Humans of South Hills: Two kids and still an amazing teacher

We all heard the news, Andrew Lim had a baby on September 27, 2022. Lim is an English teacher at South Hills in room 252. Lim answered a few questions about how it is to be a parent of two.

Q: How did you feel that night knowing you had work?

A: “The baby was born on the 27th… he was born late, but I already knew that following his birth, I was going to take x number of days off before I came back to work. Regardless of what day of the week he was born, I wasn’t going to come back to work immediately. So I wasn’t necessarily worried too much about going back to work the next day because I knew that I was going to take a couple of days off.”

Q: How was the first day at home with the new arrival?

A: “You don’t sleep much, and having two kids is drastically different than having one kid. Any parent with more than one kid will be able to testify that having two kids isn’t just twice as hard, it’s four times as hard. It makes it harder because when there are two parents and one kid, there are times when you can get a break… But when you have two kids, that means one of you always has to be with one of the kids. So you constantly have to take care of either the baby or the older sibling. That is an adjustment that takes time for both the parent and the kid.”

Q: What is the biggest struggle of having to teach and manage two kids at home?

A: “A lot of it is managing my energy so that at the end of the day, I have enough left in the tank to play with my daughter and to help with dinner or dishes or any of that because for many other families,their work day ends much later. But because my wife and I are both teachers, a lot of days I get home, it’s still only 3:30. So I want to be able to do things like play with my daughter or take her to the playground or do arts and crafts with her and stuff like that. But it’s more about time management and energy management so that I’m not exhausted by the time it’s like, 07:00.”

Q: How do you manage that energy?

A: “Especially with kids, you want to try to have a routine. So routine allows everyone to be on the same page in terms of expectations and schedule. I try to pick up my daughter roughly around the same time. We try to eat dinner roughly around the same time, bedtime, routine, wake up, all of that. So my wife and I know what each other’s roles and responsibilities are around the house for the most part. So we kind of fall into those roles naturally. And there are some days where unexpected things happen, and you have to kind of play it by ear. But for the most part, you manage just by creating and following those routines as closely as you can.”

Q: Did you miss the break?

A: “Did I miss the break? Yeah. There are parts of it that I miss, right? Especially now that he’ll be three months old soon, so he’s starting to show some personality. He’s starting to laugh and giggle and respond to facial expressions and stuff like that. I get that in bits and pieces when I come home, but it’s not like before when I’m on preparing to leave and I’m with him all day, and I get to experience all those things. There are parts of it that I’m going to see [now].”