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Friday 8 February 2013

Working mums and school drop off and pick up: how do they do it?

So... let me get this straight.

You get up between 6am and 7am. Prep the kids for school, do the drop off, and get home by 9.30am? Then, wrap up by 2pm tops, and make your way to the school again, pick up the kids, have snacks ready, maybe even dinner if they're hungry.

Or: do all of the above, and accelerate it so you're out of the house even earlier, drop off the kids as early as possible, then race off to work and try your hardest to get there by 9am - because after all of that daily madness the last thing you want is any judgemental co-worker stares...

Am I on the right track here?

Day four into kindergarten-hood and it's confronting. But not surprising.

What seemed like a bit of a novelty - and it still is for now - already feels like: man, I have to do twelve years of this?

I've said it before, and I will say it again: the single biggest asset a young family can have is one thing and one thing only: a grandparent who can drive.

Think about it: the grandparent who is old enough to retire, yet young enough to care for your kids, and has a driver's licence is the biggest asset of all. This selfless soul [bonus points if you have TWO grandparents' help on tap! Four grandparents? Well... you have just won life's lottery] allows you to go to work and not worry about leaving at two on the dot to collect your kids. This angel will take your kids to their home, feed them, deal with tired tantys, maybe even bathe them, and have them ready for you after you've dealt with your own madness at work: battling traffic, dealing with budgets and meetings and work politics and deadlines.

And what kind of work options are even available to parents with kids at school?

A job where you can do a daily shift of 10am to 2pm?

But what happens every 10 or so weeks when kids go on school holidays? Can parents take two weeks off every few months? Impossible!

Of course there is vacation care for the above dilemma, and after school care for school pick up... but... imagine the costs involved!

As I said, I am very new to this but the quandary is very clear to me now: women who have children have to make a ridiculous amount of sacrifices, unless they have family support on tap, anytime, anywhere... for free.

I am so very grateful I work freelance - there simply is no other way!

What is your experience of balancing the work/life/school/kids balance?

Share your views below!

Oh... here is a photo of my twins' first day of school a few days ago. My husband took a day off work and helped with school drop off of our precious duo. It was a very special moment, though obv a one-off.


  1. I totally agree.. i always used to wonder why some mums couldnt wait for school holidays??? Then my eldest started school and the rush began...working or not ( ive done both) you still have to rush here and there between school hrs!! Dont even get me started on finding school hrs jobs.. even if you are one of the lucky few, you still have holidays to worry about!! All the best Josie im sure along the way you will find some angels along your path who will help you ..

  2. You're right about it cutting into your day!! I've taken annual leave for the last 2 weeks to get Audrey (and myself) settled into big school, and i was thinking how much time i'd have to myself while she was at school (& her sister at pre-school). But no sooner have you done the morning circuit and a couple of things at home, and its pick up time!! Thankfully i'll be able to do drop offs, and hubby, who works an early shift will be able to do the arvo pick-ups. But if he worked later hours it would be a struggle..