Tag Archives: tips

School Supplies

This is the season where we parents all descend on the Walmarts and Staples and Bureau en Gros and pick their shelves clean. We need pencils and erasers and a certain type of binder. Dividers and hole punchers, sticky tape and glue. And it is different for each child.

I have a question for you back to school parents. Do you send in EVERYTHING they ask for (80 pencils)? Or do you send in the minimum, knowing that if you sent everything on the list it would get lost by September 10th? Do your kids use everything you buy? Do you buy everything new or do you recycle from last year, even if the kids complain it isn’t cool? Share your tried and tested tips!!

Gratuities for the teachers?

There is an unofficial unwritten rule in our yeshiva that you are supposed to tip the rebbes at Purim time. There has been no official guideline set out, and I never do it. Why? A) because I already pay tuition and B) they are getting paid a salary to teach my kid and C) because I do not have that kind of money to tip four rabbeim!! (I have heard of them getting in the hundreds from one parent.)

Last night a bunch of us were having a conversation on this subject, after a couple of people had received letters from their children’s yeshivot outlining the Chanukah tip suggestions. Rebbeim are supposed to get more than Morahs (male teachers vs female – don’t get me started) and some of the suggested tips went up to $360!!!

In this economy who has extra money? Private school tuition takes a huge chunk out of one’s salary, plus all the other extras you have to pay for – dinner, book fees, building fund, photocopying fee, get-you-every-which-way-we-can fee etc. How dare they send a letter saying you should tip the teachers??!!

I tip the superintendent in my building at Xmas time. He does a lot extra for me and I slip him a bill. He doesn’t expect it nor ask for it and it is MY choice whether to tip him or not. He will not treat me any differently whether I do or don’t.

The teachers – if you do not tip them, will they mark your child down? If you do tip, does s/he get higher grades? Does tipping only apply if they are doing a good job? We are all hurting financially in this economy – and I get that teachers are not paid that well in yeshivas – but who has extra money for this? Do the teachers count on this? Do they report the tips to the IRS? If one parent of every kid in a class of 24 gave a hundred dollars, that’s $2400 – a huge amount.  Do the teachers count on this for parnassah?

Its bad enough the government always has their hands in our wallets, now the schools too?


For a more in your face take on this subject go visit DovBear and read what he has to say.

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I’ve been working on the railroad

Well I have officially added a job to my already more than full time job. This full time single mommy is now employed, for money, outside of the house. Yes, I have taken the leap after thirteen years of at-home-mommyhood to real life employment. (I guess one potentially demanding boss could be no worse than 4 adorable little tyrants , and grown up bosses generally don’t throw tantrums when they don’t get their way, right?)


I spent a good part of the day getting myself oriented (or shall we say disoriented – so much to remember, my poor head is still spinning) and am very much looking forward to this new stage in my life.


Of course when I got home I had a complete and total meltdown. What was I thinking? That I could manage to work and run the house and be a good mom and have some me-time? Hardee-har-har! I had a pity party for about 30 minutes, had a good friend tell me I was just plain exhausted (jet lag still kicking my patootie) and that I should not pass go, should not collect my $200, just go straight to bed for a power nap. I was told to leave my PoisonBerry away from my room, and go lie down. Major withdrawal. But I managed. My nap energized me. I woke up, the kids got home, we cooked supper, we did homework, we ate together, laundry got done, I even cut the boys’ hair, I managed to get them all showered and pajamaed and bedded – and ended off the evening with a lovely conversation with a new friend (that’s me-time right?) . All that was missing was the back rub I so desperately needed……oh mr knight in shining armour, now is a good time for you to ring my bell.


So dear readers, I have a question for you, especially those of you who are working parents – how do you do it all? What are your coping mechanisms? How do you fit personal time in with all the other calls on your time? My biggest fear is that something will be overlooked, or someone’s needs will be neglected. How do I prevent myself from getting overwhelmed as I was today? Any advice – constructive please – would be welcome.


Thanks! Off to sleep, for tomorrow I must awake refreshed and energized for a new day at work.