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Does Dallas Dance hate me?

We’re 29 days into 2015 and Baltimore County Public Schools have been off, delayed, or closed early at least 18 times (admittedly this includes weekends). The reasons have included: winter break; delayed opening because of weather; early closing because of the potential of snow; Martin Luther King Jr. Day; a half-day for grade reporting and data analysis; and a full day for “System-wide Professional Development.”

I am not here to criticize Dallas Dance, the superintendent for Baltimore County Public Schools, on the decision-making process of scheduling a school year or the criteria for determining when schools should be opened or closed because of weather events. The issue presented, however, is as follows:

  • When schools are closed, how do other full-time working parents manage the constant juggling of work schedules to make sure one does not commit malpractice or get a call from the Child Protective Services?

The Siri Method of Child Coverage is a delicate balance of “Who is less busy?” versus “Who took the kids the last time?” A court appearance or meetings trump all. Other meetings will be moved, changed to telephone conferences, or cancelled altogether. Time will be spent on LogMeIn and in the chair of my virtual office. Work will be done between cleaning up from breakfast and making the mid-morning snack. Our kids will spend time in our actual work offices, watching Netflix on the iPad and playing newly purchased Lego sets in order to bribe silence. One of us will pick up the kids on the condition that the other watches the kids. When in a serious bind, we call in reinforcement in the form of grandparents and have them come to our house before an anticipated storm.

Being at the mercy of the school system’s academic calendar cannot be fully understood until you have lived it. For those young lawyers that are embarking on the joys of parenthood, the work required to raise your child is infinitely more difficult than your legal work. And on occasion, when schools are running on a morning schedule, the sun is out, and the streets are cleared of ice or snow, I can truly enjoy being at work.

And after a month like this, I truly enjoy spending long hours at the office.

What ways do you cope balance your children and work?