Well, it’s happening again. Summer is over, kids are back to school, and so am I! There is always a mix of feelings when that first week starts. There is no more sleeping in for the kids who were at home all summer, extra-curricular activities start, homework starts coming home, and life resumes the usual course without the interruptions of summer, sun, and vacations. I always find the first few weeks to be pretty chaotic. It’s nice that the kids are gone for a bit, but I always find despite them being away, life gets busier. Add my own personal school and work to the mix, and things around my house end up being pretty crazy.
I know I’m not the only person who has to juggle more when September starts. I definitely don’t have all the answers when it comes to surviving, but here are some tips to help get you through the month, or the school year.
1. Use your Calendar
It can be a lot to keep everything in your head. I try, but it can be stressful to remember everything. Try to find a calendar that works for you. There are lots out there, a family one that looks like a graph, entering things in your phone, a daytime, or a journal. Something I learned last year when dealing with work and school deadlines for myself, activities for my kids, and school events for them is that if you can keep it written down in one place, your life will be a little more organized. Not a lot, but at least you know where you are going and what needs to be done.
2. If you can do it early, do it
This lesson really applied to my school and work last year, and is something I am fully embracing. Life does not always go as planned. Kids get sick, you get sick, accidents happen. Just because you have your nice little calendar with everything planned and organized, doesn’t mean that it always goes the way you want. You never know when you will need that extra time, so if you can get something done early, do it. This can be applied to getting chores done around the house, meal prepping, or doing your work from home. Maybe it’s doing the fundraising for you kids extra-curricular activities. The bonus? You finish early and get some much needed time to spend by yourself or with your family.
3. Take some YOU time
You’ve got your calendar. You are trying not to procrastinate and getting things done early. Now what? Time to schedule in some you time. Being a parent means doing a lot for your family. But, you also need to take care of yourself. Whether you schedule in some time at home for yourself by reading, having a bath, binge-watching your favorite show and snacking on your favorite treats, there are lots of things you can do from the comfort of your home. You can also organize some time with friends, have a date-night with your partner, or maybe have a nice solo shopping trip. Whatever you do, make sure that you can find time to recharge so you can have the energy to take on all the things that are going on in your life.
4. Don’t worry about the mess
There are different levels of mess when it comes to a home. There is the gross mess, which is week-old dishes, you can’t walk over your floor from the millions of toys, and things that smell that shouldn’t smell. Maybe clean up those messes. But. If you have to leave the dishes for a night, it’s okay. If there are piles of clothes on the floor that are clean, but not put away, it’s okay. And you don’t have to have your entire house organized when September starts. This is something I always have to remind myself. I always have this idea that when school and work and kids school starts up again, my entire house has to be completely organized.
While it feels GREAT to get everything done, it also isn’t worth the pressure and stress of trying to accomplish everything two weeks before September 1st. Doing this, I make myself exhausted and spend the next two weeks trying to recover. It’s. Not. Worth it.
So instead? Organize your house as you can. Do a room a day. Do a room a week. You can still get things done, but at a pace that works for you. The marathon cleaning doesn’t work.
These are just a few things that I have learned over the years as a student/work at home mom/parent of three children. They keep my family and I running in a smooth-ish manner, as life never runs smoothly, and is more like a white-water rafting experience. Just hold on, take those dips, and enjoy the ride!