What happens when mom heads back to work?

After a hiatus of 10 years, I will be working a part-time job in an office this fall. I will be teaching a college journalism course about online media this semester covering blogging, social media, photo and video editing and web design.

I have worked pretty much since giving birth to Rose but it’s always been at home and completely around my schedule as a mom.

With this new position, I actually have to attend meetings, have office hours and be in a classroom.

I only have to be at the college for 5 hours a week to teach my class and can plan my lessons and grade their projects from home. Lilina will be in preschool 15 hours a week so I am hoping to get everything done while she’s at school.

It is a rite of passage for many stay-at-home moms that once the last child becomes school-age they start working some or full-time outside the home. I’ve had many friends who were at home with me head back to work in offices in the last few years, and it has been quite a change for their families.

Even with this just being a few hours a week, our family is feeling the transition. I had three full days of training last week (and two more days this week) so Dad got the kids off to school while I headed downtown to work.

I think this shake up is good for our family because it really makes each of us appreciate the other one’s roles and contributions.

Here are some things we have learned this week:

  • I have learned that driving in morning and afternoon traffic is not fun. I have also learned that I don’t want to be told what went wrong during the day as soon as I walk through the door so I shouldn’t do that to Michael.
  • I also have learned that you do need some time when you walk in to become mom or dad again after being your work persona all day.
  • Michael has learned that three separate pick-ups and drops offs are no fun, especially not with an exhausted 4-year-old who just wants to nap peacefully.
  • After three consecutive days of training, my house was a mess and we had eaten plain pasta, pizza and take out Chinese. I will have to up my game to be organized and have the meals and house the way I want them.

I also think the change is good for me personally.

I am having to release control on some things at home. I asked Michael to take over paying bills for a few months while I get acclimated. And he’s been handling the kids’ homework with them last week and this week. It’s odd not to know what is due at school.

I am really excited to be out of the house and with adults. I love to teach, and I am excited to share my experiences and knowledge with the students. I am also thrilled to be in a college environment with so much energy.

As always I am looking advice on how to pull this off gracefully:

Were you a stay-at-home mom who transition to working part-time or full-time outside of the home?  How did the transition go? What helped you get a handle on both worlds? What is your best advice about heading back to an office? What was the hardest part for you? What are the pitfalls?

– Theresa Walsh Giarrusso, Momania on ajc.com. You can follow me on Twitter or Facebook.

60 comments Add your comment

motherjanegoose

August 15th, 2011
5:15 am

I have never been a stay at home mom. I have had a job for almost 35 years. Since college, I have always been in education. I have had weeks off during the school year and in the summer. The weeks I do not have to travel and work away from home are SO much more relaxing but I love what I do and would not want to be a SAHM. Plus I like earning my own money, making a contribution and being able to buy things without feeling guilty. I also have met oodles of wonderful adults and children by working and would not have traded that experience.

You can learn to juggle and balance and find your way. Being organized helps and also not procrastinating. I typically combine my errands and do a big shop twice a month, for groceries. I have two refrigerators and they were full, when the kids were home. Not so much now. I will not run into a store for one or two items unless we HAVE to have them. I do a load of laundry most every day instead of letting it pile up.

TWG is the Phoenix area traffic bad? I have not been there in a few years but I always thought it was a snap compared to Atlanta. Just curious, why do you have to drop off and pick up your kids? Mine road the bus, is there not bus service…just wondering.

My house is never pristine but I lived in that world with my own mother and do not worry about it. We fought constantly with her and is not happening here. I am clean but we can get piles of clutter, when I am not on top of it. Summer and winter break is a major clean out and purge stuff we do not need. It is much easier to keep things up when my kids are now both at college.

I want to say a shout to all the single parents out there who work a full work week and come home to manage a family alone…you are amazing!

I have never understood woman who have never ever worked outside the home. I would go kukoo at home forever but that may just be me. Some here think I am kukoo, even though I have always worked :).

TWG kudos to you to be able to find a job you like and share what you know.

jarvis

August 15th, 2011
8:10 am

Theresa, I think this is great. How did you learn of the opportunity?

