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Stop Excluding Working Moms From School Events

Today's Humans of New York photo journal features a working mom echoing the same feelings and frustrations many women feel: the twinge of jealousy when we wish we could volunteer in our child's classroom, and the pull on our heartstrings when our child is alone at the Mother's Day Tea.

She says, "They make it tough for working mothers. I don't know why they have to schedule all of this stuff during the day." And she points out, "My first grader is playing a hammerhead shark in his class play—but it's at 11 in the morning. They scheduled the Mother's Day Tea on a Friday. But they put the Father's Day Tea on a weekend, of course. The other day, my first grader told me how lucky his friend was that his mom didn't work and could come to everything. That one hurt a little."

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It makes sense that most events are scheduled during the school day. That's when kids are in school. That's when teachers and staff are working. However, it's not just the working moms that miss out when they aren't able to participate in school events and volunteering. All of the children miss out as well. They miss out on what a working mom can bring to the table, the fascinating skills and knowledge that they have to give.

While it's frustrating to hear that a school would host a Father's Day event on a weekend, but not offer the same for Mother's Day, there are other ways to participate. Here are three outside-the-box ideas that give working moms the ability to be involved in the classroom, have their child feel special and benefit the entire class:

1. Virtual visit

Plan a FaceTime or similar meeting with your child's teacher. You can do an age-appropriate presentation about your job, what your company is working on or even show the kids how your keycard works. Allow time for the children to ask questions. It will be memorable for the kids and a fun break in the day for you.

2. Evening performances

Talk to your school principal or director about having performances in the evening. Plays, talent shows and graduations are fairly infrequent, so it could be easy to accommodate and as simple as just asking. There's something about being out at night that could add to the specialness of the occasion.

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3. Mom connections

Make an effort to form relationships with the moms in your child's class. Try hosting a monthly mom's night out or something similar. I've found when you have moms in the classroom that report back to you on your child, it makes you feel much more connected. They can text you pictures from field trips and tell you details about what's happening in the classroom. While it's not the same as being there, it really does warm your heart to know there are other moms on your team.

What are some unique ways you stay involved with your child and school? We'd love to hear how you remain connected while working full-time.

Image via HONY

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