Recently, I enrolled my son in preschool a few days a week. This was a big step for a stay at home mom like me, but not completely foreign either. See, I’ve had several first days of school because before I decided to stay at home, I was a middle school history teacher.
If you’re a teacher mom like me, you’re totally rocking this whole parenting thing. Why? Because teaching and momming are one and the same.
Both interesting, and both downright exhausting, but two little boys later and almost a decade of classroom experience, teaching prepared me to become a mom in the most strange and unexpected of ways.
1. Intensive Bladder Training
Teachers are known for having bladder issues. Why? Because they can hold their pee for an insane amount of time. It’s like a right of passage to race to a restroom between passing period.
The good news about teacher-bladder training is that it totally prepared me to be a mom… Sometimes, it’s hard to find an opportune time to pee. We’re so wrapped up in what’s going on with our kids, or we straight up can’t figure out the logistics of urinating in a public restroom with two kids, so we just don’t!
2. Dealing with Total Grossness
Teachers deal with some pretty nasty stuff on a daily basis. Body odor, farts, lice, pink eye, a little vomit on the shoe, all in a day’s work, right?
Well, a teacher’s day isn’t much different from life with a child. Parenting is all about getting urinated on (totally sterile by the way), terrible poop stenches, and smelly odors coming from under the bed. Good thing teachers are equipped to deal with the total grossness, thus increasing our level of tolerance as a mom.
No joke, when vomit in the hair doesn’t constitute a shower for yourself, you know you’ve reached another level of mom.
3. Head Start in School Choice
When other moms find out I’m a teacher, they love to question me about my opinion on good schools- and they should! They want what’s best for their children and it’s always a good idea to talk to people who know a thing or two about education.
As teachers we have a head start in deciding what schools best fit our children because we know what qualities make a school great!
4. The Patience of a Zombie
Some days, teaching presents some big challenges and teachers need lots of patience. Like an insane amount of patience… so much patience, you actually make yourself numb some days just to survive. Almost zombie-like, right?
As a stay at home mom, my kids really test my patience. The patience that took years and years of teaching to achieve. I used to see 165 kids go through my door on a daily basis, but my one toddler puts them all to shame. Luckily, I have tools in my toolbelt to cope. My husband, on the other hand, isn’t as fortunate.
5. Teacher Mom Immune Systems Are the Best EVER
You know what they say: ‘Moms don’t get a sick day’ but teachers don’t either! After working with kids for 9 years, I’ve been sick a lot. The first few years were brutal, but after the initial shock to my immune system, it’s hard to catch a bug! In fact, it may take Ebola to actually get me a day in bed.
Regardless, teachers can nurse their children back to health without the worry and fear of catching it themselves.
6. Early Mornings Are Easy… er… Easier
Why do children like to wake up at the crack of dawn when all you want to do as an adult is sleep-in? I have no clue, but as a teacher mom, you’re used to early mornings because schools like to start at the crack of dawn too! Lucky you.
You can sleep when you’re dead, mom.
7. You Got That Stare Down on Point
As a teacher, I’m sure you’ve mastered the stare down. No need to say anything because your eyes say it all.
Now, as a mom, I get to use my skillful and creepy stare on my son and he has years of teaching middle school to thank for that scary glare.
8. Read Alouds Are Da Bomb
Teachers have such a specific way they read because they have to make quadratic equations seem captivating at 7 in the morning. We pause at the right points, display inflection where needed, change voice for characters, all while walking around the classroom and monitoring student behavior. It’s an art.
All this practice really comes in handy during story time with your kids. So. Many. Stories. Pete the Cat never sounded so good when performed by a teacher mom.
9. You Know it Takes a Village
If you teach in a bubble, it’s very hard to grow. Educators know that that’s why we seek help and strategies from other teachers. We read research, buy books, and attend seminars. We do this because teachers love to learn and grow along with their students.
Just the same, being a mom also takes a village. We have family, friends, Facebook groups, books, and Google searches galore in order to help us raise our children because it’s impossible to do alone.
10. Organization Is Key
Organizing is fun for teachers. We gravel at colored containers, fun borders, bold fonts, and any other way to make our classroom run more efficiently while always looking its best. So, when the opportunity to organize our children’s toy collection arises, teacher moms are more than ready for the challenge.
The yellow bin for cars, the clear bin for magnets, the blue ones for puzzles… I feel so alive!
11. Arts and Crafts Time is Easy Because We Are Hoarders
Teachers would save a single staple if they could. We keep everything because we never know when we will get a new one or when we will run out. I’m serious, one time, my school ran out of paper for copies. PAPER!
Luckily, we save everything because just about anything can become a craft for our creative kids at home. I can whip up an activity in less than five minutes with a collection of random crap I find in my desk drawers. It may look like a recycling project gone wrong, but my son doesn’t know the difference and there’s no rubric necessary.
12. Rainy Days Are Still the Worst
Every teacher hates a rainy day at school. Find one that doesn’t, and I’ll give you a dollar. The kids are crazy because they’re stuck indoors, the commute to and from work suck, and school pick-ups and drop-offs are a disaster. Using a sick day almost seems like a better option.
Being stuck indoors with your kids all day is not much better. In fact, it’s my personal hell, but dealing with it as a teacher allows your creative side to really shine or your classroom patience to be put to good use. Either way, rainy days aren’t what they used to be before kids came along.
13. You Have a Sense of Humor About Things Because Otherwise You’ll Cry
Some days as a teacher you want to cry but all you can do is laugh; like describing your day to someone would just be a string of nonsense. If you can’t laugh about it, you will break and being a mom is kind of like that. There are some days you feel like giving up, but giving up is not an option. So, you laugh. You laugh because you have to. You laugh because this too shall pass and in your heart you know you’ll survive because teacher moms are badass.
Hey, Teacher Mom, You Got This
The experience that goes along with running a classroom each and every day provides you with the most unexpected opportunities to learn how to become a mom. The skillset, the attitude, and, of course, the bladder control makes for the perfect pre-parent practice.
What other unexpected ways did teaching prepare YOU to become a mom? Comment below because, you know, it takes a village.