RJ

August 15th, 2011
8:13 am

@MJG, just as you prefer to work, there are those that enjoy raising their kids. It’s nothing wrong with either, just a personal preference.

I have done both and I really enjoyed having the ability to stay at home with my kids. We did so many fun and wonderful things together that I would’ve only gotten to do during the summer months when I was off. I also worked from home teaching private piano and voice lessons. It allowed me to earn some money, plus I performed whenever possible.

Theresa you have been blessed to enjoy the past 10 years at home with a flexible schedule, but you will find that once you organize everything, it will all work out. Let Michael take on more responsibilities with the kids and enjoy your new job.

Reason/Logic

August 15th, 2011
8:25 am

Wow, RJ, that’s a nice false dichotomy you’ve set up there: “…just as you prefer to work, there are those that enjoy raising their kids.”

Some folks do both.

Gtmom

August 15th, 2011
8:33 am

I think it is great when you have a choice. As a working mother, I would love the opportunity to stay at home or to at least work part time. I am finding that the work/balance thing is getting harder as the kids are getting older. I was so sad that I did not even get to meet my son’s teachers this past week when he started school. I will probably never see them. I hate that. I also hate that when I get home in the afternoon, I have one hour with my children to get them fed and ready to bed. Homework better have gotten done in afterschool. I can’t even add on an afterschool activity.

But saying that, I know that being a stay at home mom is tough. But it is a tough job that most people I know LOVE. Working part time has to be the best of both worlds.

I hope you enjoy your new job. When you are feeling overwhelmed, know that most of us feel the same way. I only get about 2 hours sleep on Sunday night knowing that I have to get up at 430 Monday morning…and I get anxious about my work week and all that I have to do. I swear it will be 130 am on Monday morning and I will jump out of bed because I remembered I forgot to pack my son’s daycare bag…diapers and clothes. Or I forgot to pack my lunch bag.. or I didn’t get my older son’s field day shirt clean…etc etc. But we do make it through the week and by Friday, I start sleeping again.

djm_NC

August 15th, 2011
8:35 am

theresa…one thing you need to go is get a 2nd refigerater. and maybe a small freezer. there are many things that, when you cook, you can do a double or triple batch, like soups, stews, casseroles, spag sauce, chilli, lasagna…etc…make the extra batches -it just takes a tad longer for prep….and freeze the rest.take the frozen meal out in the morning-when you get home you only have to heat it up and slap a salad or whatever together. keeping good suppers on the table has always been my worst thing as a working mom. since your job is only 5 hours away from home-you should be able to adjust ok…its time to start making the kids do their share of the chores (if they havent already) they can keep their rooms clean and put away their own laundry, help gather the trash on trash day-also help in the kitchen-setting the table and making the salad or whatever. they need to knowhow to do these things anyway and there are chores even your youngest one can do. the think that is going to help you the most is to let go of things. everyone has their way of doing something-and all of those ways are possibly right. so let the fact that you want things done a certain way go and let it be done michaels or the kids way….as long as the end result is satisfactory it really doesnt matter which technique is used.

if you do the cook ahead thing and involve the kids in daily chores that will be a huge help!!

motherjanegoose

August 15th, 2011
8:36 am

@ Reason…I do enjoy both and my schedule has been somewhat flexible. Our house is empty now
( two in college) and I miss my children but I have my own interests and a job I love. It works for me and my family.

motherjanegoose

August 15th, 2011
8:38 am

@djm_NC…glad to see you. I was wondering how you were and how the new job is going.

homeschooler

August 15th, 2011
8:38 am

Funny, I have always considered myself a SAHM even though I have worked all along. I was blessed to get an after hours position just before my son was born. With just a little help from relatives and my husband being home at night, we never had to pay for daycare etc.. I would have definitly quit my job had it required me to be gone from the kids all day. Like RJ said, just a personal preference.

I am at that age where my SAHM friends are all thinking about or have tried going back to work. Most of our kids are all in elementary school and here is what many have found. (even the ones who only work the hours the kids are in school) They feel like they are missing field trips, eating lunch with the kids, class parties etc.. Many would like to volunteer and be more involved in the class activities and have not been able to. Some have decided to quit work (again) and stay home a little longer.

