This week marked a huge milestone in my life.
I started substitute teaching.
This is something I knew God was leading me to for a number of years. I made every excuse in the book not to do it.
Honestly, it scared me to death. I haven’t been in a public school classroom since before my daughter was born over 18 years ago. So many things have changed in education.
Well this week, I did it!
I subbed in three different schools – three different classrooms.
It was a God thing. I knew He was cheering me on and provided the right people to help at the right time. It was an adjustment though as I lost my two days off at home. I hope that the following tips will help other moms as they head back to full-time employment.
Transition Tips for Moms Heading Back to Work
- Discuss household responsibilities as a family.
If you have older kids, they are able to take on additional chores to help out. I started to teach Hannah and Isaac how to cook when they were younger. I was working full-time, and everyone had a night to cook. It lasted a few years before I started teaching part-time and everyone became busier, so I took over the cooking. Now that I have returned to full-time hours, we started up our rotational cooking plan again. The first week worked great!
2. Adjust your schedule.
Figure out what things you need to move to different times and what things you need to let go. This will probably be a process, so don’t feel you must have it perfect the first week. I had hoped to go to yoga on Thursday night, but I was so wiped out from the week I decided to stay home. And, I crawled under my covers and feel asleep at 8:00! We had 3 nights out in a row my first week back to full-time hours. I had an invite to go out to dinner with some other moms, but declined to have some self-care time. Remember to put yourself as a priority in your life, so you can be the best wife, mom, worker, and friend you want to be.
3. Aim for imperfection.
I knew I wasn’t going to get everything right as a new substitute teacher. There are so many unknowns and things out of your control when you enter someone else’s classroom. I had new buildings to learn, new procedures to figure out, and every sub job was different. There’s a big learning curve. I’m doing my best to be okay with less than perfect and enjoy the journey.
4. Treat yourself well.
Keep exercise, a healthy diet, and sleep priorities in your life. Allow for a little pampering. I didn’t make it out to walk every day, but I did walk most days this week. I let some laundry and other things go so that I could get out and get some exercise. I continued to follow the plan my nutritionist set out for me. I took time to pack a healthy lunch and snacks, and I tried to listen to my tired body and get to bed on the early side each night.
5. Celebrate your accomplishments.
I wrapped up my errands Friday afternoon and headed home to walk. I watched a Rachel Ray show and enjoyed our daughter cooking dinner while I summed up my thoughts in this post.
As mothers make transitions like this, it’s important to be intentional in order to make the most of the experience. You don’t want to just survive the transition; you want to thrive through the transition. By following these tips, you will thrive when you are faced with transition in your life.