Just days away from the birth of her first child, former Ahwatukee Foothills preschool teacher Krissy Bileski said a major career change served as an unlikely preparation to becoming a stay-at-home mom.
Bileski moved to Ahwatukee with her husband in 2006 from St. Louis, and went from a career of “sitting at a desk with adults all day” to “sitting on the floor with kids.”
Soon after, she found a job working for Grace Garden Christian Preschool, where she’d stay for more than five years. Bileski started out as a teacher’s aide and most recently worked with 5 year olds before leaving her position last week. Having climbed the professional ladder at Citi Group in St. Louis, Bileski said she chose preschool as a “fun” switch in jobs.
“I thought of it as sort of being an ‘easy-peasy’ job,” Bileski admitted. “But it was a huge transition.”
She quickly learned that the job wasn’t exactly easy, even challenging at times.
But, she explains, it was the bonds, friends, and childcare experience that made the job more than rewarding.
“Working there, you realize you have to take each child as an individual. You have to let them be themselves,” Bileski said. “And I hope that helps me understand my own child.”
Bileski, who lives in Gilbert, said the hardest part about leaving Grace Garden was saying goodbye to the families and kids she grew to know.
“It’s watching them grow up,” said Bileski, of kids that she’s seen move into kindergarten. “It’s really special, and each one of them knew I loved them while they were in my care.”
In preparing for her new transition to being full-time mom, Bileski said growing up as the eldest child and her experience with the preschool has helped.
“I’m very excited, before this I never really thought of being a stay-at-home mom,” she added. “I’ve always been a worker.”
At the end of the day, according to Bileski, the stresses, challenges, screaming, and other detail that come along with teaching preschool were “wonderful” in retrospect.
Likely because those things, plus more, are part of the package that comes with being a parent.
“As long as you still maintain their love and trust, it’s completely worth it,” Bileski said.
The nearly new mom, who had been battling the first cold of her pregnancy mere days before her due date, was indecisive when asked what she’ll miss the least about preschool.
“I don’t think I’ve ever had a negative experience,” she said. “At first I thought of changing diapers, but I’ll be doing a lot of that now anyway.”
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