I admire working mums that return to the workforce so their brains do not turn into mush. I admire working mums that return to the workforce to pay the bills. I am grateful for the feminist movement that has allowed women to have both a career and family and do anything they want. But do I want to go back to work? Heck no.
At this current stage of motherhood, I would love to be a stay at home mum for as long as financially possible.
I am in the teaching profession. I am lucky in that I have a permanent, full time job. I am currently on maternity leave for a year, and then I am entitled to take another year off.
You hear comments every now and then along the lines of “Teaching is such a child friendly career, it will be awesome for when you have a family.” From an outsider’s perspective sure. 9 to 3, school holidays off, you will be around all the time for your children.
From my perspective, teaching at a competent level takes effort and time. You write programs, plan lessons, create resources, search for resources that could be useful, create assessment tasks, mark assessment tasks, the curriculum changes and you start from scratch again, write reports on students, write reports on yourself to prove you can teach, have lots of pointless meetings etc.
You teach mostly from 9 to 3, when do you do the rest of the stuff? At home, in the afternoons, in the evenings, on the weekends, in the school holidays. If you don’t do it then and take a well deserved break, you feel guilty. On top of this there is the physical and mental exhaustion of dealing with up to 30 teenage girls (for me) in a confined space. Also, if you appear to be a competent teacher, they give you more work and more roles, because you look like you could handle it.
I know all jobs can be hard but damn, teaching can feel full on (I’ve only had one profession so can’t compare). I feel burnt out and that totally sucks. I trained five years to be a teacher! Some of the time I love my job. I love the relationships I have built with my colleagues, the camaraderie and sharing (bring in performance pay and that will be at risk). I love the rapport you develop with your students, well the ones that aren’t total dicks. I love when my class is engaged and learning important stuff about the world and Science. I once got a whole class hating on Tony Abbott because I showed them a clip of him talking about climate change, haha, that was not intentional (it was). Anyway what was the point of this post?
That’s right…. going back to work. I find having a baby stressful at times. I find teaching stressful at times. I find driving to work through Sydney traffic stressful all the time. Combine those three and I think I would implode. So I am very happy to be a stay at home mum and get a break from work. I will focus on my baby, get my shit together and then rethink this work situation in two years time perhaps.