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I’m not new to this whatsoever.  My daughter is 10 (and a half) months old and I officially went back to work back in January.  So, I’m definitely not new to being a working mom.

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What MacKenna’s doing many nights I come home.

However, I have a new job.  A job that is MUCH harder than my previous job.  I started as a working mom as an Assistant Physical Education teacher at a small private school.  My job involved some work, most of which could be done while I was at school, and I had a big chunk during my day where I could get it done.  I helped coach after school sports (soccer, basketball, and floor hockey), but it was only games with no practices outside of class.  It was an easy job, a job where I didn’t have to bring any work home with me.  A job where I could come home to my daughter, go for a run, and still feel like I had plenty of time to spend with my little family.

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But, my previous job was not my dream.  I was under paid and over qualified.  I knew I was a good teacher and just needed the perfect job to show what I was worth.  Luckily for me, I found that perfect job back in May.  I’m teaching a grade level that I love (8th grade) and I’m able to coach volleyball, my absolute favorite sport outside of running.  I have a supportive staff and administration, a coaching staff that is amazing, and students + athletes who are totally awesome (for the most part).  Plus, as a starting teacher in a very small school district, the pay is pretty good (especially compared to what I was making the past 2 years as an assistant).

Yet, this perfect job came with quite a price.  My time is stretched to the max.  I get to school at 7 AM, have a 20 minute lunch in which I supervise 8th graders, a 50 minute plan every day that goes by entirely too fast, leave at 3 to go to practice, and get home around 6 PM on the days we don’t have volleyball games.  Now that we are well into the volleyball season, game days are usually much longer.  Sometimes I’ll get home by 8 PM; most days I usually get home closer to 9.  Plus, working 30 minutes away from home doesn’t help.

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Every mom understands this:  multitasking.

I’m not trying to complain.  I absolutely LOVE my new job.  While I feel like I still suck at it (as most new teachers feel their first year), it’s a job I hope I can stay at for awhile because it truly is a perfect position for me.  But, it’s time consuming.  I hardly have enough time to get all my work done (for both school + volleyball) let alone time to spend with my almost 1 year old.

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It’s been a very hard month and it’s only getting harder.  Every second I get with MacKenna I am taking full advantage of.  She’s at this amazing age where she is soaking everything up like a sponge.  She learns something new every single day and is growing and developing like crazy.  In the past month, she has learned how to crawl, started pointing, poked out 1.5 teeth, pulled herself up, and continues to amaze me with all she is learning.  The worst part is not being able to be the one seeing these for the first time.  It’s usually a few days that I finally realize she’s doing something that the babysitter noticed days before.

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Such is life as a working mom.  I chose to work to help provide for my family so that we could live a more comfortable life.  A life where I can help pay for my child(ren)’s college tuitions, weddings, first cars, etc.  Will I regret missing these important milestones someday?  Possibly.  But, I know that I am spending as much quality time with her as I can get.  I’d like to think it’s the best of both worlds, although you better believe that if I had the chance, I’d be a stay at home mom in a heart beat.  But, for now, the little time with MacKenna I get is the best part of my day.

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How do you balance working and spending time with your kids?