It’s here… it’s time for your children to head back to school. And, you’re looking forward to a break from the chaos of juggling camp schedules, vacation schedules, work schedules and finding childcare to fit in between the myriad cracks. But the reality for many families with school-aged kids is that the school year is even more hectic than the summer. Here are 5 reasons you will need childcare even when your kids go back to school.
Whoever designed the school day didn’t consider the work day.
If you are a family with working parents, it doesn’t take long to realize that the school day and the work day do not match up—not even close! Some schools start hours after you need to be in the office, while others end hours before you could be home from work. Even with afterschool programs, it can be a nightmare to figure out the logistics between bus schedules and carpools, not to mention what happens when you need to stay late for an unexpected work meeting!
You have more than one child.
Somehow each additional child you have more than doubles the complexity of dealing with the family’s scheduling and logistics. Sometimes kids go to different schools from their siblings, making the drop-off and pick-up management even more of a challenge, especially when the schools are not near each other and it’s the middle of rush hour. Even if your kids attend the same school, you probably have different before- or after-school activities to deal with…see reason #3.
Activities, activities and more activities.
School-aged children have full calendars these days, between sports, music lessons, arts programs and clubs, every day of the week is full, and the weekends are even more packed. If you don’t want to spend your entire afternoon and evening driving from one activity to another, you need help.
It’s not just the childcare, it’s the house and the meals and the laundry…
During the school year, there seems to be a never-ending pile of school clothes and sports uniforms to wash, fold and put away. There are lunches and snacks to pack and dinners to plan and prepare. There are beds to be made and homework to help with. If you want to stay on top of it all, you probably need to call in reinforcements.
You need a life too.
Remember when you used to have time for a chat with friends, a date night with your spouse, and even time to focus on your own hobbies? Well, with some strategic childcare and household help, you might be able to take back some time for your own interests. When you can do that, you are also likely to be a better parent to your kids, and a better partner to your spouse, and even a better employee at work!
So set aside any guilt you may have about not being able to do it all on your own. Recent articles and interviews of many successful parents have shown that it’s nearly impossible to “have it all.” And remember, it can be beneficial both for your children and for you, as parents, to get a little help. While there are many ways to piece together household and childcare help, lots of families with school-aged children are choosing the au pair program as a solution to their needs. Host mom, Teri Chaseley summarizes it like this, “We’re an incredibly over-scheduled family with children involved in many activities, both before and after school. This makes it logistically necessary to have an extra person on deck. We believe the program is a fantastic learning experience for both au pairs and kids, and really appreciate that our children get to learn about other areas of the world.
Are you convinced yet? Or if you’re already getting help, tell us why you decided to go for it and how it is working for your family.