The Teaching Mum

A light-hearted look at parenting through the eyes of a very busy English Teacher.

Momma’s Got to Werk!


The definition of ‘werk’ from the Urban Dictionary (so it must be true): A congratulatory declaration of support, praise or approval, for an outstanding achievement in any area of life.

Sometimes it feels like I am the only full time working mum in the world.

But, that’s because, for the most part, I am an idiot.

I am, of course, acutely aware that there are millions of us working parents out there who are doing our best to annihilate the guilt that whispers in our ears every morning as we leave our children in various places.  Be sure, when I say ‘various places’, I mean Grandparents and nursery and school – I don’t mean the bread aisle in the local Co-op.  We know deep down that even though our choice to work full time was a difficult one, (or a necessity for me as we stupidly bought a house we couldn’t afford) it is a choice we made with our children at the forefront of our minds.

Grandma picked these two up from the bread aisle in the Co-op…

Then there are teaching mums.

And, of course, there are teaching dads and teaching assistant parents and learning supervisor parents. I could go on, but I always set a limit of 1500 words, otherwise people zone out…I can already see your eyes drifting over to the Amazon advert in the corner…

What I am trying to say without offending anyone is that the parents who work in schools and with young people have it hard.  We have it hard because we work in a job that requires us to care for a large number of children as much as we care for our own – but in a very different way.  We have a sense of duty to them; we keep them safe in a world of uncertainty; we work hard so we can watch them succeed and we are interested to find out what they have achieved in life beyond school and how they have made their mark on the world.

Sometimes we have to pick them over our own children.

Not just because it’s our job, but because it’s a part of who we are.

So, to all of the working parents out there.

I see you.

I am you.

To the mum sitting in her car with her head in her hands as guilt whispers softly in her ears, I see you.  Do you know why?  Because, last week, I was you. I not only missed my daughter’s first ever sports’ day, but I forgot all about it.  In fact, I will go so far as to say that I didn’t know about it because the newsletter that was carefully placed in her bag went unread.  I know.  Bad mum.  In my defence, when I come in from work after picking up my children, the last thing I think of is to check the school bag.  Come September, when my daughter starts full time school, perhaps I should prioritise checking her bag for important documents.  However, after a day of teaching, I want to hug my children and watch ‘Andy’s Dinosaur Adventures’ and silently debate as to whether I think Andy is fit or not.

I still haven’t decided on that one.

I like his hair.

But, his nostrils are pretty flarey. (Is that even a word?  It is now, I am an English Teacher after all…)

Anyway, back to my story.  I dropped my daughter at her nursery (that’s a part of our local school) to be greeted by four year olds wearing trainers, t-shirts and shorts. My daughter, however, had on her red school uniform and black patent shoes.  She looked up at me and I looked down at her.

“Is it Sports’ Day?” I asked.

Everyone nodded.


Fret not, the nursery workers assured me, they had spare kits that my girl could borrow.  Regressing back to almost twenty years ago, I recalled the one time I had to borrow PE kit from the lost and found box at school. Recoiling from the memory of big blue PE knickers that weren’t mine, and the stigma attached, I refused to be beaten.

“Give me ten minutes!” I said to no one in particular and dashed out of the door to race home to retrieve my daughter’s shorts, t-shirt and trainers.

When I returned to nursery, it was noted how quickly I had returned (winner of the three legged race circa 1989 I will have you know…) and helped my girl into her PE kit.

I overheard a mum telling her son not to worry if he dropped the egg and that it was the taking part that was important. And she was right.  All that mattered was that the children had a good day.

In saying that though, I am quite competitive having played netball since I was ten years old.

Leaning into my daughter’s ear I whispered: “Go out there and win.”  We fist bumped because we are cool like that, but then she unintentionally dropped the guilt bomb in my face and it exploded.

“Are you staying to watch?” She asked.

This bomb caused tears to well in my eyes.

“No, baby. Mummy’s got to go to work.”

My heart felt like lead as I left the building.  There was no dashing this time; I dragged my feet because I didn’t want to leave.

But, I had to.  Other children needed me – I had my job to do.

I was the parent sitting with my head in my hands in the car. The clock was ticking; I was close to being late for work.

I called my Mum.

Sports’ Day started at 9am and by this time it was ten past eight.

I woke her and she told me that she had an appointment at the opticians.

She assured me that she would try to pull a few strings and told me to get myself to work.  Thankfully, she was able to do her own sprint finish and make it to sports’ day and in time and just as I was about to teach my first class of the day, she sent me a wonderful photo of my girl jumping along a Hop Scotch grid.

Did you win?

I thanked the Lord for grandparents.

My guilt was still with me though as I dropped the ball.

I missed another big event.

Another first.

Later on in the same week, I attended a presentation evening for our pupils.  I, along with a large number of colleagues, stood and cheered on pupils who were receiving recognition for their hard work and commitment throughout the year. I am certain that not all parents could make it; they too could have been missing a first. So I stood with my colleagues and we applauded their children because that’s what we do. I am in no doubt that there was a teacher standing on a grass verge cheering on my daughter last week perhaps missing a first of her or his own because that’s what we do.

