Working mothers often have a double duty. They work a 9-to-5 job (or some other shift); then they get home and have to take care of things there. For many working moms, this means taxiing their children to various after-school activities. If you feel as if you’re always on the go, you may be ready to learn how to manage your kids’ after-school activities better.
Parents with only one child can usually handle their child’s extracurricular activities. It’s when you have two or more children that things can get a little dicey. You may find it difficult to keep up with everything your children do as well as get things done at home.
Decide as a family what’s most important.
Do you eat meals together every evening, or will your child’s activities keep you from doing that? Will it put a strain on the family’s budget for your child to play a sport or take part in an after-school activity? These are some questions to consider as a family.
Limit your children to one after-school activity per season.
It’s easy for children to want to do everything. Help your kids to realize that some practices or activities may overlap and they may miss some. They’ll be less likely to have scheduling conflicts (and so will you) if you limit the sports they can play and organizations they can join.
Think about the time required for each activity.
Most sports will have practice at least two days a week and games will usually occur during the weekend. Non-sports activities such as Scouting or music lessons may also require weekend attendance. Because neither you nor your kids can be in two places at once, something may have to give.
Get a calendar and combine the schedules for each family member’s activities.
Assign each person a color so you can see who has activities on any given day. If you have more than one child, expect that you will have conflicts from time to time. On those occasions, ask friends and family to help you by supporting one child while you’re with the other.
Don’t panic if your child can’t make every practice or every game — this can happen to anybody.
Pay attention to your child’s grades.
If your child’s grades begin to drop, he or she may be putting more effort into his or her after-school activities. Stand firm in your policy that school work comes first, no matter what. Your child will naturally feel upset if you remove them from an activity they enjoy. At the same time, it’s more important that they get a decent education than play a sport or instrument well.
Juggling a job, home life and your child’s after-school activities can be stressful. It may help to know that most activities only last for eight to ten weeks. Although you’ll be busy for several weeks, your child can benefit from being a part of something outside of school. Using some of the above ideas to help you manage your kids’ after-school activities, you’ll enjoy cheering them on and watching them grow.