Have your children started back at school for the 2017-2018 year yet? The back-to-school season is in full swing in the Fiveash house as well as most homes across the country. It gets a bit crazy, a bit chaotic and sometimes just a bit frustrating. Since we homeschool, it means finding new routines, new curriculum and a whole lot of team work.
This is our fifth year going into homeschooling and so far, no two have been a like. This year we are starting school with a brilliant fourth grader, my lovable second grader, a very outgoing preschooler, and my youngest who is entering his terrible two phase just a tad bit early. The days are never dull or boring; many actually fly by without a moment to really absorb it all.
This year, although it has started a little rocky, I’m determined to make the most of every moment, relax and focus on staying stress-free.
Whether your children attend school or are homeschooled, there are something we can all do to help calm the chaos. I’m learning along the way myself, but I find these things to be remarkably helpful in keeping my own sanity and learning to appreciate the little pieces of joy we can find throughout the day.
- Quiet moments – When I am able to get up before my children do, I have time to prepare myself for the day. This may be grabbing a cup of coffee or tea and sitting quietly, brainstorming in the shower (yes, actually taking a shower uninterrupted!) or siting down and creating my to-do list for the day. Those moments allow me sanity and allow me to embrace the day.
- Talk with your spouse – When back-to-school season is in full swing, life gets all kinds of crazy. If we don’t sit down with our spouses and discuss schedules, chores, meals, and anything we need to tag team on, it can complicate matters. We try to create a schedule together so that some duties are shared and we can balance some of the work load together.
- Help your children develop their own schedules – In the summer months, most of us get to be a little more relaxed without schedules. Kids sleep in later than normal and many stay up much later than normal. It can be rather difficult overnight adjust to new routines overnight. Helping them work on setting up their routines and schedules a head of time helps ease them back into the school groove. For my family, this means getting back on track with regular bedtimes and getting up early again a week or two before school starts.
- Make back to school fun – Let’s be honest, school can be stressful for children, and moms. Make back-to-school shopping a fun time with a day out and let the kids choose their favorite place for lunch and an afternoon treat. Even if you are on a budget, let them choose a few of their fun essentials so they have a few pieces that are their own personality. Tuck a fun treat, surprise or note in their bag for them to find on their first day. It might be just what they need to deal with the school jitters.
- Create a master family calendar – After school activities, field trips and lots of extra plans come up quickly as school begins, keeping those on a master calendar that the family can share is super helpful. At a glance I know if we are free or if something is planned for a specific day. If you have multiple children, this is all the more important.
- Keep your home organized – This is almost laughable for me at the moment, but I will be the first to say when my home is neat and organized, all is well in the world. It’s simple for me, if my house is a mess, I am stressed. We are currently in declutter mode and the problem with that is you have to make a bigger mess before it can get better. At least once or twice a year we go through everything, literally everything and decide to keep or get rid of it. I’m excited that it’s under way and we are on the upside of getting the house put back together.
- Carve out me time – As moms, it can be hard to set time aside for ourselves, but we truly need to care for ourselves if we are going to fully care for those around us. Don’t forget to schedule time for self-care. I recently shared how I have come to realize that I need to set aside a few minutes in the afternoon for myself daily. This allow me to recharge, be thankful and embrace the rest of my crazy day.
- Don’t forget to schedule in time for relaxation and fun – As school gets under way, the schedules fill up quickly. It is important to talk as a family about setting aside time to relax, recharge and have fun together. We recently sat down and scheduled family game/movie night, talked about our homeschool fields trips and where we would like to go, as well as discussed family vacations. It gives us something to look forward to and time to bond as a family.
- Meal plans – I realize cooking and meal planning are not for everyone, and that’s okay. My sanity though relies on meal planning. I have three children with food allergies so most quick options are off the table for me. If I meal plan, I can start preparing things I need throughout the day as I have a few minutes. When I don’t, I start to panic about 3:30-4:00pm as I haven’t gotten anything from the freezer and I have to scramble to make a meal. Those thirty minutes I spend planning out our menus for the week are golden for my stress levels during the week.
- Don’t forget to let loose and laugh – Laughter is good for the soul. When we are going through what feels like an incredibly stressful situation, taking a step back to really look at the big picture can help put things into perspective. Be silly, sing, dance, laugh, do whatever makes you light-hearted and happy during those crazy moments. It helps!
Moms are truly incredible at multi-tasking. I often think of moms as the acrobats that balance their partners so artfully. Some are able to balance on their entire bodies on each others hands, legs or even backs. While I don’t have that kind of artful balance, I feel like I am navigating the balance of what comes with motherhood.
Even though the back to school season comes with a lot of stress and excitement, there are some things we shouldn’t have to stress about. As moms, we should have the freedom to laugh, run after our kids, jump on the trampoline and just be the master jugglers we all have become without worrying how are bodies are going to react.
After having four babies, my body has changed, in many different ways. I’m not the same shape or size I was before having these four amazing babies grow inside me and you know what, that’s okay! I am learning that is just part of my journey from maidenhood to motherhood, I can’t stress about it. I suffer from LBL (light bladder leakage) and that is just part of it too. It’s not necessarily fun to talk about, but it’s become part of my daily life, just like tears and dirty diapers. Funny thing is, we aren’t alone! Maybe we don’t talk about it, but if you look at a group of ten women who have had children, there are two more in that crowd just like you.
Poise® wants to give women control again, so less time is spent stressing, and more time is spent enjoying all the fun times that the back to school season brings. The Poise Impressa® Bladder Support is the first of its kind in the over-the-counter internal product. It moves with your body and protects it from leaks so you can focus on what really matters in life. It is similar in many ways to a tampon in how you wear it, but rather than absorb, it holds light pressure to prevent leaks before they happen. Since we are all different and unique, it is made in three different sizes, so there is a perfect fit for each of us.
If you suffer from LBL, you might know how unpleasant it is to have the worry in the back of your mind about sneezing, if you squat wrong, or sometimes just to enjoy deep laughter. It’s a real thing! And it happens all too often to me. While I don’t worry when I am home, if I am out and about, knowing the Impressa® has my back gives me one less thing to stress about. That is the simple truth.
I want to spend my time worrying about how to make the most of the moments I have with my family, not about back to school stresses or my LBL. I want to seize the moments!
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I was selected for this opportunity and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.