School and the Working Parent

A friend of mine texted me the other day. “Schools are not set up for working parents!” I smiled a little and sent her a reply, “Just wait until you start to run out of vacation time because of parent teacher conferences that can only happen before 3:00.”


Like a veteran warrior of the school zone, I told my friend of late start Mondays when you have to find childcare to accomodate the 10:15 start time. I told her of registration packets that must be picked up before 4:00 at the office and can’t be emailed. And kindergarten…that alone almost gave me gray hair.

Parents in our area are not notified until the week before the start of school whether their child will be in morning or afternoon classes. Prior to that week, you have to be sure your childcare provider does pick ups and drop offs for both sessionsmany don’t. If they don’t, it’s time to find another daycare.

I avoided the topic of classroom politics where, often, the working mom is quietly and not-so-quietly looked down upon for her offering of store bought cookies and her child’s un-Bento boxed lunch. I didn’t tell her of the mom who once told me, “Oh! I’ve never seen you on the volunteer list. It’s so important to support our schools, don’t you think? Even if it’s just an hour or two a week. Everyone should be able to do it. Especially if they value their child’s education. Don’t you think?”

She’ll find that part out for herself soon enough.

I’ve often thought there should be a mentoring program for kindergarten moms, a mother who has done the drill, knows where the library is, and how the drop off and pick ups work. And a program where a working mom is paired with a stay at home mom who can let her know of all the information that is passed to the parents at pick up in kindergarten and first grade.

That would be brilliant.

Are your schools similar?