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How to Survive the Back to School Season as a Working Architect Mum

That time of year again! Back to school season is here, and for working mothers, it can be a time of mixed emotions. We are excited to see our kids start a new academic year, full of learning and growth. Yet we can't help but worry about how we will juggle it all again? With the start of the school year comes after schools clubs, evening and weekend clubs to add into the mix. We all want our children to find the thing that's lights their belly up so we don't want to be the reason they can't make that one club they want to try.


It's our job as mothers to be there for our children when they face challenges and change, to help them and give them the skills to navigate through it.


Our little one is now into p4 (the years go by so fast!) and this time of year brings about a lot of anxiety. Worrying if friends will still "like me" and "what if they have new friends". To try and get out in front of this one we've worked really hard this summer to arrange playdates with school friends to try and keep the friendships going. So far, it seems to be working as there isn't the same worry about not having friends at school this year.



Then comes the struggle of attending school events... Our school have a monthly assembly where each class takes their turn to host. I realised last year how much of a big deal it is for us to be there for our daughter when she came home upset that we hadn't been. Of course the guilt set in then. Worst mummy ever feeling, we all know the one. Now I put plans in place to ensure we're there for support when it's possible.


But, the thing is, we are only human and we can't be all singing, all dancing so we have to discipline ourselves to help keep the balance. If you've made it this far why not read the tips ive formulated, based on my own experience and that of other working mum's.



Get ready:

You know how hectic it can be to get everything done before the school year starts. So don’t leave it to the last minute. Make a list of all the stuff you need to do, like buying school stuff, filling out forms, label their belongings, and booking appointments. Then just tick them off as you go!


Get into a routine:

Pack their school bags and have their unifroms set out (or if they're old enough, have them do it). Pack their lunches the night before, only leave the things you have to do in the morning. Make a meal plan, and do some meal prep - can you batch cook dinners. Bust out your slow cooker and get creative, you could try the Bored of Lunch recipe book, that way you will have easy and healthy dinners ready for you when you get home.


Talk:

Talking is super important for keeping a good relationship with your kids, your partner, your boss, and your co-workers. Make sure you chat with your kids often about how they are doing, what they are learning, and what they need from you. Listen to their worries and cheer them on. Also talk with your partner about how you can share the housework and the childcare, and how you can support each other’s dreams. And talk with your boss and co-workers about your schedule, your work, and your expectations. Be honest about what you can and can’t do, and ask for some flexibility or help when you need it.


Plan your week/ends:

While you may be scheduling in sports clubs, the gym, groceries or a family day out, make sure you plan ahead. This means that there is less chance of something disrupting your time off work. Even if your busy, make sure you spend some quality time with your kids every day. It can be something as simple as:

- Reading a story together

- Play a game

- Have a bedtime chat

Or you might want to plan some family activities for the weekends, such as going to the park, or watching a movie (maybe turn your living room into a cinema), or have a slumber party in your living room (our favourite). Don't forget to take care of yourself too. Be kind to yourself and do something that makes you happy - maybe have a bath, read a book or have a coffee with a friend.


Family schedule:

Get a calendar, or a weekly/monthly white board you can stick on your fridge. Write in all the daily activities for all the family. This will help everyone know what the week has in store and leaves less room for memory lapses.


Let the kids help with the chores and the housework:

I don't know what your opinion of childhood chores is, but I assure you, encouraging your children to do their (age appropriate) share of keeping house will do them good. You could have them sort the laundry, set the table for dinner, or tidy their bedrooms. You will be teaching them about responsibility and independence, as well as reducing your own work load.


Create a structure for homework:

I personally have our child do homework at the kitchen table, while I prepare dinner. That way I'm there to help when I'm needed but I'm leaving some space for independence. Our school is very good in that they don't stress the homework, they set weekly tasks that we chose when we complete. If there's too much to juggle in a day, that's ok, homework can wait until the next evening. Some weeks we do all the homework in one evening leaving us more family time.


Good luck and I really hope the transition is smooth! Try not to blink though... it will be Christmas before we know it! 😂



 


Reading is a great way to feed your mind and keep yourself updated on various topics related to architecture and parenting. You can use your school’s library or online resources to find books, journals, articles, blogs, podcasts, or videos that interest you. Some examples of books that might be cool for working architect mums are:












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