Everyone has to find what’s right for them. I never planned to work but, my working has helped my family in ways that I did not expect it to. I’m kind of controlling when it comes to raising the kids, so, I feel like my husband being alone with them at night has strengthened their relationship with him. They are also very bonded with grandparents who have helped watch them and would not have needed to if I was home all the time.

HB

August 15th, 2011
8:56 am

Sounds like a good opportunity for you and your family — congrats, Theresa!

yuki

August 15th, 2011
9:08 am

RJ, to imply that those of us who work are not “raising our kids”, is just plain stupid.

I have worked full time since I was right out of college. Some women dream of being SAHMommies, I always knew I’d be a professional. I spend all of my free time with my son, and we are very close. Yes, it’s hard to balance everything but you make it work. Theresa, you will figure out what works for your family.
Best of luck to you!

Jeff

August 15th, 2011
9:12 am

Contests TWG! I hope you enjoy the shift. A little change is always a great opportunity in so many ways, both personally and professionally. Even in a worst case scenario, it’s an opportunity to learn what you don’t like.

I especially enjoy the attitude that it’s an opportunity for both husband and wife to appreciate each other more. It’s great for the relationship in the long run.

Jeff

August 15th, 2011
9:13 am

Sorry, meant congrats but auto spell check/correct bit me again.

Erica

August 15th, 2011
9:16 am

Congrats to Theresa on the new career opportunity. It’s always good to shake things up a bit. It may take a few weeks, but your family (and you) will adjust to this new change and get into a routine that works for your family. I think every family has to find out what type of schedule works for them (no matter what anyone else thinks) and roll with it.

As for me, I have never had the option of being a SAHM,and while I am most appreciative of having had a fruitful career (thus far) and being able to provide (along with DH) a good quality of life for my child, I sometimes wish that I could stay home for a few years with her. Like most working moms, I feel like the world’s most proficent juggler. Typically I do “big cooking” twice to three times per week, so that we’ll have leftovers, and I don’t have to rush in cooking. I have a job that requires some travel, so it’s at those times that I really long to be at home with my little one. Like one of the posters, I do a daily wash load of my daughter’s clothes, so they don’t pile up, and then a weekly load for the adult clothes. I lay out my clothes and hers for the next day on the night before and pack her backpack and put it in DH’s car (he’s the morning drop off parent). I’ve been on vacation for the past week and I really see the benefit of being a SAHM, as you really have more quality time with your kid. But, it is what it is, so with some organzization, you can work and tend to your family as well. Also, DH is pretty helpful and cooperative as well and really pulls his weight with caring for our little girl. Having grandma local is also a HUGE help.

JJ

August 15th, 2011
9:56 am

@Erica – How many clothes does your daughter wear a day, for you do have to do a wash load every day?

motherjanegoose

August 15th, 2011
9:57 am

TWG…you probably need to make a list and decide what is most important to you. This is different for everyone. Family meals were more important than a spotless house, for me. Not everyone would agree. I cooked a full meal at least 5 nights per week, when the kids were home but only swept and vacuumed twice a week. Bathrooms were cleaned once a week. We rarely ate take out or pizza ( during the week) unless the day was a disaster or I was traveling. Now, I still feel weird just leaving for a business trip and not cooking or preparing a list for what to eat. Since my husband is 50 and here with the dog…he should be able to manage.

And, Theresa, on a related topic...

August 15th, 2011
10:11 am

…how will you be handling Michael (and better yet, how will Michael be handling) being home every Saturday now that he will not be going to UGA football games? I remember you writing about this a couple of years ago, wondering how he would handle the requisite Saturday kids’ sports during UGA home football…should be interesting to hear both of your takes on this…

CPT

August 15th, 2011
10:20 am

mjg: “but only swept and vacuumed twice a week”

Only? Wow! I’m feeling good if I sweep or vacuum once every two weeks! Obviously having a spotless house isn’t my priority either.

