By J1 Reporters Anna Dailey and Anna Voelker
In the past year, at least seven staff members at Marian have had children. Mr. Peter Cunningham, Math teacher, and Mrs. Jilian Roger, Social Studies teacher, are two of those teachers. Cunningham’s daughter is named Mckinley, born in October of 2018, and Roger’s daughter is named Willamina, nicknamed Willa, born in January of 2019.
Balancing being a teacher and a parent can be a difficult adjustment. Cunningham explained, “I would probably get up at like midnight for her a little bit and like 3 a.m. and go to work.” According to Cunningham, this was the hardest part of being a new parent.
Roger had her baby in January of last year and took that semester off. “It was tough having to take her to daycare,” Roger said. Since Mrs. Roger has three kids, the two oldest love to play with the youngest, Willa. “My son is 5 and my daughter is 3, and Willa’s almost 1, and they just dote on her and pick her up.”
Mckinley, Cunningham’s baby, loves giraffes. When he and his baby were at the zoo, a giraffe came up close to them. Cunningham said, “she just started laughing hysterically, like uncontrollably, when the giraffe came close to her, and I couldn’t stop laughing.”
Although Cunningham and Roger are adjusting to life as new parents they are not new babies anymore, Cunningham says “My favorite thing is just watching her grow in different areas, like she is talking now. She is starting to try and walk, and stand up on her own. She laughs a ton and that just makes me laugh.” Mckinley is 1 year old, but Cunnigham is still adjusting to life as a new parent.
For Roger, her largest adjustment was a change in numbers of kids. “Going from two to three was a big shift, instead of doing man-to-man my husband and I have to do zone defense. It’s a little bit of a change because we have to split up the tasks a lot more.” Roger’s daughter Willa is continuing to grow and will be turning 1 this upcoming January.
Although the process might have been sometimes rough, Roger said this has helped her teaching by giving her a new found understanding for parents with students. “Now that my son is in school, I see teachers and I see school from the parent perspective, which is different, and I think this has made me more patient.”
Cunningham and Roger both offered advice for new parents. Cunningham says, “No matter what happens, you are doing your absolute best as a parent. If your child is having an off day, it is not an indication of you as a parent. Stay positive and take it one day at a time. Enjoy it! Before you know it, they are already a year old!”
Roger said, “Don’t sweat the small stuff. It’s easy to get wrapped up in all the little things that could go wrong with your kids. All they really need is love and patience. Lots and lots of patience.”