Thursday, October 2, 2014

How being a mom changed me as a supervisor

It's true what they say, "everything changes when you have a baby."  I foolishly thought that it just pertained to my personal life (including my sleep schedule) but now, 8 weeks into this ball game, I can clearly see that much (okay, all) of my life has changed, including my professional outlook.

Suddenly, it can wait.  Those little tasks that I would break my back to get done before leaving after an 11 day can wait, they will be on my desk and in my inbox when I return the next day.  I've learned to know the difference between an emergency and "it can wait."  Because as you know, babies don't keep.  My daughter will only be 7 weeks old once and I don't want to miss a moment with her because I'm fretting over something minuscule at the office.  I will never get these moments, these days back again.  She and I will never experience another October 2nd, 2014 again.  And I've realized my staff is feeling the same way about their families.

My biggest change perhaps has been in my relationships with staff.  I am more respectful of their time and what I'm asking of their time and their energy.  There are only 24 hours in the day and I am already responsible for 8 of them.  I see them with a new lens that I hadn't previously been privy to, the lens of a mother.  I see that these women are all someone important in the lives of their family members.  Almost all of my team members are mothers but beyond that, they are sisters, daughters, grandmothers, wives, girlfriends, best friends, etc.  They put on their teacher hat when they come to the building but when they leave, they switch their focus back to their other roles.  I truly believe that teachers are always wearing their teacher hats, even when they've left the classroom both for the day and for career advancement. Further, we don't take off our mom hats but rather channel our energies in other ways. I find that I now see those relationships as the most important aspect of my role as a supervisor.

I spend more time focusing on conversations with staff than on paperwork.  I want to know what's going on in their lives and how it's impacting their work and how I can support them so that when they're at the center, they are there physically, mentally, and emotionally.

I also have less time for BS.  There is no room for it, quite honestly, as I am trying to get all of my work done so I can walk out of the door with my daughter on time.  There can be no drama, no wandering of the mind... I am on-task and focused the entire time I am in the office and I find that to be motivating.  I may not get as much paper pushed around in a week, but I know I'm making a difference in the lives of children, families, and my staff.

Cheers to Friday & the weekend ahead!
Ms. DanL

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