Back to School: Keeping your Summer Sanity
I always find the first week back at school to be chaotic. It’s an adjustment for the kids and an adjustment for us, the parents. Bedtimes, mealtimes and wake up times need to be adjusted. Sports, after school activities and homework need to be worked into the household schedule. And, if that wasn’t enough to make you mad, the colder weather and shorter days come swooping in. I have found, if I adhere to a few self-imposed guidelines, I can keep some of my summer sanity.
Plan your Meals
Make a list of your weekly meals – breakfasts, lunches and dinners – and do your grocery shopping accordingly. This will save you a last minute run to the grocery store and possibly your sanity (5pm with a cranky, hungry child in tow!). Make sure you plan quick, healthy options for the on-the-go activity filled evenings or rushed mornings.
Hit the Homework ASAP
Kids will fight you on this one but insist on getting homework done earlier in the evening, preferably before dinner. As the day comes closer to an end, fatigue is more likely to cause irritability and lack of concentration, for both you and your child.
Have a small snack available for your kids after school. Eating something, even an hour or two before dinner, will give them the mental energy to tackle their homework and will help avoid a meltdown or the repetitive “is dinner ready yet?”
Emotional demands can take their toll on us physically – a little extra sleep can go a long way. We adjust our kids’ bedtimes, so why not adjust ours? Try and get an extra hour of sleep or restful activity, such as reading or try a guided meditation at the end of your day.
Make regular exercise and getting some fresh air a family activity. Take a walk after dinner with the kids and use the opportunity to catch up on the days’ happenings and just have a little down time, outside of household distractions.
Remember, there will be difficult days. Get the kids to bed and treat yourself to a glass of wine – all will be well in the world again.