From The Desk Of The Working Mom and Her Working Kids

If you’re anything like me, you’re always searching for ways to shave minutes off of your morning routine in an attempt to NOT have to set the alarm any earlier than it’s already set. I treasure every second of every minute that I am able to sleep…allbeit with a stray elbow or knee shoved into my back on the nights when we get a visitor (or 2) in the middle of the night.

In my ongoing quest to be more efficient and less crazed in the morning, I borrowed a tip from one of my Daughter’s teachers. In her class, everyone has a “job”. There’s the “line leader” and there’s also the “end of the line leader”. There’s the child who gets to supervise cleanup after lunch and the child in charge of pushing in the chairs at the tables.  Rumor has it that the cleanup kid is mighty quick to dispose of your uneatens, so if you want those Cheez-Its than you’d better get to it.

My Daughter’s favorite job is the “end of the line leader” and when I asked her why, she told me…because the end of the line leader gets to turn off the lights before the class leaves the room.  To a 3 year-old, flipping that light switch is a VERY big deal.

So back to thinking about being less crazed in the morning…….”Ahaa” I thought. Jobs….right.

There are so many little things that make leaving the house in the morning something akin to scaling
Mt. Everest. In an attempt to apply my “jobs” idea to the morning hustle, I decided to itemize all of the little time-wasters and distribute them to my children as “jobs”.

We have the “leash getter” i.e. the one who gets the leash for our dog’s morning trip outside (That person is coincidentally, the “leash putter awayer” as well) There’s also the “Bookbag filler” i.e. the one who puts the lunch boxes in each bookbag and zips them up. NOTE: I always make sure to check the Bookbag Filler’s work because we did have an instance where a lunch was mistakenly NOT put into the bookbag, and I came home to a VERY pouty kid because they were subjected to the school lunch.

In total, we have about 6 jobs distributed amongst the two children. So far, they’re pretty good about taking care of their responsibilites. As a bonus, every once in a while a day will pass when they don’t pester me for a “prize” for doing their jobs.

So far we’ve seen two benefits….I’m getting out a few minutes earlier (aka on-time) and they’re feeling more a part of the routine.

Now…if only I could get them to walk the dog, do the grocery shopping, wash and fold laundry, pay the bills, etc. etc. etc.

– The WM


From the desk of the working Mom…..

Welcome to “The Desk of the Working Mom”…..My desk, as is my life, is messy but in the end and after some digging, I can usually get things pretty well straightened out.

These recurring blog posts are going to be related to the trials and tribulations often experienced by working parents (not just the Moms).  I hope to offer tips and  tales and create an overall “experience share”. I encourage your feedback, questions and by all means….SOLUTIONS, if you can offer any suggestions to the dilemmas we’ll tackle.

Today’s subject….random non-school/daycare days.  By random, I’m referring to those days not designated and/or noted on the calendar as holidays.  While they are often scheduled and I am alerted to these at the beginning of the school year, they still seem to sneak up on me.

In NJ, there is a week in November that’s cut short due to the annual Teachers Conference that’s held in Atlantic City.  As a kid, I remember this being a very cool, pre-Thanksgiving vacation.  As a Parent, it really throws a wrench into the schedule considering I’m forced to juggle the work schedule while trying to find “fill in” daycare.

One smart solution I’ve found and I wanted to share are daycare centers that offer “drop-in daycare”.  Very often these centers require very little notice for a reservation for your child and they will charge you a per hour or per diem rate for the care.  Until recently, these centers were tough to find however in the past couple of years, I’ve seen more and more of them springing up around the area. 

Please let me know what suggestions you may be able to offer regarding “random non-school/daycare days”….I’m happy to pass them along.

–The WM (aka Heidi)