Today we are kicking off a four-week series on Back to School! We thought we’d start off by with a simple mindset shift for back to school for busy moms. After all, attitude is everything, and in many ways, back to school is a way to make more room for you to get after your awesome!
Did anyone see that hilarious pic of a mom jumping for joy as her backpack-clad kiddos watched in horror? Totally relatable, right?
Back to school brings mixed feelings for me. I definitely relate to that mom’s joy at being relieved from the responsibility of 24-hour feeding and entertainment of the little humans. But school also comes with some stuff I dread: homework, after school shuttling of kids to activities, pushing kids out the door on time. Those things cause me major stress.
- You can get into a routine. I don’t know about you, but in June the lack of routine in summer is refreshing and filled with possibilities. By the beginning of July, though, things are starting to spin out of control, and time feels like it is slipping through our fingers like dry beach sand. Back to school forces us into a routine, and routines are good. Both the kids and you know what to expect, and even though it takes a while to get the flow of it, once established, a routine can run itself (for help doing this, download our free Back-to-School Routine Builder). This opens up space in our heads because I don’t have to constantly think about what’s next. We can use that freed up space for meal planning, or just thinking about what we want to think about, instead of worrying about the kids’ plans.
- The kids get tired. We’re tired too, of course, but a full day of school tuckers those little ones right out! This can mean crankiness sometimes, but with a good routine in place, tired kids are actually much easier to manage than bored kids.
- We have something of true substance to talk about with our mini-me’s. Yesterday in the car on the way home my daughter laid out her entire future life plan, which she had worked out with the girl who is shaping up to be this year’s “bestie.” It included juicy info about boyfriends (ummm…she’s 9). My son then jumped in with a confession about the love of his 6-year-old life. Suffice it to say the car ride conversation was way more interesting than “Mom!! He’s poking the baby!” and all the other petty fighting that characterized summer car rides. School gives us new and interesting things to connect over… and maybe even (gasp!) learn!
- The kids are getting along better. They have time to actually miss one another! It is so nice to see them hug when they see each other at the end of the day. It’s a refreshing change from the summer when they were each other’s playmate 90% of the time and things could get…tense.
- We can finally have a thought of our own. With the kids all up in my face all summer often we feel like we never had a moment to ourselves. Of course we love them and all, but how is it that they can dominate your thought processes all day?! Now that they are at school, we can have a thought to myself. Especially good when we have to get back to our own work routines!
Back to school is always a mix of joy and stress for me. Plus, each year it’s a nostalgic reminder that they are indeed growing up. However, in all the mix of emotions, we can find a routine and the mental space to start to take the time for self-care that we have been squandering all summer. And that is a huge upside!
To help you find your groove in the days and weeks ahead, we created the Back-to-School Routine Builder. It’s a one page PDF checklist that you can hang on the fridge to start making your back-to-school routine a habit that flows on its own. Download it today, and click here to share!