The nightmare of managing the after school activities begins
The kids are back to school now which brings many changes to the household, from earlier wake-ups times, to homework and many after school activities. I find as a busy mom the most difficult to manage are the after school activities. Perhaps it is because there is a different schedule each evening, or maybe it’s just because I miss seeing my kids and having dinner together as a family. Here are some tips I use to try to manage the “after school schedule.”
1) Each Sunday take a look at the week ahead. Right down the activity for each evening, including who, what, where and when. Importantly include what your plan for transportation is. This will help you identify the pinch points so you can plan ahead.
2) Try to carpool – it really is true that it is impossible to be in two places at one time. Yet as the super moms and dads we are, we seem to think we can change this. If you are dealing with multiple children’s schedules, the best and easiest thing you can do to help yourself, and other moms, is to organize car pools. We got in our first this year for football and cheerleading and it is nirvana. We did it to help out another family, but in hindsight I can’t believe it took me so long. Reach out to the other moms and figure out a carpool routine for the entire season.
3) Cook ahead of time. I find it hardest to manage our dinner schedule with the kids activities. First, figure out if you should feed them ahead of time or wait for them to get home. Be sure to have some healthy items to give them before they go, and then heat up dinner when they return. I like to give yogurt, a piece of fruit, some cheese or a small sandwich beforehand. Each Sunday I make extra food that I can re-heat easily for a later dinner for my husband and son eat when they return home from football practice. My favorites are grilled chicken, baked potatoes and pasta, all are easy to re-heat in the microwave.
4) Try to multi-task. Some parents like to stay at their children’s activities or practices, particularly if they are younger. If this is the case try to get something else done when you are waiting
a. Arrange next week’s calendar
b. Sort through your mail, pay bills
c. Take homework of another child and go over it
d. Make out your shopping list
e. Make some phone calls to catch up with family and friends