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Old 02-20-2007, 08:35 PM   #1
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Moving from Teacher to WAHM...and all that goes w/ it.

Anyone else leave a teaching career to become SAHM? I feel very emotional about leaving because I've wanted to be a teacher since I was 7 and I worry about the amount of education I'd have to go thru to return (credentialing is tough out here and if I'm out of the field for 5y, I have to be recredited which means lots of classes--as it is, I need to take 1 class and 3 tests this year to continue my credential.) I'm just really struggling to get in work on time (I'm 5 min. late daily) because of the 1 hr. commute. We also have to read approx. 80 pgs./week and write 2 2-pg. essays on the readings. Before DD was here, I was having to read at red lights in the car, while walking to and from school, constantly just to keep up. Now, I can't do it at all. I'm thinking about DD all the time and feel totally lost in our weekly seminars. It's a 2.5 hr. commute to p/u DD from the person who watches her on Wed. and she's always getting to bed late on those days. THankfully MIL drives her to me on Mon and Fri. or I'd be doing the 2.5 hr. commute then, too.
I'm just SO happy when I'm home w/ DD--cooking and cleaning and feeling relaxed w/ our organized home. I know lots of people have to WOH, but I'm really struggling and being someone who thought she'd work till she died, I'm shocked at these feelings, but they're real and I need to consider making the switch if it's doable for us.
DH and I are trying to figure out if we can swing me leaving my teaching job and becoming a WAHM (my biz plus daycare for 2 infants.) There're so many questions I have, I don't know where to begin.
I made a decent salary (not really enough to live comfortably in CA, but a good salary nonetheless) and I carry all of our benefits. My biz doesn't bring in much income, but I'm also not able to produce as much as I'd like to due to limited time constraints.
Who can we go to to figure out if we can afford it? We THINK we're covering everything when we calculate our salaries, expenses, added income from doing daycare, etc. but I know there're a gazillion things we're leaving out. My Mom said to consider what I'd do if DH suddenly couldn't work--would I be able to hop back into teaching? Obviously not in the middle of the year. It SEEMS that my school allows teachers to come back after they leave to be w/ their families. This is the only school anywhere around here that I could work in due to my teaching specialty.
Also, how do I learn what I need to do for the biz aspect of watching 2 babies in addtn to DD?
What else do I need to know/consider? My head hurts just thinking about it, but my school usually asks in March whether we're returning or not. I THINK I can take a lv. of absence for a year which should allow me to test the waters before I quit altogether. I just don't know what to do. As soon as I get sentimental over leaving my classroom/students, I end up late for work again (DD sick, or whatever) and the stress makes me ready to stop. Ugh!

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Old 02-20-2007, 08:49 PM   #2
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Re: Moving from Teacher to WAHM...and all that goes w/ it.

I'm there with you mama! I teach too, but sounds like you have a much more demanding teaching situation than I do. I have my master's and would be life time certified after teaching 10 years (6 more years to go). However, I plan to stay at home after I have our second child. I think about staying home all of the time. However, I live in MO and the cost of living isn't so much. I worry about insurance and benefits. But I know that I can make it work if I really want it to. You just have to look at the priorities. For me, my DD is my priority and I can go without a few things to make sure she stays that way. We live without cable and a cell phone. When I quit working we will have to cut back on a lot more! You can do it!
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Old 02-20-2007, 09:06 PM   #3
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Re: Moving from Teacher to WAHM...and all that goes w/ it.

To the OP: Wow, I hope you can figure out what's best!

I'm a teacher too. I have 5 years to renew my certification; I've heard you can call the local district and very often sit in on inservice days for free continuing-ed credit. I don't know if it's true, but I suspect they would extend that kind of favor to a substitute teacher, especially since they need certified subs for certain test days. Like, they can't test if there aren't enough certified teachers to administer the test, and if they can't test they lose funding. We're in Texas, and here the districts are grouped by Education Service Centers (regionally) and they offer classes for continuing ed credit too. (But you have to pay for those.)

I don't know what the regs are in CA but in Texas you have to pay a fee to be a licensed childcare provider. It's only like $25 for up to three unrelated children I think, and you don't have to do all the paperwork that bigger in-home daycares do.

Having a cushion of 3-6 months' wages is what the "experts" recommend, even if both spouses are working. Have you ever considered working as a tutor? I don't know exactly what your specialty is, but you might be able to do that. I did for a long time and really enjoyed it.

Are any of your required reading materials available on CD? I listen to books on CD sometimes and I don't have a long commute anymore. Could you move closer to the school where you work?

Just trying to throw ideas out there. GL!
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Old 02-20-2007, 09:29 PM   #4
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Re: Moving from Teacher to WAHM...and all that goes w/ it.

I'll look into CDs. I don't THINK so--they're books on bilingual education and learning styles, but I'll look.

Know what's ridiculous? I live the next town over from school! It takes 40 min. to get to work which is just 13 miles from home (1 hr. w/ accidents which happen almost every day). CA traffic is RIDICULOUS!!!

Thanks for the responses. Nice to talk to people about it.
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Old 02-20-2007, 11:08 PM   #5
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Re: Moving from Teacher to WAHM...and all that goes w/ it.

hugs momma .. i am not a WOHM but I think the idea for a yr leave of absence is great .. i would do that
Cali traffic does stink !! especially in the bay area
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Old 02-21-2007, 06:43 AM   #6
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Re: Moving from Teacher to WAHM...and all that goes w/ it.

