Balancing a full-time career with being a mom is challenging enough. Mix that with back-to-school preparation and things can easily seem unmanageable. To help you keep things on track this season for an easier back-to-school, we’ve enlisted advice from VSP employee Caryn Ng. Caryn is an Operations Manager who leads a large support team. When not at work, she leads another team consisting of a five-year-old, three-year-old and 18-month-old.
“As a working mom with three little ones, I’ve discovered that each day provides me with a platform to try something new and solve a different problem. It’s the most challenging, yet most rewarding experience,” says Caryn.
Managing it all isn’t easy, but with a little practice and planning, you can get ready for a new school year without added stress. Below Caryn shares her back-to-school checklist along with a few tips that help her balance time between family and career.
- Purchase new backpacks, if needed. Amazon conveniently carries some of the best rated brands for kids, like Dabbawalla and JanSport.
- Coordinate carpool schedules with the Carpool-Kids app (it’s free).
- Take kids for their annual eye exam (if you don’t have a doctor, you can find one here).
- Stock up on fall/winter clothes from Old Navy and Nordstrom.
- Buy coffee. Lots. Of. Coffee.
With so much pressure to find the perfect mix of work-life balance, it can be hard to find time for self-care this time of year. Caryn recommends incorporating small changes, whether it be a new mindset, habit or mantra.
Caryn’s Tips for Finding Balance:
- Take time each day (even if it is 15 minutes) to reflect and rejuvenate – I do this after the kids go to sleep – either by working out, reading a book, or catching up with friends.
- Embrace the good and bad – take to heart “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. Because what working parent hasn’t had the challenge of trying to be on time for a big presentation and your child suddenly gets sick in the car before you drop them off?
- Encourage the kids to help around the house during downtime — win-win. I have three additional helpers folding laundry and putting dishes away instead of telling me they are bored.
She notes, “Back to school season is both exciting and nerve wracking for the kids. As a parent, it is important for me to be present in their lives and enjoy this milestone with them. This provides me with the motivation to figure a way to make it all work.”
Thanks for sharing your tips with us, Caryn. #WeSeeYouMom! Are you looking for more ways to prepare for an easier back-to-school? Enter to win a shopping spree to help with the cost of school supplies, clothes and fall essentials.