1. Create a plan. The more organized you are, the easier your day will flow. Make a calendar and schedule in everything from extracurriculars to family and study time. Allow yourself wiggle room for unforeseen events, like practices running late.
2. Volunteer with your children’s schools when you can. Teachers have busy schedules too, and many welcome the help. Volunteering to complete projects and activities for your child’s class gives you firsthand knowledge of what the class is learning, and it helps you get to know your child’s teacher better too.
3. Connect to your children when you know you will be away. If work engagements keep you from attending school lunch or field trips with your child, stay in touch as you can. Consider sending a sweet note in their lunch bag – or use online video messaging systems (like Skype) to catch up with them if you’re out of town.
4. Keep distractions at bay. Sometimes, being on your cell phone is genuinely important. But other times, it gives off the wrong impression.
University of Alabama Junior Madison Pettway, who worked as a summer camp counselor in the Tuscaloosa area, saw many parents arrive to pick up their kids with cell phones glued to their heads.
“Most of them would head straight to the sign-out sheet and then go stand by the door and wait for their child to come to them. This creates a barrier, because staff would assume the parent was uninterested in hearing what the kids did that day because they were making no effort to show interest,” she said.
Put the phone away, and be fully present whenever you can.
5. Have an open relationship with your employer. If you plan to chaperone field trips and attend school functions during working hours, it is important for your employer to know that your responsibilities at work are manageable. Keep an open dialogue and plan ahead on your work calendar for school-related events – months ahead, if possible.
6. Find a backup for you. Despite how hard you try, you cannot do everything! Find yourself a reliable family member or friend who can back you up if you need an extra hand at home, or if you’re running late for after-school pickup. Make sure that you can reciprocate this help if your friend is in need.
7. Keep dating your spouse. You’re supermom. You rock things at work. But don’t forget your spouse – they need attention, and you need some couple-time as well.
8. Take time for yourself. Be intentional about taking time to recharge. You are only as good to others as you are to yourself.