It’s that time of year…the kids are heading back into the folds of textbooks and times tables and aren’t you excited?
Let’s be honest here, summer is long! It’s been three long months of relaxed routines, rusty reading schedules, bored children and made up chores to keep them out of your hair. There has been no time for YOU! Am I right or am I right? So, next week, all that changes and here’s a list of back to school tips for all you overworked moms!
- Get organized. You only have 6 hours or so to spend without the Littles under foot and less if you have to deal with Kindergarten. (We really should look into all day Kindergarten.) You need to maximize your free time! Make a list of all the things you’ve been dying to accomplish like… going back to bed as soon as the yellow bus hits the corner. Maybe you are the energetic type and want to hit the gym. I’m not sure why you would want to do that but go for it. It’s all about you now! Now is your time to shine. You’ve worked hard all summer, it’s time to let the teachers have a turn at raising your budding little humans. The teachers have missed your kids!! Believe me, Facebook feeds are full of warm thoughts from teachers.
- Establish a routine. Humans love to know what’s coming next; something we can count on. When organizing your activities for the day, consider adding a little mundane to the mix, for example, every day between 1-3 you will watch re-runs of the Ellen Show. Routine is healthy I’ve heard. Psychology Today mentions that it helps you slow down and capture important brain space. You’re going to need that as soon as the bus arrives so it’s all in good health. Mental health. When your husband or kids asked what you did all day, you can wholeheartedly say you made some additional space in your brain to handle all their needs and wants more effectively. They will totally respect that!
- Don’t Isolate. It’s very important you don’t hide out in your house all day. A Brigham Young University study showed that people with poor social lives had a 50% chance of dying younger than those with rich social lives. You just can’t take that risk. Get out there with friends who are inspiring and like minded. Go for lunch. Watch the Ellen Show together. A word of warning, don’t get sucked into ‘trading’ babysitting. You don’t have time for that. There is so much to do while your own kids are at school! Soon, their kids will head to school too and they too will find themselves having to make these very important life adjustments and setting priorities.
- Get plenty of rest and exercise. School is stressful, if you have a kid going there. It’s 10 fold stress for each and every kid beyond one, that attends school. Teachers apparently think you have all afternoon and night to sit and solve your child’s math problems and glue pom poms on pretend DNA strands for them. Don’t even get me started on writing papers for them! This is a stressful time. There is nothing like a nap and stroll around the Mall to help you handle the stress and anxiety of all the work you have to do. If you happen upon a fabulous pair of shoes while strolling…all the better.
- Review the food pyramid. This is important information to know when packing lunches, providing loving snacks after school and of course dinner, that should be a well rounded meal. Just about every kind of food fits into the food pyramid somewhere. Even the corn dogs and Fruity Pebbles you gave them last night for dinner because that’s all the Lovies will eat…so much for the stuffed pork roast you’ve been dying to try from Pinterest! You tried! You pinned it…that’s all that matters! It’s okay if the your food pyramid is upside down from time to time…tell the kids it’s one of the Wonders of Your World!
See? School is stressful. It’s a life changing time sending those kids back there. The first week is going to be hard- all those papers to sign, rules to read and other nonsense, but you’ve got this! One last piece of advice…Don’t ask questions that lead to dead ends like…
“Why does your math sheet have a bite taken out of it?””Why do I have to send you with 2 boxes of Kleenex?” “How come you didn’t eat your sandwich?””Why aren’t these papers in the $14 binder I just bought you?””What do mean…you left your backpack on the bus?”
These are things we may never understand and it’s okay. My kids have all graduated now and moved on to higher learning. I have bought over 125 boxes of Kleenex but I consider it money well spent on important education stuff.
We hope this list helps you as you embark on this upcoming school year! But seriously…back to school is a stressful time for moms and dads and kids too. Whether you are a mom who is home during the day or at the office, remember you are probably doing a better job than you think you are. Be gentle and kind to yourself, just like you are with those around you. Raising children is a big deal and this Momin’ gig is hard work so…we hope our little survival list for back to school put a smile on your face as you get the kids ready for more learning. Keep on being your greatest version of YOU!!