What Working Moms Ought To Know About Attending Daytime School Events

working mom attend school event

How on Earth Does Working Moms Manage To Attend Daytime School Events?

I often catch myself wondering if schools are built around at least one parent not working full time.

Dealing with the competing demands of daytime school events  plus meetings and deliverables in the office is a reality for working moms and dads.

RELATED: Dear Working Mother: Here Is How To Leave Work On Time

Current example

We have puzzle mornings taking place this term and parents are encouraged to sign up and join in  (sessions are 7h30am – 08h45am). A well-meaning comment from someone (I am not mentioning names but you know who you are): “are you only doing one puzzle morning, I see moms’ names down four to five times.”

Hold your horses buddy; I don’t look at what other parents do. I look at what I can do based on my circumstances.

I am sorry, I cannot just attend stuff happening at 8 am whenever I feel like it.

[bctt tweet=”I will do what I can based on my circumstances. I will not compare myself to other parents. Comparison is the thief of joy.” username=”cherralle_”]

Do not forget the important stuff

You don’t want your child to be the one child who did not wear slippers on Slipper Day (I did not forget this, by the way, it is merely an example).

Once I forgot that it was Barefoot Day (the fact that this is a thing was news to me). Thankfully, this was quite easily solved – her shoes were just removed. Close one!

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Then there is the omniscient Newsletter

Our weekly Newsletter is an all important document.  I have dubbed it: The Newsletter of Truth.

The Newsletter Of Truth pretty much controls my life. I look forward to reading it on a Friday afternoon!

Newsletter of Truth Rules

  1. If something is not in the Newsletter, it is not happening *
  2. If something is in The Newsletter, it is happening *
  3. If you have a question, first check The Newsletter


*No one can override the Newsletter of Truth, no one.

I joke, but in all fairness, the newsletter is packed with important information.  Such as show and tell themes for that week and any other things they need to bring to school. It really is zero effort to read it.

Top Tip: Buy a kiddie encyclopedia (with lots of pictures). This will cover the most show and tell topics.

Now, on a serious note. Although I like ranting and raving about the school stuff, I do enjoy taking part in my child’s education.

I don’t see education as something happening in school with a teacher. Education happens in school with parents and caregivers participating. It also happens at home.

Here is what I have learned over the last few years. I am a work in progress and by no means achieve this all the time.

What Working Moms Ought To Know About Attending Daytime School Events


working mom_attend preschool event

Plan ahead of time

A calendar is issued ahead of time (termly or monthly) allows parents to plan ahead. When you get the calendar, block out your work diary asap. The keyword here is ‘work diary.’ Not your personal google calendar.

Just block it out, and you can then work around that time. If any work meetings has to be scheduled, people will see that you are busy! And then you are in control of what you can and cannot make.

You can always work around work commitments and then decide which school events you can make.

RELATED: Leaving Your Baby At Daycare For The First Time: Top Tips for Mom and Baby


You may not attend the school baking day, but you would prefer to attend the sports day as you regard this as more important. It is okay to pick and choose the ones that you will attend.

Share the load

If both parents are up for it, you can make an arrangement where each parents takes a turn to attend a school function.

Currently, my husband and I split the school daytime events where it makes sense for us. Although, I do a bit more events as he takes the children to the doctor. That is what works for us right now.

Open communication with the teacher

Chat with your child’s school teacher at the start of the term about what you can and cannot make.

Teachers can step in and take care of kids whose parents don’t arrive. I have seen it at school functions where the teacher steps in. In this way, it is still a fun day for the children.

Yes, it is very challenging. However, active participation in our child’s schooling is essential. So, we need to make a plan.

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Some moments are priceless – and trade offs will be needed

I always think, I am not making the mothers tea at school, but I am making a meeting at work (let’s be honest, all meetings are not equally important). Where will be my presence make the most impact?

Seeing the joy on my daughter’s face when I catch her eye as she is sitting in class. I watch her as she nudges her friend next to her and tells her friend ‘There is MY mommy‘. That is priceless.

Yes we want to excel at work and pay the bills, but I think we should try.  Booking leave is an option if we need to.  And prioritize the most important events.

But try we have to.

How do you manage to attend daytime school events?

[bctt tweet=”Some moments are priceless – and trade offs will be needed to experience those moments” username=”cherralle_”]



Author: Cherralle

Mom, wife and career loving parent. This blog focus on career and work life topics for mothers.

11 thoughts on “What Working Moms Ought To Know About Attending Daytime School Events”

  1. Really relevant topic! And definitely so important… I take leave for sports days and where I can to support her. She knows that mama works and that’s okay, we attend everything we can and support in all ways we are able to. Definitely not opting to help out in the tuckshop or drive the sports teams to the different schools, but it’s what we can manage and it works for our family. I woke up late with this one, and missed a few days a year or two ago landed up at one by chance but the difference in my child that day. Made me set aside time for it and prioritise! Xx

    1. Thank you Venean. Definitely do what you can. I also steer clear of the non compulsary ones (like helping out on library morning type stuff) -it is not doable. However, I try for the important ones. Listen, my one is only in grade 00 (not even “real school” yet) but it is already getting a lot! Thank you for commenting and you are doing so well Venean, love your blog!

  2. Good topic. That planning ahead of time is a challenge if you’re not used to annual things. Like every year the concert and kiddie class photos take place in one particular month. I felt last year that they should give us a planner so that we can expect things ahead of time.

    1. A planner at least a month ahead can make the world of difference. Don’t be afraid to ask, maybe they need you to plant the idea. Thank you

  3. I’ve been fortunate to either attend day time events myself or have my mom/another parent stand I got me. You are so right with regard to which events will impact most, positive or negative. Then also helping others by being a stand in parent for other kids whose parents aren’t able to attend.

    1. I’m definitely more conscious now of stepping in to help others because I am certain they do it for my child. Thank you 🙏🏽

  4. Even though my time Is quite flexible there are moments where I can’t attend a school event. I feel guilty but I’ve also decided to put myself ahead of certain things and I value your insight in the same breath I try be the mom that the other kids can rely to be made a fuss of if a parent can’t represent it’s give and take even between parents. I’m going to share this on some class groups as there can be some seriously judgy parents either way

    1. Thank you. After writing this and reading all your guys’ comments it’s made me more conscious of stepping in for those kids whose parents cannot make it. Thank you chanene

  5. I love how you immediately put emphasis of the idea on at least one parent not working. I had to quit my day job and do freelance work from home to be there for my 3 kids all the time, especially when i’m needed at their school. But I definitely agree with you, some moments are priceless and they are definitely worth trading off for. As a parent, nothing makes our lives more fulfilling than being there for our children every step they take and I would never trade that for anything.

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