This working mom is cramping her kids social lives

November 27, 2009

I walked my kids to school today, which is a rarity lately. Even rarer, I walked with them right to their classrooms today. And while I was there, two different moms approached me to arrange playdates for each of my kids.

I guess this kind of playdate arranging is normal for the mommies who gather for pickup and drop off. But the only way to talk to me usually is to call or email me, so I am not part of this outside-the-classroom arranging.

So when I appeared today, a couple moms saw a chance to pounce, which is great. My kids would love these playdates. We don’t need them perhaps like other families, since my kids play at the aftercare program every day instead of playdates. But still, playdates are an important social interaction for kids this age. And unless I go out of my way to set things up for the weekend, they just don’t happen for my guys.

So happy to set up a couple playdates this morning, I am now worrying that the fact that I’m a working mom is seriously hurting my kids social life. Are they left out because I can’t do many playdates, or because I’m not at school to see the other mommies to set up casual playdates?

Another working mommy dilemma…

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Walking my kids to school, sort of

November 19, 2009

On the days when I work from home, I like to walk my boys to school in the morning. It’s the only chance I have to get to their school while it’s still in session (they go to an aftercare program after school and that’s where I pick them up) and see what’s going on, see the other mommies, and catch up. So I like to walk them to the classroom door, look quickly around the class, check notices, all that stuff.

But my kids make all that hard. We walk to school regularly, and I often take a couple other boys who live along our walking route to save their parents the walk when I can. And so all the boys run ahead of me, only stopping to wait for me to cross the street, then running on ahead. Our last two blocks have no streets to cross, and I can’t keep up with the boys. So by the time we get to the school, they’re already inside.

The other day, I walked four boys in, two of mine and two neighbours. When I reached the school, I checked to make sure the neighbours both got to their classrooms, but both my boys were long gone, having run up the three flights to their floor without waiting for me. And of course that’s fine. I know they’re at school and safely where thy should be. But now there’s no point in me climbing the stairs to their floor, so I miss out on all the social stuff with the other mommies.

It’s great they get the exercize of running/walking to school, but I miss the chatting outside class that we used to have in kindergarten. Ah well…


The end of summer

September 7, 2009

The signs are all here now. Summer is over.

First, it got cold. We turned on the heat yesterday and don’t expect to shut it off much now until April.

Next, baseball is over. This year my son played summer ball, stretching the regular season from April all the way to the end of August. And yesterday we watched the last game for the Vancouver Canadians for the season. And yes, they won.

Third, lessons start this week. Piano lessons, swimming lessons, and soon weekend soccer games. Here comes my scheduling nightmare trying to get two kids to everything when both parents work and we only have one car. How do bigger families do it?

Finally, school starts tomorrow. Whooopeee!! I’ve been counting down the days for weeks now, and finally, it’s here. It’s been nice having a calm summer with fewer deadlines and an easier schedule, but when you’re trying to work from home and schedule actual client stuff and kids are running around the house or taking up your time, school can’t come fast enough.

Goodbye summer (although weather wise, I’d be happy to be proven wrong!), hello fall.


Labels for Back to School help keep the things my kids lose — discount for you!

August 27, 2009

Lovable Labels Bear_withTAG_8 (120x120)There are only 11 more days until the kids go back to school (and yes, I’m counting every one!), so I was thrilled when Loveable Labels asked me to review their Back to School Mega Pack of labels.

My kids seem to lose half the stuff they take to school. Lunch containers go missing, sweatshirts almost never make it home, and somehow even shoes don’t always come back. Our school has a huge bin of lost and found, but since all the moms buy the same three items of clothing at Please Mum for every boy (not the greatest selection for boys in clothes anywhere!), once it’s lost it can be hard to get back. Unless it’s labeled.

So we label everything. Years ago I sat with a permanent marker writing their initials on all the stuff they left at daycare, but these labels make it so much easier and much more likely things will get returned.

My Back-To-School pack came with a variety of labels for every application. It included:

lovable labels BTS pack contents* 15 Sticker Labels
* 60 Slimline Labels
* 48 Press ‘N Stick Clothing Dots
* 16 Shoe Labels
* 2 Mini Metal Tags
* 5 Book/Binder Stickers

With two boys, this is just barely enough labels. I admit, I cheated and put both their names on the labels so I could use it for either one (given how quickly clothes get passed down, this is a useful strategy). The boys picked out their own icon (a skateboard of course!), and were thrilled to get them.

I loved how easy it was to order the labels online, and the variety of icons and colours available. The quality of the labels is great. I’ve ordered from another lable company before and found Loveable Labels as good as others, but I like that they’re Canadian. And the variety of labels is great. I can stick them on lunch containers, backpacks, clothes, shoes, school supplies, water bottles — well, just about everything. I’ve even stuck them on sunglasses, toothbrushes (sleepovers!) and baseball mitts (have just located older son’s second lost mitt of the summer today!).

Lovable Labels BTS-ad

The Back to School Mega Pack that I got retails for $44.95, but they’re offering you, my blog readers, a 10% discount. Just quote “movies4mommies” when placing your order. This discount is valid for the next two weeks only.

And don’t forget to label jackets too. Those almost always go missing first.


Teacher gifts

June 22, 2009

It’s the last week of school, which means my kids have one party and field trip after another, with nary a moment of learning to be found. But hey, they’re still at school all day and I still get to work, so for that I’m grateful.

But it’s also the time of year when we mommies have to thank all the people who have taught our kids over the year. Some are easy, like thanking the daycare staff and the classroom teacher. I usually do gift baskets for them, so there is lots of little things in it and is easy to share if there are more than one teacher to be thanked (did I mention daycare?).

But it’s all the other teachers that always trip me up. Do I have to thank the kindercare teacher who is there over lunch, or just the one who stays in the afternoon once class for the kids who attend pm kindergarten starts and only the kids from am kindergarten remain? Do I have to give a gift to the piano teacher?

What about the gym teacher? I don’t even know her name, but my kids have gym twice a week at least. And the librarian. Do I thank her? What about the music teacher?

I find end-of-school-year gifts harder to figure out than the Christmas tipping season. I got six gifts this year for all the teachers of my two kids, but I just know I’m going to hurt someone’s feelings by forgetting them.

Another modern mommy dilemma..