Summer is over. It’s back to school for kids and also back to school for Moms (with all the changes school brings to your routine). With the changes a new school year brings, ask yourself if anything needs to change this year. In particular, is there a way for you to add in some ‘me time” as you get the kids off to school for another year?
Back to School for Moms – Lesson one – Every year is different
Back to school is the perfect time to reevaluate not just your kids school schedule, but your family’s schedule and yours as well. Every year your child (or children) are in school, there is a different rhythm to your days.
Preschool, elementary, middle and high school all have different demands on your time (and theirs). So before returning to business as usual, be proactive and look for new pockets of “found” time for you as you evaluate the following parts of your schedules.
Morning time – do your kids need you to help them get ready or are they at a mostly self-sufficient age? How much can you have ready the night before and are there things you can automate to save you time?
Are there any pockets of time in the morning before the kids wake up? What habits do you have that are counter productive? (Any one else check Facebook first thing in the morning, get sucked in, and regret the time lost after?)
After school time
If you pick your kids up after school and have to wait in the car line, can you find something to do with that pocket of time that fulfills you? Maybe you can pick up a book or a magazine you want to read or work on one of your hobbies. (Looking for a new hobby? Check out “Bored? How to Find Your Next Great Hobby“.
While it is easy to sit and veg out with social media, it doesn’t necessarily make you feel any better about yourself or your fellow man at the end of it. Whereas reading a self-help book or listening to an educational podcast might. Just as you have a bag of things for your kids to do, create a “to-go bag” filled with things you love as well.
Putting your dinner routine on auto pilot so you don’t to spend a lot of time wondering what to have for dinner.or running out to get stuff for dinner is another way to find time at the end of the day. If you want to try meal planning, but have no idea where to begin, see the articles – “How Do I Meal Plan and Why Do I Do It” and “Easy Meals – Make Life Easier“.
You can have your kids work on homework while you work on your other jobs, or engage in some time for a walk, etc. And if you have carpool again for extracurricular activities the kids have, you can bring your “to-go” bag here too.
Longer breaks – Fall, Christmas, Spring and Summer
The time flies when the kids are in school, so planning ahead with fun things you can do with them to make the most of the longer breaks is time well spent. While you are planning your time, go ahead and schedule some time for you as well.
The idea is to weave pockets of time wherever you can until it becomes second nature to you. One resource for you when planning the longer breaks, “Summer Activities for Kids that Keep Mom Sane” helps you create a plan you can all live with.
Back to school for Moms means it is time to create your own to-go bag for carpool lines, after school activities, doctor visits, etc. Fill it with whatever you enjoy doing, some healthy snacks, and have a list of podcasts for your phone. (If you need a list of good parenting podcasts, here is one “10 of Our Favorite Parenting Podcasts” by Sheknows.com.)
Whatever you do, give yourself some grace as you start the new year. Parenting can be hard work and planning some breaks for you “Back to School Moms” can be the ticket to giving you the patience you need in the days ahead. What are your best tips for back to school Moms? Please leave a comment below.