Every Working Mom’s Guide To Back To School
Back to school season looks a little different this year, and working moms around the country are struggling with this new season while trying to balance motherhood and a successful career. Back to school is looking a bit different family-to-family as well, even across Houston as some schools are going back to school in person while others are sticking with a virtual plan until coronavirus cases are a bit more contained.
At Work and Mother, working moms are the focus of our business and we’re committed to supporting each and every one succeed in both business and in motherhood. Below, you’ll find two quick guides to help working moms like you manage the return to school as smoothly as possible – whether that be virtual or in person – while continuing to work successfully.
Virtual Back To School Guide for Working Moms
- Practice open communication with your employer. Your work schedule and focus time will be affected as you support your child with virtual learning. Tell your employer the school schedule, and expectations that your school has put on your child so that they are aware of specific times during the day when meetings can’t be scheduled or if you need to flex your hours. The more upfront you are with your team, the less frustrating it will be when those work interruptions pop up.
- Set up a dedicated space for school. Allow your child to make a school space at home their own, so they enjoy spending time at their home “school”. This also helps you as a working mother, as having one space where school happens contains school supplies and mess to one area, leaving less housework at the end of the day. If you need to have a meeting, you can also move to another location where the background noise isn’t as noticeable.
- Set a schedule and follow a routine as much as possible. Enforce this for your child and for yourself! Get up at an appropriate time, eat a healthy breakfast together, and get dressed. You can even take a morning walk around the block together before work and school starts. Feeling “normal” has major benefits to emotional health, so do your best to encourage a routine that feels fun and part of the norm.
In-Person Back To School Guide for Working Moms
- Don’t keep the back to school situation from your employer. Share what’s going on with your team at work and be open about how it’s affecting you and your family. You may need to be home earlier in the day to pick up your child from school, or you may need to offer more support for your child when they get home with school work or emotional support. Communicating regularly will help reduce stress and you’ll likely gain a lot of support from your colleagues. We’re all in this pandemic together!
- Check out your school district’s health and safety guidelines and review them with your child so they know what to expect. Some districts are launching videos to help kids know what to expect before they get into school regarding hand washing, social distancing, having lunch, and more. Read the documents, watch the videos, and listen in on school community group conversations happening online so that you are both prepared for what is to come.
- Sign up for regular communications from your school. Guidelines will likely be changing as the pandemic status changes, so keep up-to-date with the latest information from your district by opting into email, text, or phone notifications. You can also follow the latest state and county-wide COVID-19 data here.
And lastly, regardless if your child is doing in-person or elearning, communicate with your child as much as possible. This is a hard time for adults and children alike. Both Kindergarteners and Seniors are still developing and are struggling with how the world is changing. Strengthen your relationship with your children by emphasizing that you are there for them no matter what, and that they can talk to you about the hard conversations. If they ask you to talk, set aside your work for a few minutes and listen. You won’t regret it.
We wish you the best of luck in returning to school this year, whatever it looks like for your family!