Hello! I’m still here, and I’m glad you’re still here too. It’s been a while. It turns out having a tiny human consumed all of my “free time” and Speechasaurus took a big backseat. Okay, maybe it was put into the trunk, or possibly even the storage unit. Either way, I’m back and I’m hoping to share a few quick tips with you on how I survived, and eventually thrived, during my first year as a working mama. I’m not going to pretend that I have it all together, but us mamas (or dads) are all in this together, right?!
1. It’s okay to be sad, or nervous, or happy, or overwhelmed or, however you feel about returning to work. Working with tiny humans helps us remember how hard it can be to handle emotions sometimes, but the first step is always identifying the feeling. Figure out how you feel, and own it. (P.S. I cried, a lot)
2. Write everything down. This helps for a few reasons. The first reason is that sleep deprivation and the cognitive load of motherhood (or fatherhood) is real. The second reason is that sometimes we get caught up thinking about all the stuff that we didn’t get done, that we don’t even realize how much we did accomplish. Crossing things off a list helps with both of these things
3. Set boundaries. We do what we do because we think it’s important and we want to make a difference. However, trying to balance our new life at home and all the demands that are within our job description doesn’t leave a lot of “free time” for helping out with the (insert the last thing that was on your list of “things that seemed like a good idea at the time”). Do a great job at your job, then go home and love on your family. They need you too.
4. Don’t reinvent the wheel. Yes, cute laminated, seasonal, task-specific activities look great and often work great too. Know what else works great? Books, open ended reinforcers paired with task cards you already have, print and go activities, Ipad Apps, and whatever you did last year. Don’t spend your precious time or brain power fixing something that isn’t broken and beating yourself up about not having a ton of “new” activities. As long as your are meeting your students’ needs, you’re good to go.
5. Set yourself up for success. To all you morning people, I salute you. I’m not a morning person (as I write this blog post while my whole house is sleeping). Lay out your clothes and baby’s clothes the night before. Pack your bag and baby’s bag the night before. Meal plan and meal prep. There is nothing worse than coming home from a long day of work when you just want to be with your family and having the “whats for dinner” discussion only to realize you have “nothing” and wasting precious time when your baby is awake and wanting to be with you running to the grocery store and prepping a meal you will probably end up eating cold.
6. Remember YOU are still in there. Under all of your hats, YOU still have needs. You can’t pour from an empty cup. Read a book, take a bath, go to yoga. Do whatever you need to do for YOU. It makes a difference!
Any of my working mamas have tips to share that help you thrive? Please comment below to share!
Happy Friday friends. I'm a firm believer that we could all use a little brighter newsfeed so here's an adorable picture of a goat to go along with my text about an exciting announcement I have for you! My first newsletter email is going out on Monday (September 24th), and I am going to be including a really fun activity to get your students up and moving! Check out the link in the comments here to sign up! Have a great weekend! ... See MoreSee Less
Lesson planning used to stress me out! I work with almost all mixed groups, one of the challenges of being a schoolbasedslp 😬 ..... First, I’d write my lesson plans for the month, but after activity x took twice as long as I had anticipated that flopped. 🙈 ...... Then, I tried writing out what I wanted to do by grade/goal areas. Enter all the mixed groups and FAIL. 🤯 ..... I realized I needed to be so much more specific, but who has the time for that? Umm, let me tell you how much time this has SAVED me! The last few seconds of each session, I write down what my students struggled with on a post-it. It takes about 10 seconds. I stick the note next to their group and 👊🏼 *bam* lesson planning done. .... I now know exactly what I need to work on. I choose 2 books for each week that I keep out. If I have a book companion that goes with the book, I’ll pull that too. I’m big into no prep companions. If not, that’s okay too. I already know what I need to work on. All it takes now is a little 🧠 power! I also choose two games to pull for the week as a jumping point. After 5 years in the schools I have my go-to resources like task cards and artic drill sheets established. This is really all I ever *need*! ............ If I have extra time, or if I am in the mood for something different I’ll grab some of my favorite TpT resources and leave those out to grab quickly for groups! Bonus points when teachers keep me in the loop and I can use curriculum projects/resources 👍 ..... How do you lesson plan? Tell me 👇 ... See MoreSee Less
Little people are people too! So often in schools we can become so focused on what our little people “should” be doing, that we can easily forget they aren’t there to meet our expectations of what today “should” look like. So when you find yourself in that moment-you know the one when you want to sob/throw things/hide under the nearest table with your student-take a breath, find another staff member and “tag out”, or do whatever it is you need to do to create that safe, calm space for your little person. They probably won’t say thank you, so here is your “thank you”. Thank you for going to work and loving on those little people. 💕 ... See MoreSee Less
Our students’ words matter. ❤️ Our words matter. 🧡 Our parents’ words matter. 💛 Our regular ed teachers’ words matter. 💚 Our special ed teachers’ words matter. 💙 Our paraprofessionals’ words matter. 💜 Our principal’s words matter. 🖤 Our community’s words matter. 💗
Thanks for the super cute and inspiring shirt @letstalkspeechtherapy and @nicoleallisonslp! ... See MoreSee Less