Education Opinion

Working-Mother-Wife-Teacher Syndrome

By Marilyn Rhames — October 31, 2012 2 min read
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I went to bed last night at 9:30 and I woke up at 1:30 in the morning. As hard as I tried, I couldn’t go back to sleep. I suffer from a condition called Working-Mother-Wife-Teacher Syndrome. Here were some of the thoughts that kept me awake:

1) I need to finish grading the last eight student memoirs, and each one takes me about 15 minutes for me to assess. I had collected 70.

2) I have to write a blog.

3) I have two interns coming in today to observe me teach and ask me questions.

I am having upwards of 20 education-based visitors in my classroom over four days of this week. Most of them will drop in from 10 to 15 minutes at a time, but some will stay for a couple of hours. When my day is going great, I welcome them. But when I’m having an off day, or the kids are goofy, having visitors can be stressful, even irritating.

4) I have a meeting during my prep and another meeting during lunch today. So when am I supposed to get my own planning and grading work done? At 1:30 in the morning, of course!

5) It hurts when I get a progress report stating that my own children aren’t completing all their homework. So I’ve actually hired a tutor twice a week for my own children. How crazy is that! I’m told that many teachers hire tutors for their kids. Do housekeepers hire housekeepers? That’s what I need—a housekeeper! My life would be so much better if only I had a housekeeper ... and a butler ... and a ...

I’ve come to the realization that after teaching all day, getting home at six o’clock, figuring out what’s for dinner, and cleaning up the kitchen, it’s easy for me to lose patience with homework. I’m tired. My kids are tired. All they want is to play the piano, take their baths, and get their bedtime story.

6) Speaking of bedtime stories, it’s a shame that lately I’ve been reading myself—not the girls—to sleep. The new rule is that story time is over when mama falls asleep. For that reason, we moved the read aloud from the girls’ room to my bed: When I fall asleep they can tuck me in!

7) Don’t forget to sign the girls’ homework folder and give them $2 for the out-of-uniform Halloween school fundraiser.

So it’s now 5:00 and I’m blogging. I had gotten up at 2:00, tip-toed into the guest room, and graded the last eight memoirs. I finished at 3:20— about 40 minutes earlier than expected! Still wide awake, I flipped through a few education magazines to inspire my blogging, and then I tip-toed back into my bed and caught a nap from 3:45 until 5.

Since it’s 6:00 ... and I’ve finished this blog ... and I don’t wake up the children until 6:30 ... I think I’ll take a run on the elliptical for 30 minutes.

Did I mention my other job? Keeping fit and staying sexy for my husband. A passionate love life helps take my mind off the symptoms of my condition.

*Art by Lindsay Johnson added 11/4/12.

The opinions expressed in Charting My Own Course are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.