Remembering Yourself in the Back to School Bustle

It’s mid-August. It’s hot. If you have school-aged kids you’re likely smack dab in the middle of the back to school madness. You’re probably feeling a little sad that the slowness of summer is coming to an end, while also looking forward to solo shower sessions, a little more alone time and the certainty of routine again. This time of year is full of busyness, lists and chores that often leave moms and kids both feeling a little overwhelmed and anxious.

You’ve probably been running around like a mad-woman shopping for back-to-school clothes, shoes and backpacks. Checking off school supply lists and pinning lunchbox ideas. If it helps, I’ll remind you that your kids won’t die if they don’t have a brand new wardrobe washed and ready to go, hanging in the closet. They’ll be okay if you hold off on that bento box and use plastic baggies for now. They won’t be traumatized if you have to pack peanut butter and jelly sandwiches everyday for the first two weeks just to take one extra thing off your plate. Have you thought about teaching them to pack their own lunch yet?

While all of the details do matter on some level, don’t forget about what really matters. Including you. More than the stuff, your kids need strong relationships they can depend on at home. Regardless of what troubles they face at school – a solid foundation in their parents at home can be the rock that kids hold on to when life gets hard. They need a mom who gives them permission to love and accept themselves by loving and accepting herself. They also need a mom who shows them what real self care is and sometimes puts herself first for the greater good of herself and the family.

I want to steal a moment of your time amidst the chaos and remind you that you matter right now. Your feelings, your energy level, your mood – they all matter, too. You don’t have to be everything to everybody. You can spend some of your time on you before school starts. In fact, I recommend it. Take the time to set up a good, solid nightly routine that sets you up for success when school mornings come. Then, take some time to set up another good, solid nightly routine for yourself. Dim the lights, burn your favorite candle or diffuse your favorite oils. Cut back on the TV for a period of time and spend more time in the bath, reading a book you’ve had your eye on or just relishing in the quietness. There is so little of it these days. It’s hard to hear your own thoughts if you never take the time to listen.

Moms – consider this your year-long permission slip to put yourself first when you feel like you are last. No one can take care of you better than you. This transition will be hard for everyone. It will take a little grace and a whole lot of grit, but it too will pass. Perfection is not the goal – remember that.

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