Several teachers rang in the new year by announcing the expectancy of a new addition to their family. These bundles of joy are the cause of happiness and love in the household, but can also be stressful for teachers both during and after pregnancy. Despite the stress, teachers try their best to manage their home lives along with providing a comfortable learning environment for their students.
“It is tough to balance school with all the work that goes into preparing for a baby, from the medical appointments to touring daycares,” English teacher Molli Atallah, who is expecting a baby boy in March with her husband, math teacher Brad Smith, said.
Pregnancy is different for everyone, and some have to navigate challenging waters.
“I’m actually on modified bed rest,” Marketing Education teacher Melissa Guerro, who is expecting twins in April, said. “I’m not allowed to walk around a lot during the day, so it can be a challenge.”
As their due dates approach, expecting teachers must coordinate with their long-term substitutes and prepare lessons for their maternity leave.
“Luckily, I have an amazing long-term sub already set up,” math teacher Sarah Gentile, who is expecting a baby girl in March, said. “I planned everything in advance, so I feel like it’s going to be as stress-free as possible.”
Balancing pregnancy and work can be tough, but with the right support, it can be a positive experience.
“Having Ms. [English teacher Lauren] Freix across the hall from me has been incredible,” Atallah said. “We are both so happy for each other, and we also get to commiserate when we are not feeling so great.”
Currently, the English department has four pregnant teachers and will welcome five babies this spring.
“It is so fun to be pregnant with three other teachers in the English department,” Freix, who is expecting a baby girl in April, said. “It gives us a nice little pregnancy club.”
Some teachers have found that instead of one baby, they’ll be welcoming twins into their families in the weeks ahead.
“I was shocked,” Guerro said. “It was a little overwhelming at first, but now I’m more excited.”
As students have noticed the increased amount of expecting teachers, some have wondered about the coincidentally timed pregnancies.
“I remember when I saw my doctor about wanting to get pregnant and she told me, ‘Teachers are very good at scheduling their pregnancies,’” Atallah said. “This doesn’t always work, but a lot of us had the idea that it would be great to take leave and have the summer with our babies before having to return to work.”
The Chantilly community is excited to welcome so many baby Chargers in the months ahead.
“I think it’s really exciting,” Guerro said. “Hopefully we’ll be able to share some good stories together.”