((HUGS))...it's a tough decision, especially if you love what you do. I wasn't crazy about my job, and it was still super hard to make the transition from WOHM to SAHM after Logan was born. Sending you calming vibes, and I hope that it works out for you!
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Old 02-21-2007, 07:15 AM   #7
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Re: Moving from Teacher to WAHM...and all that goes w/ it.

I taught until my first dc was born. I had a really bad experience that year (it was a new school and new state and switch from private to public), so I really wanted to leave. I'm glad I stopped to stay at home, but I do miss the $, especially since my quitting means that we have to keep renting bc we can't afford to buy a house where we live. I also miss feeling like I'm using my brain on a daily basis and talking to other people. I feel kind of isolated at home, sometimes. I know what you mean about it being difficult to get back in with requirements, etc. I think I would go the leave of absence route. That way you can see how you feel after 9 mos or so, and they'll hold your job for you.
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Old 02-21-2007, 07:58 AM   #8
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Re: Moving from Teacher to WAHM...and all that goes w/ it.

I teach in CT and feel the same way you do! I am taking my second to last class toward my master's (which I need to have to keep teaching) right now which means going to school every wednesday night while DH takes care of DS and I barely get to see him at all that day. I am constantly on the move from 6 am to 11 pm 7 days a week. Trying to get grading, planning, reading for class, writing papers, researching, house cleaning, grocery shopping, playing with my son, and everything else under the sun DONE!

I am walking in the door to work about 5 minutes before the kids do every day. I am always scrambling to find paperwork and such before meetings. I never feel caught up or on top of things and it is constant stress! Unlike you- I would WELCOME the opportunity to leave teaching! I have always wanted to do it but the reality of the job is just unbelievable! You cannot have a life outside of school and do your job well- there is just SO much to do all the time and they are always piling more on and telling you you aren't doing enough.

Like you though- I carry the health insurance and benefits for my family. I am looking forward to finishing my master's this summer (DS will be in daycare all summer so I can take my last course ) so I can look for a job teaching reading and give up the responsibility of a classroom. I am hoping things will be better that way. Then we can move close to my job so I will have a shorter commute. And with any luck we will all live happily ever after!

But if not- I will try for a leave of absence so I can do something else for a year- home daycare maybe. I figure what I save in daycare costs for my ds I will be spending on private insurance for the family. Or maybe I will look for a job in the insurance industry- then can I afford daycare? Who knows. It is scary to think about the changes but if you are miserable you have to try!

Consider all of your options and make a list. List pros and cons of each. List possible outcomes for all. Just hash out the ideas and the right path may come clearer to you. Home daycare- tutoring- adult education classes at night when your dh is home. Keep your options open- a leave of absence to try things out is a better idea then just quitting.

Sorry to go on so long. I have just been struggling with the same issues and every day on my 40 minute commute I try to come up with an exit strategy! LOL. Now I see that I am not the only one! Good luck to you.
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Old 02-21-2007, 10:05 AM   #9
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Re: Moving from Teacher to WAHM...and all that goes w/ it.

I am a teacher as well. Although, I am working this year in a very relaxed environment. All of my students work on computers all day. I just go in and do grades every other day or so. I don't have to do PEPE (our evaluations) or anything. I get basically 2 hours of planning every day. I have to be here at 7:45 and leave at 3:00 (students arrive at 8:15 and leave at 2:20). I teach at a Career Center (AKA Vocational/Trade/Technical school). I will probably transfer next year though. I need my loans forgiven for my Master's degree. (You can get up to $17,500 forgiven for 5 yrs of teaching in a Title I school.)

Good luck in whatever you choose! I know it will be hard!
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Old 02-21-2007, 04:46 PM   #10
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Re: Moving from Teacher to WAHM...and all that goes w/ it.

Before DS came along, I was a high school teacher and counselor. There was NO way I could have worked and been there for him. Everybody always said to me, "Education is a wonderful career for a woman. You get off of work early, you have weekends off, and you get so many vacation days. You can be a career woman and get to spend a lot of time with your children." Um, sure, if I were a gym teacher (no offense to gym teachers). When I taught, I rarely left the school before 5 because I always had students coming for extra help or just wanting/needing to talk. When I got home, I was planning or grading tests, projects, or essays (English teacher). When I had weekends off, I was doing much of the same. When I went away on vacation, I took papers with me to grade.

We were lucky that DH got a job with great benefits shortly before I got pregnant, so I was able to stop working. We could really use the extra paycheck, but we make ends meet. I just could not even imagine trying to do both at the same time - I could be a great mom and a frazzled, often unprepared and behind in my paperwork, late for work, overtired and cranky teacher who didn't assign her students any cool projects to do (because I'd then have to grade all this extra work), OR I could be a great teacher who was always there for her students and had amazing lesson plans and fun activities, but a tired, cranky, always trying to stay on top of the paperwork mom who had little free time or energy for her son. Maybe it's just me - I'm all or nothing - but I didn't think I could balance the two, especially not when DS needed me the most.

Good luck mama. Props to you for having lasted this long working two full-time jobs.
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