Getting Real with Brittany Tiedeman

I recently had to return to work after having my baby. I’ve developed these hacks to help me survive.

1. So you’re at work and notice there is spit-up on your shirt. Normally it doesn’t bother you, but let’s say you have a big meeting or are being observed that day. A wonderful, pretty sticker will do the trick. Is the spit up too big for one sticker? Jazz it up and use three, or ten. My personal favorites are the Disney stickers.

2. Accidentally forgot to leave your daughter’s headband in the car because daycare says it’s a danger? Can you say, fashionable new bracelet for the day? No one will even notice it’s a headband and the students will enjoy your new fashion statement because, let’s be honest, they notice everything.

3. How many times have you been in your classroom dying to pee but can’t find someone to watch your students for a few minutes? Wear a pad or panty liner just in case you leak. Please note, don’t actually pee fully or you will wet your pants.

4. So many times throughout the day, I seem to find myself missing my daughter. Now, I keep something small of hers in my pocket to hold onto when I start to miss her. It can be something small, like a hair bow or pacifier clip. Just something you can keep in your pocket.

5. Did you just give birth a few months ago and your body is transforming back into its beautiful self and a student tells you that you are fat? Well, just laugh it off. Those laughing calories will help you lose all that “fat.”

6. Have you ever been in the situation where daycare is calling you to update you on your child? Walk over to the dramatic play area and answer the call. If anyone comes into your room, they’ll just think you’re playing with the kids. Little do they know you’re making sure everything is ok. Don’t do this too often or people will take notice.

7. I don’t know how many times I have forgotten my lunch, even before having kids. Well, at my school we have snack time with the kids. Eat snack with them. Everyone will compliment you on being a good role model for them, but they don’t know that it was your lunch and boy were you hungry.

8. I hate it when some parents pick up late so now you’re late to pick up your kid and you have to rush out without cleaning up your classroom. I have a TOMORROW bucket for just that purpose. I quickly throw everything into the bucket so that when the last kid is picked up and I get out the door more quickly and my room looks like it is still put together. The next day, if I don’t have time to put the things away before class, I have my students help me.

9. Some mornings are just rough. Maybe the dog ate your breakfast and your child was acting like a sloth getting out the door. Hugs from your students are the best! They do understand that some days are just sad. Plus, if you work with young kids like I do, I just tell them the baby was crabby and they will run up and hug me.

What hacks help you survive those early days of easing back into it after having a baby?