Techmom

August 15th, 2011
10:23 am

I am a “Work At Home Mom” and have been since my son was in 3rd grade. It’s still a juggling act b/c even though I don’t have to leave my house to work, I still juggle a full-time job with being a mom and a wife but it sure does beat commuting. I didn’t dislike going in the office, it was the 3 hours a day I wasting in my car. I also am very thankful that I’ve had this opportunity as my son has gotten older. As much as parents want to stay home when their children are young, I honestly think it’s harder to work as they get older and have after-school activities & homework.

TWG – I think this is great. Good luck with the 15 hours per week in preschool though. I think you’ll need to consider more (I’m guessing that’s 3 half-days right now?) Even though you have to be at the school 5 hours per week, I think you’ll find yourself needing more uninterrupted work time if you’re supposed to be driving back and forth and working during those 15 hours plus you’ll need time to grade and prep for class. It sounds like you can balance it with family responsibilities but I wouldn’t be surprised if you need to go to 3 full-days.

djm_NC

August 15th, 2011
10:23 am

hello to you MJG! thanks for asking about us! ive posted a couple of times…once specificall to you in response to one of your posts…cant remember which one now…its hard to go back and keep with who responded etc. i have that empy nest thing going on too. i like my new job-a very pleasant enviornment, plus unreal great benefits!-and you know how i hated that W place lol. i start my fall classes wednesday-5 hard classes, but im trying to get finished as fast as i can, so im taking pretty fulll loads. i keep up with your family via here…im glad yall are all doing well! my youngest daughter started her lab tech program just today. she is very excited about it. shes smart as a whip so im sure she will do well.

i think you and i are a lot alike in our thinking…lots of times you have beaten me to line and posted almost exactly what i woul have…so i just dont post rather than repeating lol…there should be a like button here..or a icon to click on to reply to a certains persons post. it would be lots easier to keep track of who posted something you want to reply to…and to see replies to your post.

im home with my back out today…so please pray its betting tomorrow…im trying to save all my PTO time for when the baby comes and snow days.

hope you (and everyone) has a great day–

djm_NC

August 15th, 2011
10:32 am

sorry for all the typos…im sure what i said can be figured out even with the mistakes. i had to take a pain pill and i dont do well with them. im a tad loopy today.
i agree with MJG….good suppers were more important than a clean house. well it was always clean but could get pretty messy-still can even with just me here! kudos to you for vacuming 2 times week lol…mine get ever week or so. sweeping more often. i didnt get a single thing done this weekend because of my back…:((…

i was wondering too about the UGA games. i know michael is going to miss those!

SingleMommy

August 15th, 2011
10:39 am

I have been a stay at home mother for 9 months now and have out of the work force for even longer. I am currently looking for a full time position and am absolutely terrified to leave my son during the day. For now he will be with family but that is only going to last until I get settled. I have never had to look about inquires to daycare and would not know where to start. As a mother, I believe I am the best person to care for him and am terrified to leave him with caregivers that I will barely know. How can I get ease of mind by returning to work and knowing that the people that I leave with him are qualified and most importantly, not abusive to infants?

djm_NC

August 15th, 2011
10:48 am

@singlemom–i know how you feel. i would suggest looking into home care places. i did daycare in my home for a few years and was registered with the state. i cant remember what organization it was, but they investigate regularly and you can get the opinions of the other parents regarding the person doing the day care. i suggest this because it is easy to get opinions plus the people who run things in their homes are not allowed to keep but a few kids.

Lori

August 15th, 2011
10:50 am

I’ve always been a working mom and I feel guilty about it everyday. I don’t like having to leave my son in the care of strangers during the day. He always hated daycare. He’s in school now, but still has to stay in after-school. I feel like I miss out on so much. He does his homework at after-school, so I never get to help him with it. He hates it so he constantly asks why I have to work. Now I’m having a new baby and it’ll start all over again with me leaving my tiny child in the care of strangers all day.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with being a SAHM. I can’t stand people who talk down about them. I have never been one, but I wish for all the world I could afford to be. I wouldn’t go crazy not having a job. I’d be able to do so much more than I can now. I could be the room mother at school, I could help my poor mother with her farm before it kills her. I could actually prepare meals for my family instead of the same old boxed crap that we eat every day. I could spend more time with my son. Right now by the time he gets home, I have only 2 hours a day with him before bed time. It’s not enough.

motherjanegoose

August 15th, 2011
10:58 am

@ SingleMommy…when you visit a child care center, find out how long the employees have been working there. If it is like a merry go round, with folks coming and going all the time, you may need to walk out. I have two that I would strongly recommend, in Lilburn and Alpharetta but I am not sure if you are in the metro area.

