Balancing Work and Home Life

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

My mom is an elementary teacher, and growing up, I remember her working on school work many, many times at home.  I used to help grade her papers, and I remember parents calling our home frequently and at night.  It bothered me that parents would call late at night and interrupt family time.  Naturally, I said I would never be a teacher.

Fast forward 15-20 years and I'm a seventh grade English teacher. 😜  

When I first became a teacher six years ago, I used to bring papers home to grade or work on new lessons.  I even did that when Dustin and I first got married.  Then I started grad school...

Grad school changed my life--literally.  I fit a two year degree into one year, so I basically didn't have a life during that year.  My hours at school were reserved for work, and once I got home, that became school work along with any chores at home that needed to be done. Gone were the days of bringing papers home to grade or lessons home to create.

After grad school was over, I decided to keep that model.  What doesn't get done at school can get done the next day, and I reserve my afternoons and evenings at home for my time--spending time with Dustin, cooking, cleaning, serving in ministries at church, spending time with friends/family, etc.  (The exception to this would be when we prepare for our state standardized writing test--then I bring essays home)  Grad school taught me that if work doesn't get done at school, I can do it later and to enjoy my afternoons and evenings.  Any emails received after I get home from school get answered the next day when I'm at school. 

I realize that I am a wife first and a teacher second.  I'm thankful to have a husband who supports me in my job and believes in me, and I want to be able to serve him well at home.  Balance is key, and I'm always reevaluating to make sure my priorities are in check.

How do you balance work and home life?

Linking up with Jenn, Shay, and Shelly


  1. Love this! I agree - those emails (at least the majority of the time) can wait until tomorrow!

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  2. First of all completing a 2 year degree in a year is amazing!! I am lucky that I can leave my work at home, so that when I'm home I do check emails but nothing is a crazy emergency that needs to get done right away!! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

  3. I think this is SO important. Especially not responding to emails after school hours--all that does is reinforce that your time is not as valuable and that you're available whenever they want. No thank you! Glad you have the balance :)

  4. Very important! You have a great balance :) And major props for finished a two year agree in one!

  5. This is excellent! I wholeheartedly believe in that motto - luckily I just work part time right now so the balance is almost built in - but this is so important to remember!

  6. This sounds like a great balance to me! I rarely bring things home from work and try to separate the two.

  7. I love this! Unfortunately, this was impossible for me when I was in the classroom. I would go from teaching to meetings back to my classroom to then more meetings until four or five pm most days of the week often without even a restroom break after nine am! This left no time for lesson planning and grading at school and I always had to bring things home. But, my mindset is like yours. Family first, work second, so I ended up leaving my job, even though it was difficult to step away from a career I loved. Now I work just a few hours a week, still in education but not in the classroom, and am able to put my family first.

  8. I am very good at leaving work at work and so is my husband but I do struggle a little with NOT answering emails even on vacation. :) I just hate seeing those little numbers on my phone. Thanks for linking with us Sarah!

    Shelly|The Queen in Between

  9. I can definitely relate when it comes to Grad school, I will finish my degree in a year as well. It is certainly challenging for me balancing being a new mom and going to school plus a husband in the military. But it's worth it at the end of the day. :)

  10. Love it! I'm so thankful to have a job where when I leave for the day, that's it. No work emails, no laptop, and no work calls at home. Unfortunately that's not the case for B, but hey, somebody's gotta make the big bucks, right?! Haha.

  11. Love your blog. I'm a teacher, also. Just wondering what your master's degree is in and if you plan on staying in the classroom long term. Christy

  12. Yo go girl! After five years I still really struggle with this!! There always seems to be so much to do that I have a hard time walking away and telling myself it can wait until tomorrow. I could learn a trick or two from you!!

  13. Smart advice! I work part time at our church in children's ministry so I get lots of emails from volunteers, parents, etc. all the time. After 4 years, I am learning that it can wait until I'm back in the office on the clock. I would get so stressed at home when issues came up that I couldn't enjoy being "off" at times! Such a bummer for our family! I've been telling myself that if there is a real emergency, someone will call me, otherwise we can just handle it later!

  14. Girl, I totally understand! I was an elementary school teacher before I got married and it was SO hard to leave when the day was over and not bring work home with me. Love that you've found a balance even though I'm sure it's still super tough sometimes!

  15. Work life balance is so tough! Seems like you have some good strategies in place! I have a bad habit of checking email at night but I just took my work email off my phone, so I won't be tempted anymore! There's nothing so important it can't wait until the morning!

  16. What a smart set up! I am impressed with your condensed graduate school plan. I got my masters, but did it nights and summers for 2 years. I love the idea of doing work at work and making your family a priority after school. I hoping to return to teaching when my kids get older and I thin it would only be possible if I made rules for myself like yours. I also love that you're reading a picture book to 7th graders. I hated when people acted like kids outgrow picture books because so many of them have great messages!!

  17. As a seventh grade teacher too, I'm thankful that I was taught this ideal by my cooperating teacher during my internship! Being able to enjoy my afternoons with my husband and be able to keep our house clean instead of working on school stuff!

    xoxo, SS

    Southern And Style

  18. I love this! I teach third and have had more than one come apart over finding balance! I'm learning to leave work at work...the papers and the emotions. I tell people that I love teaching...but it's what I do, not the sum total of who I am. Thanks for this!

  19. This is my single biggest concern about if I should go back to teaching one day. I felt like every evening, weekend, and road trip was spend grading or planning. If I did have a lot of extra time, I felt guilty that I should be researching and planning how to make my lessons even better. I seriously can't imagine doing it with kids, but then I think about how so many teachers are parents! They obviously make it work somehow, right? We'll see.


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