Parents, how do you deal with weather related school closings?
As the latest snows blast portions of the U.S, I was curious as to how you handle school closings, especially if both parents work. Any tips or advice to the audience would be welcome.
Well, my wife works part-time, so there's a 50-50 chance there's no problem. She'll be home to take care of things. However, other times, I've had to burn a personal day. Luckily, I haven't had to do it, yet, but it is a possibility.
It's a rather conditional question, is it not? I'm rather old fashioned, so I'd first need to ask, what does it mean to be a parent, whatever the weather dictates? Handling school closings? Simple: The kids stay home with you. Then the parent that's THERE and fully available as their parent simply augments their education at home. It's not a loss, but more of a bonus.
Then, in all honesty, I'd have to amend it by saying more, in light of present-day realities. While being there for the kids always no matter the weather is an ideal, there's more going on now. Lifestyles dictate that is is the actual situation. Idealizing comes too late. So If both parents working is what's deemed the best choice, obviously, its requirments & pecadillos must be faced & resolved, too. Seems wise to have plans in place for the inevitables when that's decided. They will happen.
Some alternative plan for this weather situation (and countless other situations) should be in place, because weather and who-knows-what is going to happen inevitably. Shouldn't it get figured in when setting up the lifestyle whenever there are dependent children involved? Surely it's no surprise!
Couldn't one of the parents simply take work time off to be at home with the children when there's a major disrupting situation cauied by such inevitable school closings (or countless others)?
Such sudden situations aren't generational, but have occurred ever since schools have been in the mix! Parents always have needed to be alert to and aware of them - and prepared to handle them.
There are priorities involved, are there not? Children come first, right/
The other choices might be to leave them to fend for themselves or to have whomever could be found who is not also incapacitated by the storm look in on them. Not exactly parental concern - but. . . . what else would be expected if you can be there?
When I'm on duty, the girls dad is at home and vice versa...24/7. Whoever's due in at work the next day gets first dibs on sleep the night before. Whoever's off work is the front line defense against school closings and even child illness related school absences. Whatever the child care emergency, the parent off work is responsible. Our employers LOVE this arrangement. I even made a 9am job interview last week when our kids' school very unexpectedly closed. HR was impressed.
By pulling my hair out! While I love being cozied up at home with my kids on a snow day, the realities of missing a day of work often make it stressful. I have been lucky to be able to call on family to help for portions of the day so I can keep up with work. If you have neighbors with school/teenage children, it might be easy to find a playdate, mother's helper, or babysitter If not, I try to embrace it (have you ever let kids go crazy with a colander and a box of spaghetti??), enjoy the day, and know that I'll have to spend some night hours playing catch up at work.
I am extremely lucky that I am currently a stay home Mom, so I don't have to deal with it. While I am home now, I worked for the first 3 years I had kids (my daughter was just over 3 and my son was close to a year when I decided to stop). I will say, that thinking about things like school closings, school holidays, summer vacation, kids getting sick, etc... had a huge hand in my decision to stay home. My husband has a stressful job and he cannot just take off at the drop of a hat, so most of the responsibility fell on me. Who has that much vacation time to use at work? And if you do, you will use it all up and never be able to actually vacation with your family! I truly applaud families that are able to make it work, because I think that situation is so tough!!!
I have the ability to work from home most days, but my husbands company also has emergency back up care through Bright Horizons. We also have a good support system of friends in the area, a few whom are teachers and love our kiddos. But if the buses can't go to school I shouldn't be driving.
Fortunately for me, my mother in law is retired and is mostly available to help out if need be. Plus, she loves spending time with her granddaughter! It gives them some great quality time together. I know some people are traditionalists, and don't like that mums go out to work, but I am the primary breadwinner in my house, so have no choice really.
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