Make Your Child's Year a Success With These Back-to-School Tips for Single Moms
Back-to-school is a stressful time for most moms. Ironing out all of the logistics required to get your child to school prepared, on time, and with all of the necessary supplies isn’t easy. As a single mom, you have the added responsibility of communicating and coordinating with your child’s other parent. With numerous considerations to keep track of, back-to-school season can be utterly overwhelming and leave you feeling like you just don’t know where to start.
You’re not in this alone. We’ve put together some back-to-school tips to help take some of the load off, and make it a smooth and rewarding process for both you and your child. We’ve also included a checklist that you can download and use to make sure all of the bases are covered.
Preparing your child for school involves packing lunches, getting them dressed and ready, and coordinating the ride, among other activities. You may have help from your co-parent, but much of the responsibility probably falls on you. Make sure to prepare your child’s supplies at least a day in advance so that nothing’s overlooked. Make lunches the night before. Lay out an outfit or two (kids like options!). Have a designated place to keep your child’s backpack so it’s easy to find in the mornings before school.
Bonus tip: Involve your child in the getting ready process. Let them help choose outfits, make lunches, and gather supplies. Not only does this save you time, but it empowers your child to make choices and instills a sense of responsibility for getting himself or herself ready for school.
Communication is arguably the most important consideration for single moms sending their kids back-to-school. Creating open lines of communication between you, your co-parent, and your child’s school is crucial to ensuring a successful school year for both you and your child.
If your child’s other parent is a part of their life, it’s critical to maintain regular communication to keep everyone in the loop and on schedule. Discuss and schedule pickups with your co-parent, inform them of any issues or successes your child is having at school, and make sure you’re on the same page with rules about homework and leisure time. Consistency between both parents will help normalize the experience for your child and help them to be emotionally, socially, and academically successful in school.
You should also initiate ongoing communication with your child’s teacher. Make sure they know the level of involvement you’d like to have in your child’s day-to-day experience. Share your contact information, including your email (teachers often prefer email communication for its simplicity). If you feel comfortable, let them know that you’re divorced and that both you and your co-parent will be involved in your child’s school experience throughout the year. Also, make sure to fill out the school’s emergency contact form with anyone who you’d want them to contact in the event you were unavailable.
Bonus Tip: Create a shared Google calendar for yourself, your co-parent, and any family or friends helping out with pickups, drop-offs, and after-school activities. This way, everyone is aware of the schedule and can easily check it as needed.
Ask for Help
You can and should seek out support to help you with all of the responsibilities that back-to-school brings. If you have family and friends nearby, ask them for help with pickups and drop-offs, driving to and from after-school
activities, and babysitting when you have an appointment, or just need a break.
Bonus Tip: Get to know other parents and work out a carpooling system. This helps both you and the other parents, affording you time to attend to other priorities. It’s also a great gas saver!
Back-to-school is especially tough for single moms, but by keeping these tips in mind, you’re off to an excellent start!
Get started checking items off of your list to make this the best school year yet!
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