The life of a mom is exhausting. The life of a teacher is exhausting. But what about the life of a teacher mom? Allow me to enlighten you.
The alarm goes off. Luckily it’s not for me, but rather for my “morning person” husband who is good and exercises before work. I sleep for another hour before dragging myself to the shower and morphing into teacher mom.
We wake up the kids, who make no attempt to even acknowledge the lights or parent voices lulling them into reality.
It’s utter chaos. People are eating, dressing, yelling, lunch-making, shoe-finding, and backpack-stuffing. Things get sketchy between now and go time, especially if the kids start to fight or get distracted by those Stampy Cat Minecraft videos.
We hop into the car and buckle up, loading backpacks, soccer bags, swim bags, water bottles, and the “mystery box” assignment due today. Our 20-minute drive from Bennett Valley to Sebastopol is pretty gorgeous, filled with vineyards, grazing cows, and majestic oak trees. We always play loud music before I’m in full-on teacher mom mode. I review the day ahead and remind each kid of their after-school activities, special school events, and assignments that need to be turned in.
We arrive at school and the kids unload amidst “I love you” and “Don’t forget your lunch.” We sometimes snap a quick minivan selfie, but this morning we don’t have a chance. I watch them walk past our favorite Patrick Amiot sculpture and flip a U-turn towards my school.
I arrive on campus ready to teach my favorite species – the 8th grader. Today is especially busy because my trimester two grades are due and I’m accompanying some of our students on a field trip to a nearby high school. I submit my grades before the bell rings at 9 a.m. because I won’t have time later. Then, I’m waiting to load kids onto the bus.
We arrive at the high school, where we’re greeted by some former students of mine. They “up” my cool points by sharing hugs and excited smiles with me. Over the next two hours, I follow my students around and watch their faces as they start to see themselves as high schoolers. The transformation is both beautiful and heart-breaking. I am thrilled for their adventure ahead but I am already mourning my loss of them.
We load the bus to return to campus. The kids are noticeably excited and it’s contagious. We arrive back in time for lunch, which I eat in about 20 minutes (teachers are accustomed to quick eating and using the restroom on command). I make some copies, return emails, and plan for tomorrow. I also try to create a new online grade book for the last trimester.
I leave campus to go pick up my three kiddos plus two more carpool friends. Wednesday is their early dismissal day, with school ending at 1:55 p.m. Once I have my posse in tow, we head back to my school because on Wednesdays we
wear pink have staff meetings.
Staff meeting ensues. I eat candy to stay alert. The kids hang out in a classroom until we’re done, drawing pictures on the whiteboard and “doing their homework.”
We head home for quick change and snack before leaving again to make my daughter’s 5 p.m. swim practice. This is usually my chance to chill out in the bleachers. I enjoy the pool sounds and chlorine smell, reminiscing about the long gone days of my swim career.
Normally we’d head home, but today my older son has soccer tryouts for our local league. Luckily they’re on the same campus as the pool, so we head over to see how things are going. The two younger kids run around the track while my husband and I check in for the first time today. We cheer on our oldest son who (bless his heart) will leave soccer tryouts and head straight to basketball practice. His team is playing in the championship game this coming weekend and practice tonight was not even close to optional. He did, however, miss his baseball practice because we cannot always do all the things, despite our efforts.
The littles are restless, so we leave soccer tryouts to head home. On the way to the car, they convince me that Chick-fil-A is necessary. I don’t even try to argue because this teacher mom is exhausted. I take the “cell phone challenge” during our meal, which means free ice cream for all. It’s definitely a win-win.
We get home, do a quick check in on the homework situation, and get ready for bed. No one complains after this long day, and they snuggle up for some reading time with Mom (who’s taking over for Dad because he’s still at basketball). About 45 minutes later, the house is silent until my oldest returns home. He’s a sweaty mess, but his smile tells me that he is proud of his hard work today.
All is quiet on the western front. The hubs falls asleep, so I’m left to peruse bad reality television for about another hour until I can no longer keep my eyes open. It’s bedtime for this teacher mom. Goodnight.