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  1. #1

    When to conceive as a teacher

    Hi everyone. I live in the US and I'm entering my first year of teaching (public high school) this September. My husband and I both want children and we definitely both agree that ttc/birthing our first child during my first year of teaching is not a good idea. My question is this: Is aiming to give birth at the end of my second year of teaching (ideally in early-mid May so that I can get my 6 weeks of maternity leave as well as the summer to bond before the new school year) a good idea? I'm asking this in relation to the stress of teaching. Obviously the first year is the hardest, but I've also been told that it really isn't until after you're done with your third year that it starts to get a little bit easier. I don't want my job to cause me tons of stress during my second year and, on top of that, worry about doctor's appointments, morning sickness, getting proper exercise, sleep issues, etc.

    Would the second year of teaching coupled with a normal/average pregnancy be stressful or manageable? Should we aim for the end of my third year of teaching to give birth? I know that everyone's experiences vary on these topics (and at the end of this upcoming school year I'll certainly have a better idea of how stressed I'll be during year two), but I'm trying to put feelers out because I'm excited to start ttc and I want to have some sort of timeline in mind. What are your experiences/what is your advice?

    (I'm also 26 right now, so I don't feel too too rushed with my biological clock, but I'd like to start sooner rather than later.)

  2. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    491
    I'm not a teacher, but have a few teacher friends. One is due this upcoming march, her second year of teaching. Others have had their babies after teaching for a few years.

    I think your best bet is to get a little ways into the first year, then decide. It might not be too stressful, and you'll choose to ttc as soon as you can, or it might be kind of tough and you'll want to wait a bit until things calm down. A lot might depend on the school system, budget, age group you're teaching, commute, etc. once you start teaching you'll get a better idea of how much personal contribution you'll really be making, how much time for meetings and what the administration is like.
    Lillian Elizabeth 6.16.13

  3. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    1,903
    I am a high school teacher. I am starting my 10th year at the end of the month. I can say that the first three years were really hard. I was doing a good 60-70+ hours a week, obviously most of that at home and weekends. Figuring out what's best for you and your style and philosophy as a teacher takes time. Developing lessons, figuring out a new curriculum, establishing yourself at the schoo,, etc, is very time consuming. You don't mention how far you live from school, how much PD you're required to do, how many meetings you're required to attend, etc. I cannot imagine having a baby during my first three years of teaching. I'm not saying it is impossible, but it would have been way too stressful for me.

    Congratulations on the new job. Being a teacher is the hardest but most incredibly rewarding thing I have ever done. I cannot imagine myself doing anything else.
    Zoe Milena
    9/12/14

  4. #7
    Thanks dindlee and leadmythoughts for your responses and they lead me to think the same thing as before--wait and see how it goes and take it from there. Hopefully I'll be able to find a satisfying balance and know when is the right time for a baby.

  5. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    278
    Hi Mayjune -

    I am starting my 5th year of teaching tomorrow. Just wanted to add an additional perspective. I have been trying to conceive for a year now without any luck. Last year when we starting trying, we naively thought we'd get pregnant right away and that I would be due in the spring of my 4th year. Month after month it wasn't happening, but we continued hoping even though the projected due dates would have been very inconvenient from a teacher's perspective. We're doing some fertility treatments now, and I will be happy to get pregnant whenever.

    I'm not saying all this to scare you or anything, and you will most likely not have any problems conceiving. BUT, even couples without any fertility problems take a few months on average to get pregnant. I would not place all my hopes on trying to have a baby in just the short span of late May. It might take a couple months to get pregnant. This past school year, some of the teachers at my school were discussing best times to get pregnant with a teacher that was due with twins in November. The pregnant teacher said something like, "Well we all try for those April/May babies as teachers, but sometimes nature has different plans." Just goes to show, you never know when it will happen.

    Additionally, I think you will be fine having a baby in your second year. Yes, it takes a few years to get the hang of everything when you're a new teacher, but even veteran teachers stress out and have lots of things on their plate. As a teacher, we just learn to juggle the chaos of our job with the demands of our family life/spouse. Year 2 is A LOT easier than the first year, and I think putting off having a baby is too much to ask from our jobs. I've been married for about 2 years, so it's not that I waited this long because of teaching to try for a baby.

    Good luck!
    TTC #1

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