The term “working mom” probably seems redundant to anyone out there with kids. Being a mom is certainly a job in itself, and I have a ton of respect for all the mothers out there that stay home with their kids. But for those of us who have full-time jobs, being a mom poses a unique set of challenges.
We’re busy, often rushed, and sometimes the time we do get to spend with our kids is when we’re totally exhausted from a full day at work. We don’t get to take our kids to the park in the middle of the day during the week or meet up with other moms for play dates on Wednesday afternoons. But we still want the best for ourselves and our kids, and we do our best to create balance in our hectic lives.
the author and her daughter.
Working moms of Virginia Beach, I feel you. It’s tough, but we’ll make it through! Here’s a helpful little guide from a fellow working mom on ways to take care of yourself and your kids as you navigate your crazy life as a working mom.
We all know how important it is to get our exercise in, but sometimes with kids it seems nearly impossible. Not only are we pressed for time because of the daily demands of our lives, but we also have the added struggle of finding child care for our kids so we can exercise. Fortunately, there are quite a few options for busy Virginia Beach moms:
- OneLife Fitness: Kids Club is available while you work out for kids up to age 13.
- InLet Fitness: Childcare is available at most times. The Red Mill location also has a spa and the Great Neck Location has facial services. You can also schedule a massage at either location.
- YMCA: The YMCA has several locations in Virginia Beach. You can utilize their childcare services while you’re working out or enroll your child in one of their many programs and work out during that time.
- Virginia Beach Community Rec Centers: Rates as low as $12 a month, or $86 for an adult annual membership for VB residents. They’ll help you throw your child’s birthday party, too.
- Hybrid Training Center: This is a great option for the less conventional mom. Your membership includes martial arts classes, Crossfit, TRX, Kore Kick, Powerlifting and access to gym equipment during open gym time. If your child is at least four, you can enroll him or her in the kids programs, including Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai. I can personally attest to the quality of these great programs. My daughter is five and she has gained confidence, discipline and a good understanding of self-defense over the past year.
Finding someone trustworthy to watch our kids when we’re at work can be a big source of stress for working moms. We want to know our children are well taken care of when we can’t be there to do it ourselves. One of the tougher times to find childcare for our kids is during the summer when school is out but work is definitely still in. Another issue moms often run into is childcare that doesn’t cover the span of the whole work day. Preschool and kindergarten programs are often half-day sessions, which isn’t very helpful to parents who have to work a full day.
Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation addresses both of these issues with a variety of programs for kids of all age groups. Park & Recreation’s programs for out-of-school times serve approximately 10.8% of the Virginia Beach Public School System elementary school population. With 50 years’ experience caring for Virginia Beach kids and tremendous reviews from parents, Parks & Recreation is a wonderful option for working parents to take advantage of.
For preschoolers: The Bow Creek, Princess Anne and Williams Farm Recreation Centers offer a preschool program for kids ages 3-4. You have the option to choose the morning, afternoon or all day program. They also have a before and after school program which includes safe transportation to and from your child’s school.
For kindergartners: If you have a child in kindergarten at Cooke, Glenwood, Thalia or Thoroughgood Elementary School, you have the opportunity to sign them up for the Kinderbuddies Program. This program takes place at your child’s school during the out-of-school times, including before and after school. For kids at other Virginia Beach schools, the Kinderbuddies program is available at Bow Creek, Princess Anne and Williams Farm Recreation Center, and transportation is provided to and from the schools listed on the website.
Before and after-school care: As parents, we all worry about what our kids are getting into when we’re not around to supervise their activities. The Parks & Recreation programs for before and after school care help put parents’ minds at ease about their children’s activities, while making sure kids have a fun, nurturing environment. The after-school program is in 56 elementary schools, several middle schools and all the Rec Centers.
Summer Camps: VB Parks & Recreation offers a wide range of activities during the summer for kids ages 3 and up. The best part for working moms is that the camps have an all-day option, something many other summer camp programs in the area don’t offer.
You can check out other childcare options at Care.com and browse prices, ratings and locations.
Planning a visit to the doctor can be a real pain for working moms. Whether the appointment is for us or for our kids, we’re probably looking at a two-hour commitment in the middle of the work week. It’s really important for us to know we’re going to a trusted doctor, as we really don’t have the time to be trying out several offices until we find one we like. Besides getting advice from people we know, which is always a great option—and social media can be an excellent facilitator for those conversations—check out these online resources for finding top-rated doctors in the area:
- Coastal Virginia Magazine Top Docs: People in the community cast their votes for the best doctors, and the most popular doctors get added to this list. The magazine redoes the contest every year, so information is always current.
- Angie’s List: Angie’s List is a paid service, but membership includes access to thousands of certified user reviews on all types of services. If you don’t mind paying a membership fee, this is one of the best ways to find the best doctors in your area.
Activities for the Kids
Want to get your kids out of the house but not sure where to start? A great resource I often use is MyActiveChild.com. You can filter the events by category, location and date. This website has the most comprehensive list of kid-friendly activity I’ve seen anywhere on the Internet and it’s all specifically for Hampton Roads. They also have information on local parent groups and play groups, consignment shops and events, listings of local playgrounds, information on kids’ athletics and special discounts. If there’s an activity or event for kids in the area, you’ll most likely see it on MyActiveChild.
image | Virginia Beach Public Library
Another great resource for educational activities is the Virginia Beach Public Library. You can check their website for the schedule for storytimes events, science programs, Pawsitive Reading (where kids practice their reading skills by sharing stories with therapy dogs), and art and computer classes. Just remember to sign your kids up ahead of time.
If you’re like me, you probably roll your eyes whenever a church mentions that they have a women’s group or a mother’s group. A lot of the time it seems these programs fail to take into consideration that many of us work during the day and can’t exactly take off every Tuesday at 10:45 a.m. to come hang out. Here are a few churches in the area that have evening and weekend groups for women and also provide childcare:
- Wave Church: Working Women’s Connect Groups, Groups for Moms with Babies and Toddlers
- Bayside Baptist Church: Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS)
- Spring Branch Community Church: Evening Edition
- London Bridge Baptist Church: Thursday Evening Study
- Virginia Beach United Methodist Church: MOMSnext, Sisters in Christ Evening Study
- Beth Chaverim (Jewish Congregation): Sisterhood Evening Meetings
- Simon Family Jewish Community Center: Contact for details
I love the challenge and reward of being a working mom. To me, every day that I somehow navigate the crazy world of family life and my career, I prove to my daughter that she doesn’t have to sacrifice her personal dreams to have a family—that she can be anything she wants to be and still be a mother. To all my fellow Virginia Beach working moms, I raise my glass (full of wine—it’s been a long day) to you. Keep on being amazing.