Why I Drive: Balancing Parenting, Work, and the Back-to-School Rush

As summer nears its end, millions of students are getting ready to head back to school. It’s an exciting time for students—but for many parents it can be stressful transitioning from summer activities to school routines. From helping kids get ready in the morning to assisting with homework during the evening, parents structure their schedules around family life.

Now more than ever, parents want flexibility. In a recent survey of Uber’s driver-partners, we found that 46% of partners have children under 18 living at home. And 85% of driver-partners cite flexibility as an important reason for partnering with Uber—so they can better balance their work and family priorities.

“The flexibility is key,” Leija says of her experience driving with Uber.

Her two children–12-year-old son Cameron and 9-year-old daughter Caroline–lead very active lives, balancing school with sports and musical activities year-round.

Up until a couple years ago Leija worked as a consultant in the corporate world. Now, she partners with Uber so she has the flexibility to get her two kids to and from the many activities each of them have. Both are multi-sport athletes, splitting time between soccer, swimming, and gymnastics. Cameron has become an elite soccer player, while Caroline is a competitive gymnast. Needless to say, there’s never a day they don’t have an after-school activity to keep them busy.

Leija has been driving since earlier this year, and has found a routine that works for her. As she puts it, “I get to see them right before they head out to start the day, and right when they come home from school to tell me about their days.”

Donna's family

Donna has been driving with Uber for almost two years. Her husband, Patrick, also drives with Uber, and with two kids still in school—her son on his way to college and her daughter in elementary school—they use their household cars as a way to pay the mortgage and save for their son’s college tuition.

As her kids get ready to go back to school this fall, Donna drives when she has a few free hours, fitting it around her other commitments during the school year. For her, it is vital that she can choose her hours and drive around her kids’ schedules.

“Uber is perfect for our lifestyle,” Donna said. “I go online while they’re at school and make sure I’m home in time to see them. My husband works during the day, so we come home and can be with the family together instead of one of us always being gone. It’s been a godsend to us.”

KennethKenneth, a father of two, has worked in landscaping and maintenance for many years. His schedule was usually dictated by the weather. That work is something he still does part-time today, but now he’s able to fill in the gaps between jobs by driving with Uber on his own schedule, rain or shine.

“I can drive anytime my schedule allows me and I can stop anytime if my kids have sports or even doctor’s appointments,” Kenneth said.

With school and his kids’ extracurricular activities starting back up soon, driving with Uber means that he can make his son’s soccer practices and his daughter’s tennis tournaments.

“I’m happy with the flexibility. That’s the most important thing, especially with a young family,” Kenneth said.

Learn more about driving jobs vs. Uber.