A Maternity Guide for Hip and Savvy Online Teachers

online teachers juggling work and family

Hi there, online teachers – or those who want to be!

Many of us teach online because we want freedom…freedom to travel, freedom to teach what interests us and freedom to have babies:

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That is part of the beauty of online education, for online teachers and students alike.

However, when it comes to raising a family, online teaching presents obstacles. We have fewer reasons to leave the house, so we interact with less people—including the kind of people we could date. We spend too many hours in front of computers, instead of working on our tans and biceps. Some of us become pasty like vampires, and despite what you see on Buffy and True Blood, not everyone wants to date a vampire.

Fear not, fellow online teachers! I left main stream America, a solid job and an established community just over two years ago, travelled abroad with my first child, found love, conceived and had a baby in record time. Here is everything that you need to know:

The best online dating sites for teachers

As a teacher, you are likely one of the brainier members of society. So, which online dating sites have the smartest and most interesting people?

If you value brains as well as other body parts, go to LoveForWits. LoveForWits is smart and funny. It has a sense of humor. A reviewer asks, is the sense of humor evident? He responds, with a big yes. “Anyone with a sense of humor or looking for one has found their Valhalla; and the same goes for smart people looking to date other smart people.  Love For Wits contains the latest tech-enhancing gizmos (as they put it) and it reminds you a bit of Facebook in that way, but that is where the comparison stops.”

Match.com probably has the broadest array of people, but that’s not necessarily a good thing. If you value editing and proofreading in your online classes, you probably value it in a potential date’s profile. Match.com folks would get an F for failing to spellcheck. OkCupid is worth a try, though there are a few too pictures of shirtless men for my tastes. If men are your thing, they may not be shortly after joining the site. I’d stick with LoveForWits.

Write a decent profile

Here is some hilarious advice on profile writing.

Don’t be afraid to be a little weird, a little unique, a little you. Sure, you might attract the broadest range of people with a broad profile that talks about “loving to laugh” and “enjoying walks along the beach.” You’ll catch a lot of fish that way, but that’s just more than you have to throw back. Don’t brag about your tinfoil hat, but throw in a quirk or two. For example, a friend of mine who is obsessed with words mentioned he loves the Oxford English Dictionary. That small detail was like a dog whistle for similarly nerdy daters.

Get out there and date!

But what kind of date?

Dinner—or any meal—is a huge mistake for the first date. You’re not ready for that kind of commitment. A coffee shop is OK, though coffee can multiply your jitters. I strongly recommend alcohol for a first date. A drink or two can help lubricate the discussion. If you don’t drink, this is a great time to start.

Activity dates can be fun too. Maybe you’d both like to check out a zoo, a museum, or a bar with board games. First dates are awkward, so having something to do besides converse can be a helpful distraction.

Don’t forget to follow up on the first date if you liked the fella or gal. Waiting for someone to email you is so 1950s. Also, since you’re teaching online, you could have your students in one tab and your snugglebunny in another. Don’t mix them up.

Conception time!

If you’ve been on more than two dates, you’re probably pregnant.

Exercises for pregnancy

The squat is indubitably one of the most important activities for the expectant mother. But how does one squat while spending hours in front of the computer? Easy: one reorganizes one’s desk, making it easy to move. I have been toying with standing desks for the last several years, but it really hit home during pregnancy. It was too uncomfortable to sit, as little Brennan had his foot in my kidney for the last trimester. So I set up my office on a counter and kept moving. This became my favorite position:

Maternity Guide for Online Teachers

Experiment with different positions. Your body is your built-in ergonomic guru.

Work after baby

It took a few days to master typing while nursing. This video was the breakthrough. My babe much prefers to nurse upright, for many hours at a time. I feel somewhat like a cow. The baby is really cute, but one can only spend so many hours loving, gazing at a beautiful little larva before one wants to engage in meaningful labor (or get a drink of water).

I am both committed to having my baby on my skin as much as possible, and continuing to earn an income and be a good mother to my four year old. Weeks spent languorously nursing are simply not a reality of my life. While my baby is mastering the latch, I have to bring home the bacon, even if that bacon is delivered via PayPal.

Again, find a position that works for you, sneak in as much time as you can stand, and don’t lose momentum entirely.

Remember, it’s worth it

Does all of this sound like a lot of work? It is.

But, you only have one life, so if you want a little one, better get going!

Well, unless you believe in reincarnation, but that’s another column.


I am a teacher, hiker, mother, dancer and home-maker. I have taught pre-school through SAT prep. I am exploring ways to create on-line learning communities for home-schooled middle school and high school students. In particular, I am starting a low-residency on-line middle school. I would like to help young people explore important ideas while enjoying their lives! You can learn more about my programs at www.onlineclassesforgroovykids.org.

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