Where did the summer go? For the working mom, the school year comes around so quickly and heightens our anxiety for purchasing new clothes, new supplies, the new set of lessons to learn, and afterschool activities to keep them occupied until pick up time. When it comes to preparing for the back to school year, it’s more than the new clothes and supplies that become a silent anxiety attack for me, it’s the what if she gets sick scenario that worries us. We actually went through this last school year when she became sick with fever and slept in the classroom. She left home fine but then one of us had to return back from traveling to work to go pick her up and stay home – after already spending the prior two days at home.
For stay at home moms, or even those who work from home, a call from your child’s school and you’re off to pick up your little one without answering to anyone. For the working mom, I am fortunate to have an understanding director, but what if I didn’t? Worry usually creases my forehead as we determine who will stay home, who will pick her up, who will take her to the doctor’s office, who will pick her up from school?
After venting to my working mom friends, I realized that not only am I not alone, but they are here to help us. While not having many family members, i.e. grandparents, who can drop their bingo game and tend to their grandchild, we have to rely on ourselves or be grateful if the daycare she’s been going to since four months old can assist us until we can arrive. We don’t work very far, but we are a boat and train away from our only child and that made us decide that for this back to school year, we are going to rely on others to keep our sanity in an emergency.
Here are some back to school tips I put together from my experience last year as a working mom of a grade school child.
Back to School tip #1
Utilize the end of the summer, the time before labor day, to meet with your friends and family and just chill. This would usually be for a barbecue or house party to celebrate the end of the summer and back to backpacks, jackets, and homework. During this time together, talk to adults and those teenagers to create plans. In the first few days, we have to fill out those In Case of Emergency forms and this is where we sit and look at each other like, do you think so and so will be able to pick her up until we get there? Why guess, when you can plan ahead of time, but asking and having it in place.
My working mom friends just happen to work on Staten Island and are literally blocks away from our daughter’s school. We have already discussed this plan and I will be putting it in place for her final year in grade school. I hope they remember and I really hope we won’t have to use it, but it’s reassuring and less of a worry knowing someone is able to help us out when needed.
Back to School tip #2
I already told you guys about those supplies last year. We are in agreement and will not be pressured into buying more than the original list asked for in the beginning of the school year. The teachers need to get their numbers right, if you wanted three packs of crayons – then don’t ask for two and then in February request more. Sorry Mrs. Cucumber, my child don’t even color that much at home.
Back to School tip #3
We used to feel bad that she wasn’t involved in an afterschool activity that would allow her to win all these trophies and have our weekends continuously booked. However, due to tip #1, it just wasn’t possible and I’ve taken the guilt of not having a backflipping star off of my shoulders and know that she will be okay without the pressure of standardized tests and making a perfect flip at this time in her life. Now when she gets to middle and high school, we’re going to expect to go to a game or something.
Back to School tip #4
Speaking of standardized tests. I’m going to need the schools to relax and make learning fun again. There shouldn’t be a reason why a score in science is higher than English. During her last year of elementary school, we will hope that there is no stress being put on these children. My child, like her working mom, does not do stress very well.
Do you have any anxiety for this back to school year?