Working During Maternity Leave

Just as when I gave birth to Abby, as soon as Olive was born, work escaped my brain.  It’s funny how quickly it happens when you are so invested in your profession and freak out about what’s going to happen to your students when you aren’t the one teaching them. Nobody else could possibly do as good of a job as me. Right?

What was also on my brain was becoming an Instructional Specialist (IS) before going on leave,  as there is a lot I’m responsible for, and so much weight is felt on my shoulders.  The district coach with whom I work with in this new position told me that she wasn’t going to check in with me until I gave her to go ahead that I was ready.  For sure I thought after the new year, I’d be ready.  Of course I wasn’t able to do some work from home, especially as Olive came 9 days late.

Yet last week I was ready. I was texting with my a colleague who I’m sharing the IS duties with.  Later that day she was being tasked with presenting materials to the staff for Professional Development.  She wanted to get my thoughts and ideas on the presentation.  She was nervous and I felt bad that I wasn’t going to be there to assist her, and asked if we could speak on the phone. Of course I obliged.

It was great to talk shop, especially as my days filled with preschool and baby talk. And I felt absolutely no guilt about taking the time to do so. I was breastfeeding Olive and Abby was watching a show on Netflix. They were content and I had time for me.  Adult time for me. {It’s funny how as a working mom, sometimes me time can sometimes be viewed through the lens of work.}

Last night, I took some more time to work.  You see, I teach reading intervention classes and as the semester ends this week, I need to look at student data and make decisions about whether or not they can be exited.  And again, it felt great to be using this part of my brain.

I’m lucky enough to be able to have 3 more months of leave per FMLA because as a teacher I don’t have to count holidays against my 12 weeks I can take off.  {That means Thanksgiving, Winter Break, Spring Break etc. don’t count against me.} So with 3 more months of leave, I’ll be doing some work from home, and I’m 100% OK with it.  In fact, when I interviewed for the IS position, I made it completely clear to my principal my willingness to work from home.  I get a stipend for this work, so I will be paid for time documented outside of my salary.  Plus, my brain could use it and I think it will better help me to be in a good mindset as I transition back to work after such a long time at home.

I’m also steadily doing my part time gig writing over on BabyZone.  I’m so appreciative of this aspect of my work as it affords me some creative brain space in between changing diapers and keeping the 4 year-old entertained. Plus, it’s allowing me to be able to afford to take so much time off of my full-time job, which I’m so very grateful for.

What about you?  Have you done any work during your maternity leave?  What made you decide to go for it?



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