In all honesty, there will be lots of firsts that I will miss and that’s life. There will be seconds and thirds that I get to experience and it’s those moments I will cherish rather than dwell on the ones I have missed.

Tomorrow, we go on holiday for the first time in three years.  That’s one of the many good things about being a teaching mum isn’t it? The holidays. I am looking forward to the many firsts I will experience over the next six weeks. However, the Dude has developed a penchant for climbing, so here’s hoping they’re all positive firsts…

So, to the mum sitting on a sun lounger with her head in her hands feeling guilty because she wants a moment’s peace.

I see you.

I am you.

Fancy grabbing a cocktail?

Me on holiday…

Enjoy your summer, folks!

The plan for the six week holiday Vs the reality

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

23 thoughts on “Momma’s Got to Werk!

  1. Fab post!! And even though I only work part time I can still relate. Yesterday I missed my big girl’s playgroup ‘leaving party’ where she got a certificate and a prize. She’ll go to big school in September.
    I happened to be in a hot, stuffy school hall, clapping as loud as I could while all the infants got their own prizes for various reasons. The hall wasn’t as full as it would have been if all the children proudly receiving certificates had somebody there to watch. So I, among many others, were their supporters.
    My husband is a teacher, he is full time so misses more than I do. Luckily his school broke up first this year and I also received a photograph whilst at work as he celebrated our girls last official day as a non-schooler.
    It happens, we don’t do it on purpose, writing posts like this shows we care. And there are children in our care that need us!
    I really enjoyed reading your post. Enjoy your holiday and punch that little guilt fairy right in the nose if she appears again in September. Xxx
    Ps Is Andy fit? Totally agree, fab hair, cool guy, can’t decide. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Amazing post. I can really relate to this. I’m a teacher too, with two little girls and my eldest starts full time school in September. I’m a single parent so I have to work full time and the guilt that I already feel about having to put my children into breakfast and after school club just so that I can do my job properly at school is enormous but I felt guilty when I missed my class’s talent show performance to take my daughter to her transition day! You just can’t win sometimes!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aww, but the transition day was so important though.
      I take my hat off to you working full time and being a single parent – you’re obviously an amazing woman. Thank you so much for reading and commenting – that’s very kind to take the time to do do. Xx

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post – I think Andy is hot in a weird way too. I hope you’ve had a wonderful holiday. Popping over from the #BISS team

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m still on maternity leave but I’m dreading leaving my son when I eventually go back to work. I’ve concluded that the guilt feeling is part of being a mum, whatever you do you feel guilty for! I’ve started a #mumguilt series and I’m looking for guest posts if you’re interested! Great post! #kcacols

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My mum was a teacher. My dad was a teacher, then HMI, then a Director of Education. I’ve been a SAHM so far, but now I am on my own, will need to work once we’ve moved. Funnily enough, I am thinking that I would like to get work in a school & retrain as a teacher! #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ha! That gave me a giggle! It was really sad and funny all at once, not an easy feat, well done! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all that you do teaching. I thank God every day for the dedicated teachers in my daughter’s world who look out for her in this way. Love that you get to make up your own words, I’m totally undecided on Andy too (nice hair, bit skinny) and the pics at the end are hilarious! I will be keeping an eye out for your posts on the #KCACOLS linky in future. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I so hear you on this one. I’m also a teacher and many times had to choose my job over my children. It was heart breaking for me. Luckily I have been able to become a SAHM (which I Love), but I miss work every now and then! All the best! #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for reading. I love the job, but I do worry that I miss out on a lot. My daughter starts school in September and I not sure whether I will be able to take her on her first day. I’ll have to ask when I go back.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. My mum missed so much when we were in primary because she was working three jobs to keep us fed and while I didn’t understan or appreciate that as a kid I do as an adult. And so will your kids. #kcacols

    Liked by 1 person

  9. It is so hard being a working parent isn’t it? I’m so lucky that I et to work from home in the evenings but when a deadline comes I sometimes have to work in the day and feel real guilty dropping them off at grandparents. But needs must. Great post. #kcacols

    Liked by 1 person

  10. You teachers are amazing. Thank you for all your support and hard work with our children. I know what you mean about missing firsts. I am a SAHM and I do thing sometimes I still miss firsts lol I guess because now my girls are one at nursery and the the other one at school. I’m working full time with the blog so not sure if I should keep calling myself a SAHM but I’m still at home but working from home. Not sure if this has any sense, lol Anyway, thanks so much for sharing this at #KCACOLS and lets cherish all the seconds and thirds as you said! 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Maintaining and running a successful blog is a full time job in itself. That’s why mine is a bit hit and miss. I would love to try and grow it, but just don’t have time. Thank you for reading the posts and thanks for hosting. X

      Liked by 1 person

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