Teacher-turned-mothers find relief in maternity leave


Kimberly Flores

Maternity leave is valuable time many new mothers cherish in being able to spend time with their babies during their most formative years. However, since maternity leave comes out of teachers’ sick days, many teacher-turned-mothers find themselves torn between self-care and work.

Kim Flores, Staff Reporter, Historian

It is a miracle to be able to bring life into this world, babies bring much joy and smiles on people’s faces. Somehow it still manages to bring a lot of stress for working parents, especially teachers. Teachers’ work times range from 3 to 6 hours a day, about 54 hours per week working. It’s a struggle balancing both work and at home tasks. 

¨The biggest challenge with being on maternity leave is developing lesson plans that are engaging and articulate the curriculum effectively while having to depend on someone else (a sub) to deliver the content,” said AP English teacher Alexis Sjol. 

 Teachers always want the best for their students, but now they have another priority. Some schools don’t care to pay much attention to the struggle that pregnant teachers go through. Not only does pregnancy affect their jobs, but it also changes their bodies. Pregnancy symptoms include  bloating, cramping, and moodiness. Imagine having to teach with the feeling of nausea and dealing with kids that aren’t cooperative. Not many teachers would be able to handle that type of grind. Teachers rarely get paid parental leave, leaving them with no sick days left. Sick days will be able to cover the time needed, but it is unfair to be expected to be immune to all the sicknesses around the world. 

¨Now I don’t have any sick days left when I have another baby,” said Jessica Mensen. 

¨It’s unfortunate and frustrating, but I wouldn’t not take the time off. Those months at home are so important.”

It’s a hard task having more than 100 plus kids and a newborn to control. It can be aggravating for teachers knowing that they won’t have much money coming in, not to mention the low wages. Babies take a big chunk of money, and it should be something to be financially prepared for.  On the other hand some teachers prepared ahead of time and made sure they were good financially. 

¨It did not affect our family due to saving money,” said Ullmann Mathew. ¨I felt okay with this since my kids are only going to be a newborn once so it was worth it for me to not get paid and spend quality time with them.” 

It’s important to always have everything planned ahead of time to avoid any possible issues in the future.  Newborn babies must be supervised at all times, leaving little to no time for parents. 

¨It was a chance to find balance in my life between balancing being a teacher and being a new father. It was a great time and I personally believe everyone should take several weeks off upon the arrival of a newborn.” Ullmann Matthew said. 

Breastfeeding and much more is provided from the mother, restricting them from other duties. Apart from those needs, it is also important to form a connection and spend time with your baby. 

¨I enjoyed spending time with my baby – watching her grow. She changes every day,” Mensen said. 

The beauty of life is being able to create and share memories with those loved ones around you. Spending time with your newborn baby is unreplaceable. There should be consideration for soon to be parents.