I always knew that motherhood would change things for me: I knew I would want to be the person taking my children to school in the morning, to be the first face they see at the gates at 3pm, to have the time to invest in Easter bonnet competitions and dress-up days, to have a healthy, wholesome cooked dinner on the table shortly after they returned home from school, to be able to go to school assemblies and sports days and be able to help on the charity cake stalls at break time.
I knew I didn't want to be an over-worked, tired, teaching Mum who has to rush through bedtime stories in order to crack on with replying to those emails, feeling the constant guilt of rushing, of having no time to enjoy stories, baking, den making and day trips at the weekends because of the growing pile of marking. I knew that when I had children I would give up writing my reports at the weekends, that I would become efficient with my lunch times, that often, lunch times would not exist. I knew that I would not spend hours in the evenings creating resources, or filling in pages of data, or uploading lesson plans or planning the next charity event or readathon, school trip or after school club.
That said, I still want to do all of these things.
I now have two very important priorities and my child will supersede my work every time, which is why I must go part-time in order to reduce my workload to one that is manageable enough not to intrude on those all important bedtime stories and weekend outings. My 'days off' during the week will be spent with my child going to baby groups and cake afternoons with other Mummies, but when she sleeps, I'll work. I'll work my flaming socks off. I'll manage it, because less hours teaching is less marking, less reports and less preparation to do at home. I'll manage it because I don't only love my child, I love my job.
I have a young child and I want to be the best Mum I can be, but I'm also in my mid-twenties with more to prove.
You haven't seen the best of me yet.
I can't be the best of me as a full-time Mum and full-time Teacher, but I can be the best of me if I teach part-time. I still want to sweat the anticipation of examination time with a GCSE class, I still want to organise those charity events and readathons; who knows, maybe I'll even want to apply for that promotion.
So, just so you know, I'm going part-time, not checking out on my career.