@djm…hope you are feeling better soon. Send me some pictures :0.

@ Lori..There is absolutely nothing wrong with being a SAHM. I agree 100%. It was simply not for me. I grew up with one and she never seemed happy. When we became adults, we tried to get her to go out for a job but she did not want to do that either. We thought she might enjoy being around adults as she did not seem to enjoy us as children.

RJ

August 15th, 2011
10:59 am

@reason, I meant to say “stay at home and raise kids”. For the record, I’m an educator and I DO BOTH everyday! Thanks though!

djm_NC

August 15th, 2011
10:59 am

@lori-i have been on both sides of that too. i loved when i was able to stay home with my kids…there have been a lot more times when i wasnt able to. you do miss so much….for the moms who like to work thats fine…and for the ones who dont have to–lucky you! even now-as a grandmother i miss so much of my grandkids lives. i really hate it. but you have to do what you have to do. my working all the time and going back to school have taught kids great work ethics and they are very independant. you have to give a positive attitude to your kids about your working…if people want to have things they want or need then you have to work for it. my oldest daughter is definately not cut out for being a sahm….some women arent., and thats ok…you just have to go with the flow. and you have to teach your kids to go with too…there isnt a choice sometimes-you just have to help your child realize its for the best of all that you work.

lwa

August 15th, 2011
10:59 am

@ Theresa.. make the both of both worlds and your family will be happy.

1. Buy a crock pot. You can put meat in the pot at night. It is ready in the morning. I typically make a few side dishes on Sunday for us to have the rest of the week. It is ok to plan in a pizza night or have leftovers.

2. The children will be ok if you are not there to go over homework, give a bath, etc. You do have a partner to help. Let Michael help, without fussing. Emrace the kids becomming a little more independent at times..

3. Enjoy the time discovering who Theresa is. Your kids will graduate in a few years (time goes quickly) and unfortunately, if you drown yourself in their world, you will be lost and a wreck when the house is empty.

4.Lay out clothes for the week if possible for everyone. This will save time in the mornings. I don’t allow too many choices when it comes to clothes during the week.

5. Plan meals with few ingredients if you don’t have time.

6. Enjoy the downtime in the car when you are riding by yourself. We mothers don’t get a lot of down time.

Be flexible. Everything is not going to work out when you want them to but it will be ok.

RJ

August 15th, 2011
11:00 am

@yuki, I realize that my post was not clear. My fault, working mom here had to get ready for her first class of the day!

lwa

August 15th, 2011
11:01 am

@ RJ: Are you suggesting that Theresa homeschool the kids? If the kids are in school during the day, how are they not being raised???

djm_NC

August 15th, 2011
11:05 am

iwa–great advice

lwa

August 15th, 2011
11:06 am

@ RJ.. thanks for the clarification…..

jarvis

August 15th, 2011
11:15 am

It’s quite a double-standard with me. I have zero respect for stay-at-home dads. Can’t explain it.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

August 15th, 2011
11:16 am

I agree — it’s all very good advice that I will use!!

I don’t think I would have taken a job where I couldn’t be there to pick them up and help with homework but we do have a choice. (They even worked with me to pick the most convenient session of the class for me which I really appreciated!) The job isn’t necessary for us to live, but it’s nice to do something for me (improve my skills, build my resume) and have a little extra money. It’s really more that it was a great opportunity for me that we could manage the hours. I think like with any teacher, the first semester is going to be very rough and then after should get easier. I’ll have all my power points developed and my lesson plans prepared Right now I am still figuring a lot out, including the classroom technology just to show them what you are working on. (I told my kids I was intimidated by the smart boards and my 8 year old proceeded to explain to me how it works.) I think the kids think it’s neat that I am teaching and have been excited about it. They like to go by the college. Just pray I do a good job!!

