“Labor” Day Confession—Why I Didn’t Go Back to School This Year

I have a confession. I didn’t go back to work as a school psychologist in the public schools this year.

You may or may not have noticed an absence of back to school posts and tweets and Facey Face posts about how the school year has gone so far. No Kindergarten quotes of the day, no status updates or posts about vermin in my office, no posts about cute attacks in the Kinder class, nothing. In fact, you maybe noticed a general drop off in posts over the past, oh, 9 months…

That is because I was busy making a person! Who knew making a person with your body could be so exhausting? (Besides anyone who has been pregnant before). This was my first, so it was all new for me. I mean, wow. It really wears a gal out. It turns out that blogging is the last thing on one’s mind after working AND making a person all day. I am fairly proud of myself for posting anything at all last semester! During my pregnancy, while I didn’t enjoy the fatigue and weird comments adults would make about my weight (e.g. “Whoa! There’s a 3000 lb weight limit on this elevator, you might want to take the next one!” or “Are you sure there’s only ONE in there?” and “Hey, Fatty! Waddle waddle!”), I did enjoy the comments made about my pregnancy by the kiddos…

• A 2nd grader and I were playing a board game and she gave me two turns because I was “playing for two people.” Cute attack.
• Around month 5, a kiddo asked me if my baby had a head yet.
• A teenager I was working with told me I should name my baby “Aquafina.” I think she was inspired by my water bottle in my office.
• A teenage boy said, “Ooh! Having a baby is gonna hurt, you should get high before you go into labor, that’s what my mom did!” Um, pass.
• A first grader shushed the whole class when I entered the room and said, “Shhhh you guys, the baby can hear you!”
• Every day in my last trimester, as I waddled into my school, a kindergartener asked, “Have you had it yet???” (clearly not!) and worse yet, “How did it get in there?” Um, ask your mom…
• A kindergartener eyed my giant belly suspiciously and asked, “What happened there???
• And finally, as I waddled into a classroom in June, looking humungous, a 7th grade boy said, “Dude. It is so messed up that they are making you work still!” Amen, little brother!

After spending most of the school year preggers, my due date was three days after I was supposed to report back to work this fall. I had my baby girl two weeks ago, on the first day of school.* Sure, I’m totally biased, but I think Baby B is perfect. I just stare at her all day (and at night, every two hours) and marvel that I made a tiny person. It’s my greatest accomplishment to date.

It is quite strange to not be back at school though. I must forewarn you, I will not have any amazing material or stories to share with you for a while (unless you want to hear about diaper changes, sleep training, and my baby’s sensorimotor development?). I will count on you all to keep the torch alive on the Facey Face page by sharing with everyone how back to school has been, and posting intriguing questions for the group to comment on. I will join you in the fun in a few months!

Oh, and Happy “Labor” Day! Get it? Labor? Oh, never mind, its the sleep deprivation, I think I’m being clever.

*Hey, fun fact about having a baby: Natural childbirth is no joke. I had the baby in Berkeley, and felt a bit of peer pressure to go natural (not like, a home birth with a doula/lotus flower bath natural, but like no drugs natural). After the birth, I told my husband, “Oh, look at our precious only child!” But only 2 weeks later, I have labor amnesia and could have a whole litter of newborns, and just stare at their tiny hands and button noses all day and night.

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Comments on “Labor” Day Confession—Why I Didn’t Go Back to School This Year

  1. celyn says:

    Congratulations! What lovely news!

  2. Anonymous says:

    You are forever changed, as a person AND a school psychologist. My first IEP meeting after maternity leave, I almost burst into tears listening to a mother lament her daughter's mild auditory processing delay. THAT had never happened to me before….overactive mother empathy! It is now under control, most of the time. Congratulations!

  3. Tara B. says:

    Congratulations!!! I can relate, as I was pregnant all last school year and had my baby in April 🙂 Sadly, I have to go back to work tomorrow… but I am so happy you get to stare at your precious bundle of joy all day. Well done!
    I will, however, miss your hee-larious posts about how fun our job is.

  4. Anonymous says:

    congrats!

  5. Pam in Claremore says:

    Congratulations to you on this new life experience! I am sure that from now on, your work will be enhanced by your new insights as a mother. How wonderful for your baby to have such a specially-prepared mother! Love every moment, they pass all too quickly. I thought I'd had toddlers forever, and now my oldest is shaking his head over the amazingly fast growth and development of his own children! God bless.

  6. Congratulations! Enjoy every moment of your sleep-deprived, stay at home mommy life. If you do go back to work, that first day will come way too soon! I will miss your funny anecdotes!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Wow congratulations! That is amazing news! I can totally relate to your post. I was pregnant all last school year and worked until the end. My funny moment came when a 4th grader asked me "um not to be rude or anything, but are you pregnant Ms. L.?" (I was 9 mo). Then behind my back he said "I can't believe she's pregnant! Why didn't anyone tell me?" So cute! Good luck to you…I will miss your posts. I am also not returning this year. Looking forward to a year of no testing/report writing!!!

  8. Sarah says:

    Congrats Rebecca! Hope you Baby B and Mr. B are all doing well…and getting some sleep!!

    After my first day of school I'm a little jealous of your time off.

  9. Anonymous says:

    As soon as I saw the title of your post I automatically assumed that meant you were preggers. Congrats!! I'm still appalled that adults said such mean things to you. Wow. Some ppl need a reality check and a new mental filter.

  10. Congrats! Those are great kid stories. And please, take the time to bond w/ Baby B and adjust to going back to work when you have to…. we'll still be here.

  11. Bet says:

    Thank you for this post! As a School Psych in the early weeks of her 3rd pregnancy, this really made me LOL, and I needed that to distract me from the nausea. Thanks you! And Congrats! Motherhood is wonderful!

  12. You can prepare all you want, but nothing can actually prepare you for the "labor of love".

  13. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations! I went with natural childbirth for both my babies. I was probably influenced by my former school's drugging ways. Enjoy every moment with Baby B. They grow up VERY fast!

  14. Anonymous says:

    Oh my–those nasty comments are horrible! My own favorites were, "You look like a mama cow", and "The only place you've gained weight is in your butt." Great fun.
    I tell every pregnant woman at school that I am the advocate for pregnant women. Every time I see them, I have something positive to say because, being pregnant is very hard. I tell them if anyone messes with them, to come to me and I'll set 'em straight!

  15. GATE Exam says:

    Thank you for this post! As a School Psych in the early weeks of her 3rd pregnancy, this really made me LOL, and I needed that to distract me from the nausea. Thanks you! And Congrats! Motherhood is wonderful!

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