It's Working Project

"I jokingly say that if cobblers’ children have no shoes, teachers’ children receive no patience."

What is one piece of advice you wish you could offer your former, pre-child(ren) self?

Working full-time and being a dad isn’t easy, so you don’t have to pretend that it is.  You’re not going to lose your “dad card” if you admit that you’re struggling.

Be open.

Be honest.

Don’t feel that you have to hide your stress and anxiety for the sake of other people.  Trust that you can be open and share what you’re feeling.  That being said, find community.  Find community in your family.  Find community in your friends.  Find community in other fathers. Don’t do this alone.

How long did you take for paternity leave before heading back to work? How close was your back-to-work plan with the back-to-work reality?

The birth of our daughters was, how should I say this?  Eventful.  They were born five-and-a-half weeks early, and this was after Andrea was on bed rest for fifteen weeks.  Six of those were spent in the High Risk Neonatal Unit of Good Samaritan Hospital.  That being said, I didn’t have much time to develop a plan.  When the girls were born, I e-mailed my principal saying that I wasn’t going to be in for two weeks.  That was possible due to the fact that I had so many unused sick/personal days.  We were in survival mode for so long, there was no real plan.  The plan was to survive 🙂  and that’s worked out so far.

What, if any, adjustments did you (or your workplace) make to your schedule after having a baby?

Work made no adjustments.  The students keep coming, and we need to be there to teach them.  On my end the biggest adjustment was when I completed my work at home.  Grading papers, writing lesson plans had to be completed during a time when the girls were asleep.  This has become easier as they have gotten older, but I still do the majority of my “at-home” school work after they have gone to sleep on Friday, and Saturday nights.  Typically after Andrea goes to bed.  This usually leaves me up until 2/2:30 a.m. completing my work.  For me, the waking time with my family is too precious to be sacrificed for math tests.

Who was your biggest source of support in returning to work?

Andrea, and my father.  Hands down.

 What was your biggest back-to-work, post-baby challenge?

Ensuring that my daughters receive the same amount, if not more, patience and grace that my students receive from me.  I jokingly say that if cobblers’ children have no shoes, teachers’ children receive no patience.  Sometimes it’s difficult to deal with children all day, and then have enough patience to deal with the inevitable nightly meltdown over who knows what.

As a working parent…

I never expected finding time to relax/hobbies would be so hard and letting go of nonsense work issues would be so much easier!