Working Moms Can Help Out at School Too
Flora M. Brown, Ph.D.
"But Mommmmm, why can't you come to the party today? Sierra's Mom ALWAYS comes."
That's a question working moms would rather not have to answer. Of course they would love to be able to be available for every field trip and holiday party. Mom wouldn't mind having all the little classmates see her in the library and say "Hi Suzy's mom." Nonetheless, for variety of reasons, that simply is not always possible.
There are, however, a number of ways that working moms can help out at school. If it isn't feasible to actually go to the building before or after school or during lunch, there are plenty of projects that can be done at home. Teachers always have lots of paper that needs to be cut. Remember where you put your scissors?
If you aren't available to be at school on the actual day of the party there is still much pre-planning that you can do. The younger children usually have a craft, a game and a snack at their parties. You could volunteer to send juice boxes, cupcakes or plates and napkins to school. The room parent in charge of coordinating the party would be ever grateful if you took on the task of providing a craft for each child to do.
For a fun easy winter craft send enough pinecones so that each child gets one. Then send a jar of peanut butter, a box of Dixie cups and a box of plastic knives. Next, at home put a scoop of bird seed into individual zip lock baggies. Finally cut one strand of yarn for each child. The children will tie the yard into a loop at the top of their pinecone. Next they will spread peanut butter on the pinecone, put it into their baggie full of birdseed and then shake. Voila' you've just provided a birdfeeder craft. The party committee will appreciate it more than you know.
You could also help out at the school carnival or music programs. Most of those events are usually at night, and may fit into your schedule better. Parents are often needed at evening and weekend sporting events too. Even high school events need parents help with driving the dance team to a competition, decorating the gym for grad night. Concession stands always need smiling faces to serve up hot dogs.
An often overlooked area of consideration is simply calling the teacher. Tell him/her that you'd love to help but that your schedule doesn't allow you to come in during the day. Guaranteed the teacher will have no problem giving you something to do.
So the next time your child asks you why you can't be at the party, remind her of the twenty six paper teddy bears you just cut out so that her whole class could enjoy learning about hibernation!