Some days my husband has to pick my daughter up. Some days she goes to after school care. She doesn’t know I’m coming today so she’s not looking for me. She’s laughing and talking to her friends, looking around for the appropriate line to join to be ushered to her afternoon care. She looks up and sees me and her face splits in two with a giant smile. She runs and throws her arms around me.
She’s hot and sweaty from the summer day and her sticky cuddle is sweet. I savour that moment and reflect on how hard it is for parents who don’t have the luxury of being available to collect their child after school. Or even to drop them at the school gate. Many working parents rely on before and after school programs to help them manage their work routines and that means many families have longer and more complex days than most.
When you are a working parent, nothing happens by accident. Everything is planned. There are some things all parents of kids in after school care understand: