Back to school? 3 Tips to keep you sane!
Let's face it, the struggle of back to school for working Mamas is REAL. Your routine is expected the same, while juggling the new routine that comes with the beginning of the school year for your kids. Trying to balance everything from school emails, open houses, new activities, play dates, making lunches, and those oh so fun "I am settling into a new school year Mom, excuse the attitude" mood swings from your kids can really make your head spin. And make you rather tired.
I read a recent study that said that getting your kids ready for school and out the door is equivalent to working one extra full day of work. TRUTH. Assuming the person who conducted the study was spying on me most mornings?!
So here are 3 things that keep me sane and accountable during this back to school adjustment period:
1. Adding things to your calendar on your phone:
Walking in from my garage the other day, and hanging right next to the door is a perfectly viewable traditional calendar. I literally said out loud, "Wow, May was a busy month". MAY??? Yep, you heard that correctly. The calendar had not been updated since May and we are getting close to September. Luckily with technology being what it is, almost everything you need to remember can be easily added to the calendar on your phone. How many times have you told yourself that you will just remember the date of your kid's check-up next month, or parent/teacher conferences, or an e-vite you looked at a month ago (if you even open them)? We all have our phones on us, in our hands at all times so there is no excuse not to enter these dates at the very moment they are scheduled. I do promise I will get around to updating our home calendar (some day) and possibly RSVP to the 14 invites sitting in my inbox, but in the meantime the important stuff is noted in the right place. Thank you Apple.
2. Look to your closest Mom friends to keep you in check:
Never has "it takes a village" been a truer statement. For example - e-vites. I don't know about you, but the birthday party invitations seem to never end! Fun for the kids, but overwhelming for the working Mama who sees them pop into your inbox during a meeting at work and tells herself she will come back to it later. Does not always happen for me.
The same goes for beginning of the year school emails with important dates, sign-up deadlines for activities, location of soccer games, and the list goes on. Now I'm not saying I'm forgetful for all of it, but with my busy schedule a little nudge or reminder ensures that I will be where I need to be.
You have to enlist 1-2 Mom friends in your circle that a) acknowledge that they are more organized than you and 100% accept that you will likely be the last to RSVP to parties, b) are fully aware that you likely missed the email about it being "wear white" day at school, so they send you a proactive text (or two!) reminder and c) know that the favor may rarely be returned or doesn't even need to be returned, but that's perfectly okay with them. You know who you are my amazing Mamas, I couldn't do it without you! When's that classmate's birthday party again?!
3. Make time for a girls night out:
We all know that by the time you get home from work after a LONG day, and that likely started before 6am (am I right), the last thing you want to do is think about changing, refreshing your make-up, and heading out to a restaurant. It's also hard to be gone all day, have the kids see you, and then bolt out the door again! So after at least 30 text messages to find a date that works for everyone and finally a decision on a location, you know you have to show up. We all know the anticipation is the hardest part, and once you get there, you realize there is no place you'd rather be. The feeling of getting home (after bedtime - winning!), still laughing to yourself about the ridiculous conversations that were had can seriously cure any bad day, revive you, and remind you that it's completely worth making the time to take off your "Mom" hat once in a while.
At the end of the day, we are all doing our very best to do it all, and it's OKAY if something falls through the cracks because it's bound to happen. Back to school only happens once a year for a reason :) As working Moms we have a lot on our plate, and something new pops into the mix daily! These tips that mentioned just help make it all little more manageable. Oh, and wine.