Gtmom

August 15th, 2011
11:18 am

Lori – Oh gosh.. I know how you feel.. It is very hard to concentrate on work when you wonder “what are they doing right now?” Or is he getting all the help he needs on his homework. I leave my house at 515 and do get home until 6-630. My boys go to bed at 730. I do cook a lot. Since I am a health nut, most of it is steamed veggies which is easy. There just isn’t enough time. I haven’t actually sat down in my living room in maybe 6 months – who has time to sit? I would love to sit down with my husband and watch a movie.

My boys know that I love them. I am sure yours does too. I think I could find not working very enlightening. I would volunteer. I might actually meet my son’s teacher! I do like my coworkers but I like me kids more!

Theresa, be very organized. Do not procrastinate anything. The bathtub gets cleaned as soon as you get out. The laundry gets done daily. Grocery shop once a week.. make a menu and stick to it. And remember no matter how tired you are, that it might be the last time your child ask you to do something. I worked 16 hours the other day and my older son asked me to tuck him in. He is 6 and he is getting where he hardly ever ask it. I was already in in bed since I had been up since 230 am. I first said, “no, you are big boy. you need to put yourself to sleep” – which he usually does. Then, I realized, I know I am tired but how much longer will he ask me to tuck him in. That night could have been the last. I got my tired self out of bed in a flash to tuck him in!

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

August 15th, 2011
11:18 am

MJG – I agree if she’s near Lilburn Ms. Liz has the best the place in town. Everyone goes there and they are wonderful!

motherjanegoose

August 15th, 2011
11:21 am

@ lwa…thanks for sharing this:
3. Enjoy the time discovering who Theresa is. Your kids will graduate in a few years (time goes quickly) and unfortunately, if you drown yourself in their world, you will be lost and a wreck when the house is empty.

I am right here now and know some moms who are having a very hard time with their empty nest, as their lives revolved around their kids 24/7. I have had my own interests and while I miss my daughter fiercely, I want her to enjoy her time at college. Our son has been mostly out for the past 6 years and I love meeting up with him or picking his brain via phone/text/e-mail but it is not the same ( for me) as mother and daughter. My husband was more lost when our son left and he felt the void. I did not cry when either of mine left. I was sad to see them go but knew they were heading off to a new chapter in their lives and I could add more chapters to mine.

I am delighted that my daughter’s new roommate loves to paint. My daughter has been painting with her over the weekend, at her apt. This skill will certainly come in useful and is one I could never teach her. I am way too impatient to paint.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

August 15th, 2011
11:21 am

I have a second topic up at 12:30 — so check back in!

Kat

August 15th, 2011
11:24 am

Good luck to you and your family, Theresa! I’ve worked from home, worked in an office – both ways with kids. And, I’ve been a SAHM. I’ve loved it all. Work on your organization so you can prioritize effectively. The more organized you are – the more you’ll be able to do with your children when you are out of class. Best wishes for your class!

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

August 15th, 2011
11:24 am

GTmom – that made me tear up! All good thoughts.

yuki

August 15th, 2011
11:36 am

@RJ, sorry for the snap. I just get defensive when I feel that others are saying I’m not raising my own child because I happen to work. I feel that you CAN do both!

MomsRule

August 15th, 2011
11:38 am

@SingleMommy – I feel your anxiety! My best advise for you when looking for childcare is to trust your instincts! You have them for a reason. If something doesn’t “feel” right then it isn’t. It doesn’t have to make sense or be logical. Also, don’t disregard any changes in your son. It is amazing how much an infant can let us know without the use of words. Follow your instincts, that’s number one!

Second, if the center doesn’t like “drop in visits” then that is a red flag IMO. I never left my children anywhere that didn’t welcome my unannounced visits at any point through out the day.

Good luck to you! It is tough but you will make it! The first day is the hardest. And each day after when you pick him up and see that he is indeed not only ok but thriving it will get a little easier.

Tiger Ochocinco Mellencamp

August 15th, 2011
11:46 am

Returning to the work force and contributing in this way when the demands of your home responsibilities lessen is the way it should be, right? On the hand, expecting the family to step up as a whole and make a little sacrifice for the betterment of another member of the family is also the way it should be, right?

