Get up. Let’s go. You’re going to be late. Coffee, Coffee. Did you make coffee? Where are the lunches? I made the ounces, where did I put the lunches. You lost the sock? The sock is right there? Yes it is. It’s not? Grab new socks. Brush his hair. Her teeth aren’t brushed?Where’s my purse? What do you mean you can;t find your keys? Why is there a big wet spot on the floor????????
Is this your morning? Sound familiar? It’s always hectic when school starts again and it’s difficult to get back into a routine after lazy and fun summer days. If this sounds like you, welcome to parenthood. My house too. And no matter how much I organize and plan for the first few weeks of school to go smoothly, it rarely does. No amount of planning or organizing can catch the hiccups that are bound to happen, so here are few tips to help these next few weeks go the way you want.
1. Expect Bumps. Even the internet isn’t perfect. Computers glitch all the time. So with the best of intentions, keep your expectations in check.
2. Leave Extra Time. Set your clocks 5-10 minutes fast. This way, you already have built-in time, without thinking about it. Don’t forget to do the same in your car, and make sure all the clocks say the same time.
3. Organize and Plan. Try and get your tomorrow ready the night or day before. If you can, make a list of things you have to do and keep it posted. Ask your older kids and significant other to do the same, so morning chaos will be limited.
4. Get In The Habit. Get in the habit of looking at the To-Do list, and doing the To-Do list. Over time, it will become second nature, the routine will help you be organized and calm.
5. Create A Schedule. Schedules are my best friend. They’re great because it puts everyone on the same page-everyone knows their responsibilities, and everyone has ownership. This will alleviate stress on you, and teach the kids about responsibility and independence.
6. No One Will Judge You. Those who like and love you will not care if the laundry isn’t done, if there are dishes in the sink, if the toys are all over, and if your floors aren’t vacuumed. You may not like how things look, but you must also realize that that undone dishes and the like do not make you a bad person or bad mother or father.
7. Set Aside Snuggle Time. It seems like there’s little time in our crazy busy lives to get close. We always seem to find time to snuggle and offer gestures of love, appreciation and adoration with our children, but not with our spouses or significant others. Pick a time of day when it’s typically a quiet time for you to spend some special time with the ones you love. If snuggle time is limited, love-notes, text messages, and the unexpected kiss or hug can go a long way.
8. Family Time. Friday night game night works for some, or sunday brunch or dinner for others. Got cell-phone addicts? All phones go into a basket before dinner, and are returned once everyone pitches in to tidy up. Does everyone in the family like biking, swimming? Are you a creative bunch? How about a family fun art project? Get the family together to discuss ideas, and get together as a family and enjoy spending time together. Even doing the laundry together on a Sunday afternoon and then making ice-cream sundaes is a great way to bond.
9. Finding The Balance. The balance is found in having a peaceful mind. Ask for help if you need it. Sleep when you need it. Know that you are the parent of a young child and that you are busy being a wonderful parent. That’s the priority. Be OK with a little mess and dirt. Let yourself off the hook about having the need for things to be perfect, tidy and clean. They don’t. Enjoy your moments with your children and the people you love. Make time for yourself. I learnt this the hard way and drove my self crazy.
“Fall”-in together, and enjoy!