40 Mom-Tested Tips for Balancing Work and Family

--iVillager Amy

Keep It Moving
We have a routine, and it works. I'm up by 6:30 and showered and dressed (mostly) before the kids are awake. At seven, I wake up my two sons and my daughter. Clothes are laid out the night before -- that way there is no arguing about what to wear. The boys share a room and have a TV in their room (I know, I know), and they use the TV as their timer: They know that they must be ready to leave before their favorite program is over. During that time all I have to do is worry about getting myself ready, keeping the boys on track and getting my daughter dressed.

Breakfast is simple and something portable -- usually granola bars or waffles. The kids eat in their room while finishing getting dressed. Backpacks and lunches are packed the night before. Once they grab those we're out the door. I have to make three drop-offs before I head to work, so keeping everyone moving and happy is critical. It all comes down to the kids knowing the routine and expectations and not varying it. --iVillager Gigi


How to Stay Involved In Your Child's School or Day Care


Volunteer at Night
Not only am I a working mom, but I am a fourth grade teacher too, so I see this issue from both sides. I stay involved in my son's preschool by signing up for parties and bringing treats. Field trips are a good way to get involved too. There is generally more than a week's notice for any school trip so that a working mom can arrange her schedule to help out the teacher. There are also opportunities to volunteer outside of working hours. Call your child's teacher and ask if there are any calls she needs made to other parents or any parties she needs help planning. Primary grade teachers often need help with cutting patterns or tracing things, which can easily be done at night if the teacher sends it home with your child. The PTO/PTA in your school will have lots of committees to volunteer for that meet in the evenings. Just be proactive and make the call to your child's teacher. As a teacher, I love to hear from parents who want to help. The feeling of support and community is great!

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