused on grammar! No.  
Please Note:  I would never wear this outfit.  There's just a limited selection of "pregnant teacher" pictures out there.
I will say that the "so, what do you do?" question now makes me wince. Being about to respond with "a high school English teacher" usually elicited comments like "wow, that's great" or "gosh, I could never do that" and I always had a steady stream of crazy teaching anecdotes to make small talk with.  But now I have to say, "oh, I stay at home" or something awkward like that.  Which does NOT get the same response.  People look kind of uncomfortable or mildly disgusted.  When I explain that I'm a Stay-at-Home-Mom-in-Training, several women have made a point of listing all of the reasons that they don't or didn't stay home with their kids.  It's hard not to interrupt them with, "Look, I'm not judging you, working mom!  You made the decision that you thought was best for your family, and I'm doing the same!  Just because I didn't think *I* could effectively juggle my job and a baby, doesn't mean that I think YOU can't be awesome at it.  Now settle down and go back to your two-salary household!"  I think once I actually have said baby in hand, it will be a little easier to answer the profession question, but if any of you stay-at-home-moms out there have an suggestions on handling this issue, I'd love to hear them! 

FOUR MONTHS pregnant tomorrow!  Woohoo!!  Happy Weekend, everyone!

1 comment:

  1. I am jealous! I wish that I could be a SAHM! And that "morning" sickness should go away eventually.