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  • Kristen Herring-Asleson

Real Advice from Real Working Moms!


Last week’s Women at Work column included a couple humorous memories from my childhood.


The summers were often spent being creative and “plotting” our own entertainment while our parents ran their business which was part of our home.


However, those memories do not help the working women who are also mothers. So, rather than only share tips that help me retain my sanity – partially – the working power moms from Lanesboro chimed in with their best ideas. Hopefully, those who need just a little help will take something away from this that is helpful to their situation.


Starting these tips off is Susy Riggott, realtor with Edina Realty. Susy has four kids whose age range spans third through eighth grade. To start their day off right, the kids are required to make their beds. Why? Because it simply feels good. Second, laundry in her household is done daily to avoid the rush and panic should one of them be called up to play in a game at the spur of the moment.


When it comes to organization, Susy shared what her car is always packed with. That includes:

  • Extra clothes and multiple pairs of shoes.

  • For instant game and activity prep, she keeps extra cleats and gloves handy.

  • And of course, a first aid kit, bug spray, sunscreen and snacks.

Now, if your car is packed like that, I can promise the panicky feeling of forgetting something will be alleviated.


Let’s move on to tips and advice from Stela, an actress with Commonweal Theater. Stela’s number one tip for summer organization is, “Know what all the local free activities are and have a wall calendar with all those fun things written on.” Included with that is having a plan on how kids get to and from the activities, and even better, have your kids plan it and invite friends to join.


She adds, “Have a daily routine that includes regular chores AND fun tasks. This helps limit screen time when there are specific things to do. Be sure to include fun times with their parent(s) as well. Kids need and want time with them as much as they want it with friends. Time together is time connecting.”


Another local work-from-home mom is Cheryl. Cheryl is a transportation logistics coordinator, and the mother to three sons with a wide range in ages. Her tip for organization rolls right up with the other mothers’ number one tip as well. Get organized with a calendar.


In Cheryl’s household, as well as the others, calendaring is a must. For her, and her husband Jon, they utilize a shared calendar on their phones, so they are always in sync with one another and know who needs to drive whom, where and when.


She said, “We also have an obnoxiously huge wall calendar where we write everything down in regard to activities and sports, so the oldest can look and know where he needs to be. Write everything down, and don’t miss a thing, or it will set you back.”


With a bit of sadness, my summer is met with having to organize only two boys’ activities while working from home. Four of my six kids now organize their own lives, sigh.


But, what I agree with and also do is keep one of those “obnoxiously large” calendars on the wall for everyone to see. Kids, as well as parents, like the structure and crave sharing in the responsibility of knowing where they need to be, how they are getting there and when. In fact, it helps them develop and hone skills they will use for the rest of their lives – planning and organization.


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