The back-to-school season is upon us, and managing the conflicting demands of school, work, and family can be very challenging. If you're like me, you want to please everyone and say yes to everything.

47% of the workforce is females and 70% of that is working mothers.

I think as women we try to do everything. We think we can do it all and we can handle it all. And I think the message here is to give yourself some grace with staying on time and being organized. Know that you’re not alone.

Below are 6 tips to help working mothers balance back-to-school time:

1. Be present. Don't focus on what you aren't doing.

By being in the moment you are much more productive and have a greater chance of enjoying what you are doing. Others around you will be happier as well. There is nothing worse then working with someone or trying to spend time with someone and the person is distracted.  

A working mother shopping online for back-to-supplies from Office Depot.

2. Set a schedule for the week and get organized.

Before saying yes to an extra task look at your calendar. Make a list of what is most important to you. Then schedule what you can around it. If making it to that gym class or getting to your kids after school baseball game is priority then schedule around it. There is enough time in the week to break away once in awhile to do what is important to you.

3. Reward yourself.

All work and no play doesn’t lead to a good place. If you want to keep succeeding, you need to make yourself a priority once in awhile. Schedule that massage every few weeks and re-energize.

4. Remember that you are only human.

You don’t have superpowers. This isn’t the movies folks. Do your best to remind yourself that you are only one person and you can not do it all. Relying on online shopping for school supplies — and even pre-assembled meals like Blue Apron for dinner throughout the week— you can get back some valuable time to focus on maintaining balance between work and family.

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5. Ask for help.

Use your support system. Can you take turns with another person for kids school drop off and pick up? Is there a coworker who can take a call for you because your day got away from you? Is there a friend who can drag you to that gym class because you are too tired but know it will make you feel better? People feel good when they help people so use others in your life to help you. It also helps them.

6. Learn to say 'no.'

Saying no to things that are too much to do at the time is a good thing. Saying yes to things when you can’t handle them and do a good job is not good for you and is also not good for the person asking for your help. By letting them know it is not a good time you let them find someone else who can do it at that time. 

There are 6 tips to help working mothers walk the tight-rope of focusing on their careers while sending their children back to school.

So figure out what balance means to you. Know your tolerance for chaos, and try to create a situation that works for you and your family. By learning what works best for you, you will be able to create a successful schedule and control your life more. 


Heidi Wilcox is a Director of Market Development for Excelerate America, the ultimate one-stop shop for entrepreneurs. Have a suggestion for Heidi to help balance her career and back-to-school time for her kiddos? Send her an email at


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