Iesha Small

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How becoming a parent changed me professionally

Becoming a parent forced me to re-evaluate my working patterns and priorities. Here’s how having less time oddly led to a more rounded life.

Family vs colleagues

As a teacher in my 20s, a lot of bonding with my colleagues was done via Friday drinks. It was a way to unwind from our high-pressure school environment and to welcome the weekend.

When I first became a parent, I gradually stopped attending. My partner was at home with our son all day and I felt like it was a good idea to relieve her, so after work drinks became fewer. With time, I realised I no longer wanted to go. I spent a lot of time at work already as a then head of maths and I decided that, actually, I just wanted to be home with my family.

Less time more efficiency

Other things also shifted. Until then, it’s fair to say that I was a workaholic. Suddenly, I felt there was more to life than work and I was stricter about letting work bleed into my personal time. I didn’t become less ambitious (later, I joined SLT when our second and third children –  twin girls – were a few months old) nor did I work any less hard, I simply became ruthless with my time. Lunches and break times were no longer for talking in the staffroom, now I crammed my non-teaching work responsibilities into every possible bit of my time in school so that I less to do at home.

Oddly, because I had less time to myself it made me value the time that I did have much more and I started hobbies, such as photography, that previously I’d never have made space for.

This is my experience only – becoming a parent will change everyone in different ways. But it will change you. And you need to accept that it will.

This blog first appeared in TES magazine 30th March 2018

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How becoming a parent changed me professionally