Needing Chill Time as Teacher! And as a Mom!

I have so much going on in my life lately. The biggest thing is that we moved into our new house. We relocated within the same town, about 2 miles closer to the beach. Now that almost all of the boxes are unpacked, I’m starting to feel more settled. But there is still so much to do: install the rest of the blinds, line the rest of the cabinets, baby proof. With a curious, crawling, cruising 11 month old, that means utilizing his naptime for everything I want to get done. Moving has occupied all of my “spare” time for the last 2 months. Unfortunately, that means less time for my blog. But my blog is important to me and I really want to get something out, so here is a blog post I wrote before the move, back when my son was just 9 months old. Needing chill time feels more relevant now than ever!

I love being a teacher, but I really love the breaks. Especially summer vacation. Lot’s of rest and relaxation during breaks helps me get through the school year. I love and appreciate the chill time so much. Teaching is so fast-paced that by the time we finally get a break for Thanksgiving, I am exhausted. The grueling schedule of the schoolyear can really get to you, and you can get serious Teacher Burnout if you are not careful.

Over the weeklong breaks during the school year, I used to chill so hard. I needed to in order to maintain the stamina to make it though the rest of the school year. I thoroughly relaxed and enjoyed my school breaks. I watched maybe 20 movies. I packed up my car for road trips, hiking, and camping in northern California and Oregon. I made picnics to enjoy on the beach. I went on 6 mile walks just for fun. I traveled to the east coast to visit family and friends. Now that I am a mom and watching my son full-time, I’m glad I had so many opportunities while I was teaching to unwind and do whatever I wanted to do.

Right now I’m on a sabbatical from teaching science in public schools (I wrote about why I left my teaching job in the middle of the pandemic in another blog post). I am a busy mom and I have my hands full all day. I don’t get those weeklong breaks to chill anymore. My only breaks are naptime and when my son goes to sleep. If I want to take some real “me” time, I need to stay up late after he goes to bed.

Since I became a mom my chilling looks a lot different. I don’t get a lot of time to myself. Nowadays I lay in my son’s playpen with him and we play with his toys. We go to the nature trail, the park, and the beach. Being with my son is usually very relaxing because I am just focused on him. But he is really little and he needs me a lot right now. I try to go with the flow and adapt to my son and what he needs. So I don’t have a lot of time to do some of my favorite pastimes like writing my blog, staying up on Pop culture, taking road trips, and watching movies.

I love to take my son to the park. It is so relaxing to sit in the shade, watch the dogs in the dog park, and play outside!
Naptime is my new chill time! I like to make posters and decorate notebooks in my free time. Once a teacher, always a teacher!

Recently I was kind of forced to take some chill time when I fell over our playpen onto the concrete floor. I smashed my ankle and bonked my head. Thankfully I didn’t break it, but I couldn’t walk for a week and I needed to rest. For the first time in 9 months, I got a serious break. Like old times I watched movies, took baths, and totally rested my body and ankle. It was glorious! I felt rejuvenated even though I couldn’t move far from the couch. Shout out to my amazing husband who is a wonderful dad and took over baby duty for me.

My tumble coincided with Spring Break this year. The extra rest I got reminded me of what it was like when I was teaching, and how a break during the school year filled my tank back up. Teaching can be rewarding, fulfilling, and amazing. It can also be challenging, relentless, and grueling. And being a mom is the same way! It is hard work and just like with teaching, I need to recharge my batteries from time to time.

Thankfully my ankle was not broken, but it was badly bruised and injured. It was a good excuse to stay on the couch and watch TV!

Now that I am a mom, I cannot even comprehend how much free time I had before, haha! Instead of looking forward to winter and summer break, I cross my fingers that my son will take an extra long nap. I am sleep deprived and super busy, but I wouldn’t trade it to go back to the classroom right now. I love how I don’t get stressed about lesson planning, grading, challenging students, or upset parents.

Since I stepped out of the classroom in January 2021, I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on being a teacher and my teaching career. I was always painfully aware of how overworked I was as a teacher. There was never enough time in the school day to accomplish everything that needs to be done and manage a successful classroom. Teachers everywhere are overworked, stressed, overburdened, and running on fumes. Thanksgiving, Winter, Spring, and Summer breaks give teachers much needed rest and chill time, but ultimately they are just little band aids on much bigger problems. I worry about all of the amazing teachers out there who have too many responsibilities and feel like giving up. I thought about throwing in the towel a number of times before my sabbatical. I want my son to get a great education, and have amazing teachers who love teaching and feel rested and energized so they can teach their best.

To all the teachers out there, enjoy your summer break. You certainly earned it! Let me know what your plans are to chill this summer break, and what else you want to read about by leaving a comment. I would love to hear from you! To read more about me and my classroom, check out my blog posts below.

Published by How She Teaches

I teach Biology and Earth and Space Science in high school and middle school. I want to share my personal experiences and teaching milestones with anyone who wants to learn.

6 thoughts on “Needing Chill Time as Teacher! And as a Mom!

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