As I was figuring out the logistics of my daughter’s after-school activities, I posted a question on Twitter:
How do people with full-time jobs manage to drive their kids to afternoon extracurricular activities?@Momademia
— Dr Eva Lantsoght (@evalantsoght) February 15, 2022
This tweet gave me a lot of reactions, and I can summarize the main strategies as follows:
- No activities: A number of people replied that their kids just don’t do extracurricular activities.
- Late activities or on the weekends: Others replied that activities happen after work, so that the parents have time to drive their kids.
- Work from parked car or nearby coffee place while waiting: A number of parents indicated that they work while they wait for their children.
- Flexible schedules: Many parents indicated that they work a flexible schedule and make up time at night or on the weekend.
- Hire help: Hiring an Uber or babysitter who drives the children is the more expensive option parents mentioned.
- Carpooling with other parents: Setting up a carpool to divide and conquer with other parents is common as well.
- Let kids go alone: Those who live in safe cities mentioned that their kids take the bus, bike, or walk to their activities on their own.
- Switch with partner: Along with the flexible schedules, many parents indicate that they alternate with their partner to share the burden.
- Lower standards: Many parents also sent me reassuring comments on either lowering standards as a parent and at work, as well as trying to do it all but doing a mediocre job at most of it.
At the moment, my daughter is in Dutch classes (not at school), and music and gymnastics classes at her school. The after-school activity still requires driving her there and a pick up, which I organize together with my mother-in-law. The Dutch classes are relatively far, so they take an afternoon out of my schedule, and it took me months to get the hang of it (and still learning!). I’ve also been looking into ballet, tennis, and horse-riding for my daughter, but these options either coincide with what she already has, or are already booked full.
How do you combine driving your kid(s) to their activities with work?