I see nothing here to praise or criticize.

Lori

August 15th, 2011
12:04 pm

Gtmom, nice comment. Mine is 8 and I still scratch his back at night to tuck him in. He’ll be getting hugs and kisses and back scratches from me as long as he wants them (and probably longer)!

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

August 15th, 2011
12:07 pm

@singlemommy – I also think asking around and find the place where everyone recommends. L. wasn’t in preschool last year but every conversation i had with moms at the elementary school was where did you send your child for preschool and basically what came out of it was a top 3 with one that most people I used. I started my investigations with those. You always have to investigate for yourself. I wouldn’t just trust people because you have to make sure it’s right for you or hasn’t changed but at least it gives you a starting point. I do the same thing for doctors. When Rose needed an orthodontist a couple of years ago I asked my babysitter’s mother.. She is a smart women who had one in college and one in HS so I knew she had been there done that and she gave me the best guy! I called and learned about him and she was right. so I do think recs from other moms is a great starting place.

If you are in gWinnett and near Lilburn Dales Sikes near Beaver Ruin is excellent. One of the teachers for the older class Miss Liz was our Girl Scout leader for three years and she is awesome. All of Rose’s friends went there as kids and the parents all loved it. It’s been around since I was young. I think it’s a great place to start looking if you’re on that side of town. Maybe others can suggest places north, south and west of the city.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

August 15th, 2011
12:09 pm

At home my 8 year is still lovey but at school I got the big brush off this morning — you don’t have to do that he said as I headed toward him for a hug on the playground. But later it will be a different tune!! (that’s ok!)

JJ

August 15th, 2011
12:55 pm

I am so done with this blog.

Good luck to you Theresa……

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

August 15th, 2011
1:10 pm

MJG – I didn’t see the questions earlier – the traffic is bad at rush hour – i don;’t think bad like Atlanta but you definitely have to add in extra time and certain parts of the freeway get back up and bumper to bumper — they use metered ramps to pace out cars getting on — We live so close to R. school that no bus and now Walsh is so far away no bus and L. in preschool no bus.

Tiger Ochocinco Mellencamp

August 15th, 2011
1:40 pm

“We live so close to R. school that no bus and now Walsh is so far away no bus and L. in preschool no bus”

As a teacher of ‘blogging and social media” now…could you do me a favor and teach your students that fragmented sentences with abbreviations and grammar that no one can decipher degrades communication and makes them appear as if they spent a lot of money on a college education only to write like a 12 year old?

JATL

August 15th, 2011
2:29 pm

I went back to work full time in Jan. ‘09 after almost 4 years at home. My transition was made far easier by having a nanny for those first 9 months instead of having to deal with drop offs, sick days, packing lunches, etc. I highly recommend a nanny if you can do it ( usually not very realistic for part-time). It helped break the transition up in pieces and I’m thankful. A whole new element of stress is added with kids at school, getting them ready and out the door! How to do it all gracefully? Hmmm -not sure that’s entirely possible, especially when they’re still very young and need a bit of help on the morning. My top advice is:

Always pack lunches the night before! Don’t forget your own!

If any school bags or your gym bag, supplies, special snacks, etc. are needed the next day, pack the night before and put in the car if possible.

Buy and use a crock pot and other stuff like “10 min recipes” “Campbells 30 minute recipes” -that
sort of thing. Remember, you can really modify many recipes to make them far healthier!

Keep a family calendar on Google or something and use it -you and Michael! Keep your phone calendar synched with it!

Stay on top of the laundry. Do tons of it on the weejend and a load a night if needed so you don’t come up short. Start the week with all clean towels, undies and must-haves (uniform components if applicable, gym clothes, etc.).

Prepare anything you can ahead of time. If it’s one of the kids turns to bring the snack in kindergarten on Friday, buy non-perishable items like Chex Mix or Graham Crackers on Sunday and deliver them to the class at drop off Monday. That way you don’t forget or find yourself suddenly remembering and making a midnight grocery run the night before!

Good luck and congratulations!