Sunday, September 7, 2008

Going Back to Work After 3 Months Off (with a new baby)

After three months off, going back to work has been difficult. Being sleep deprived and trying to stay on top of things as a school teacher and dance instructor is a lot more difficult to do as a mom. I'm really worried about producing enough food for the baby. The surplus of stored milk I had created over the summer is going to be gone withing a few weeks. He's averaging 16 oz during the day while I'm gone. I'm worried I will have to supplement with formula, something I have been trying to avoid. Why pay for formula when I can make his food myself for free. I am pumping at work,but I need 45 minutes to set up, pump 3oz, clean up and sterilize. For those who work in a school, you know getting 45 minutes is impossible unless you have a prep period. Fortunately, I have a prep period as a middle school teacher, but it's 1st period, which means I pump in the morning right after feeding the baby at home and I'm using my prep time so I am limited what I can actually get accomplished in the classroom. Having a late morning prep would work best. My next problem is timing. My principal is very understanding and has given me second lunch to spread out when I pump, but lunch is only 30 minutes. I have to eat and visit the bathroom during this time as well. Thus, I'm not getting to pump for the 45 minutes I need ro the 30 minutes I have been given. When I teach dance in the evening, I am staying at school to pump some more, since there is not enough time to drive home and feed in between jobs. I am pumping, but I'm not getting a full meal out of my pumping, it's too rushed and I'm getting stressed. I am starting to rearrange my bathroom breaks at work so I don't have to go during the times I pump. Also, I'm going to invest in a microwave for the room so I won't have to leave the room to heat up food and sterilize my pumping gear. For those of you who don't teach in the classroom and may be saying, "ask for more time," you can't, not without affecting what happens in the classroom. Second, the law says you need to be given a space to pump every 2-3 hours, not how much time you get to pump. Some of you may be saying, "are you using dual pumps?" or "maybe you need a better pump." I have an expensive pump that is dual and electronically operated, but it's uncomfortable to pump too fast. I am doing the best I can with what I have, but I am frustrated at the situation and wish that I didn't have to work at this time.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Do You Have Questons For Me Regarding Education?

Our family is composed of teachers. My husband, myself, my parents, and his parents are all teachers in the public school educational system from Kindergarten through high school. I also have a brother who went through the special education program. If you have questions regarding schools, how to handle a situation with a teacher or parent, or questions about the educational system, feel free to ask them here.

Monday, August 18, 2008

4 day schools instead of the traditional 5?

I was on Yahoo this morning and saw a small ad regarding schools and budget cuts. Here is a piece of the article by LIBBY QUAID, AP Education Writer:

In rural Minnesota, one district is skipping classes every Monday to save fuel. On the other days, classes will be about 10 minutes longer.

"I think it's a great opportunity," said Candice Jaenisch, whose two sons and daughter will be making the switch. "You're cutting expenses that really don't affect school."

The other option for the district — Maccray, an acronym for Maynard, Clara City and Raymond — was to start cutting electives. A shorter week will save at least $65,000 in fuel, superintendent Greg Schmidt said.

There is still a cost. Kids will have to stay awake and alert later in the day, and some parents will need to find day care on Mondays. But it's a small district, with 700 students, and many parents are self-employed with jobs in farming or construction.

"I really don't know that there are that many people with set hours Monday through Friday," Jaenisch said.

Nationwide, at least 14 other districts are switching to four-day weeks, and dozens more are considering it, according to a recent survey by the American Association of School Administrators.

About 100 districts made the switch years ago, in many cases because of the 1970s oil crisis.;_ylt=Aj52flvCs7STtkDbDXFLNrwazJV4

I thought this was a great idea. As a mom, this will give me more time at home with my new baby and as a teacher, this gives students a longer break from school so they don't burn out so quickly. I realize that for some families, that means day care, but I'm thinking about the educational needs of students. Many students get burned out in school within a few months of the new school year and their grades start to plummet by December. I would be very curious to see how students performed in school with a shorter week. Also, if students are in school longer during the day, maybe some families won't have to pay for day care after school, they'll be able to pick up their child right after work. What do you think of a 4 day school week?

Bathing Suit

Since having my son, my bust size has increased dramatically. In fact, for some of my friends who haven't seen me since the baby has been born, it's the first words out of their mouth, "wow, you're huge." I have almost lost all the baby weight, but some things still don't fit the same size due to my new large bust size. So I am going to Glen Ivy with some friends to relax and have some adult time. The bottoms to my swim suits fit fine, it's the tops that don't. So I went to Target and Kohls to buy a bathing suit top. I figure it's the end of the swim season, suits will be on clearance, and I'll be able to use the bathing suit top for the next baby, it's a win win. At both stores, neither one has swim suit tops, but they have lots of bikini bottoms left. I did find one top at Target, but the large meant that not only did it fit my new busty size, but it was also meant for someone with a larger rib cage. I do want to remind everyone that it is mid-August and in CA, we have until October to enjoy our summer sun, so where are the other bathing suits? My husband suggested Motherhood Maternity for a bathing suit. So we went there, found a suit that works well for my top half, and now I am ready for my trip to Glen Ivy. This is the beginning of many adventures to come being a new mother.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Sleep for Baby & Mommy?

I'm reading "Your Baby's First Year," by the American Academy Of Pediatrics and I'm re-reading the part of "sleeping" in the chapter regarding 1-3 month olds. It says that babies should be sleeping though the night by month 3. I'm in month 3 and find 5 hours of sleep at night a blessing. I am also considered the lucky mom in my mommy group. There are two other babies a few weeks younger than my son and they are not sleeping as long as my son. I think to myself, "I'm so lucky." When I talk to other moms I run into, they also want to know what magical formula my son eats that allows him to sleep so well. Then I read the book again and it seems my son should be sleeping longer. This is where I find myself saying, "what am I doing wrong?" This is what I call the "mommy trap." Moms can be so hard on themselves. I decided that I'll stick with my five hours and hope that my sons sleeps a little longer when I go back to work.

Going Back To Work- Again

My son is now 11 weeks old and I'm looking down at his sleeping face, wondering, how am I going to leave this little man every day? I won't be around as much to make him smile, listen to him as he starts to laugh, and watch him as he learns to roll over. Somehow I have to find the energy to teach 180 7th graders everyday in exchange for time with my baby. How do moms do it (and with little sleep)?