After school hours can be challenging for single parents, who often can't leave work to pick up their children or bring them to extra-curricular activities. Here, readers share real-life solutions for dealing with after school child care and transportation issues.
After School Dilemmas
- I try to stay involved with my child as member of the PTA board as well as making it a point to know parents from her Girl Scout troop and extracurricular activities she is involved in. This way I am continuously meeting new parents from her school. I build relationships and network with parents I meet so that we can call on each other when needed. This has been a great support. When it comes to some things, I just have to "bust my butt" to leave work on time to get her to her scheduled class or event on time. She attends an aftercare facility which she is no longer enjoying and asking if she could ride the bus and come home instead. She is 9 years old and would be home alone for about 1 1/2hours, so I am still debating.
- —Guest Gwen's Daughter
Pair Off for After-School Transportation
- It helps to arrange a carpool so you only have to drive once a week, or if you can't drive at all, to trade other services, from babysitting to cake baking, in return for someone else providing transportation.
- —Guest MamaLiz
Be an Organizer
- When I signed my kids up for their school's new band program, I did not know there would be weeknight rehearsals with other schools that were 45 minutes away.
But the kids love band, and they were learning so much by playing with better musicians. So I killed myself to get them to the rehearsals (we once arrived 45 minutes late because I got so lost).
Clearly, none of the other parents were happy about this either, and some declined to participate in the concert because of the rehearsals. So I asked the band director for a list of the other parents and I'm organizing a carpool for the next inter-school concert. It's a pain for me to set this up, but not as much of a pain as driving across the city during rush hour.
- —Guest LAMB
Verbalize your need
- I've found that contacting the cooridinator of the activity has been very helpful in connecting me with other parents who can help out. In some instances, we get a few of us in the same boat and rotate through. That way we are leaving work early once a month.
- —Guest JBmomma