Juggling school leadership whilst being a mum – 20 realistic tips 

My mum has a unique love of learning, she worked as a lecturer in mental health nursing. She loved her job, her students and most of all her subject. 

She taught a lot about the importance of communication and thus it was no surprise that every school report said that I was a chatterbox.

Her love of learning resulted in her gaining many qualifications – 26 letters isn’t bad. At one point, she worked full time and studied for a degree from 2 am – 4 am for a few years. She worked extremely hard and was a true academic. 

Without realising it, she socialised me in learning, immersed me in a love of books and perhaps more than she realised influenced me in progressing to heights of leadership.

Every girl needs a role model, I was lucky to have one living in my house. 

I have been blessed too as a mum, with a daughter and two sons. With the pressures of my job I am extremely challenged with how my job influences me as a role model at home. 

I find it really tough managing three children and not bringing my work home with me. I try to switch off at home times but it is hard when school life can creeps into family time. School functions and meetings can all take the focus away from your family. 

I definitely don’t have all the answers and to a large extent I’m still figuring parenting out. At each stage of my own children’s development, I’m learning about them and most of all myself.

So to date…

My top tips to survive leadership and be a good mum;

  1. Eat breakfast and dinner together every night. Ask lots of questions about your child’s day.
  2. Talk about your day – to anyone who will listen for ten minutes. I normally phone my mum or partner before I get home. Hands free is a blessing.
  3. Get a cleaner – unless you really love cleaning and it clears your mind it may be the best money you spend.  
  4. Go outside the house and garden, walk, play with the kids or exercise… Clear your head!
  5. Get your hair blow dried or visit the beauticians – me time is allowed!!
  6. Shop online – save your grocery shop in your favourites – I buy most clothes I wear online too but I do occasionally go to a personal shopper in large department store who has bags of energy.
  7. Read a magazine of newspaper – it makes you feel more human and gives you something else to talk about in school – other than school! It also models the value you place on reading.
  8. Get a hobby – mine is sewing and I dabble in painting when I can – crafts in general are always a hit with the kids, they like being involved.
  9. Plan holidays – always have something to look forward to with your family – and turn the emails off when you go. 
  10. Chores – you are part of a family that should function like a team teach your kids (and partner) to help. This is a huge life lesson! 
  11. Bake – nothing destresses me more than baking and the kids love helping not to mention eating what you have made.
  12. Have a cinema night in or out with your kids – it’s time out for you and time for them to hang out with a relaxed you. Occasionally eating sweets and chocolate with them is also very satisfying for all parties concerned.
  13. Try to make every hour of your weekend count. Go out and do things together, get into good habits that encourage family time. 
  14. Homework time – now this can be an issue. Late getting home with tired children is not a good start. It just has to be done. Accept it.
  15. Practice mindfulness, teach your children what to do if they feel stressed and use it yourself to refocus.
  16. The 7 minute workout app is a bit of a hit – kids laugh at me doing it but I feel better for it.
  17. Make time for your partner – go out for the ocassional date – they are your rock and deserve your a slice of your time. 
  18. Washing, ironing and putting away clothes – have a regular routine and get the kids to help. 
  19. Guilty mother syndrome is out there… We all get it as working parents. Try not to let it control you. 
  20. Laugh.. Cry .. Talk …never feel you can’t share tough times. The occasional coffee or drink with friends can give much needed perspective. 

If you can think of more please comment below… 

4 Responses

  1. Great tips! I am benefiting from mindfulness meditation and have downloaded a free 21 day course on Gratitude – amazing!
    Your mum sounds like a wonderful human! I bet she helps to keep you grounded and balanced – mental health is an issue very close to my heart. I’m also sure your own children are loving your focus on them – I wish I had this to read 16 years ago as I would have done things very differently. Hindsight…..
    Nichola (@carrutherssocks)

  2. jillberry102

    Really enjoyed this – balanced and practical, warm and human. Thanks for sharing. I hope you and your family are having a great summer and a very good break.

  3. Dorastar

    Am happy that I mostly do the ideas on the list. My other personal favourites are to sing, loudly in the car on the way home to ‘get rid of the day’ and to leave school stuff in the car boot until the kids have gone to bed. I also leave early (4.30 at the latest) one day each week and my son gives me a target time to pick him up – once or twice I have made sure I have smashed the target just to see the smile on his face.

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