Back to school is no laughing matter. It’s pretty serious business. New clothes, school supplies, morning routines, homework. Honestly though, I love ‘back to school’ because I can use it as another time of the year to reflect on the past school year and make changes and hopefully improvements where I need to.
In all of the excitement of vacations ending and meet the teacher nights beginning, it is simple to forget to take care of yourself. I’m sure you’ve heard, “You have to take care of yourself, before you can take care of others”? I know you hear it all the time, I hear it too. Most of the suggestions I hear though aren’t realistic, especially for a mom with two young kids. I can’t take a day and go to the spa. I’m not going to go on an all girls weekend to re-charge. I already know that…but there are plenty of things I do that keep me energized and focused. I just have to make sure I do them.
Here are a few simple things to add to your routine that will give you more “me” time, when you are spending time with your kids and spouse.
I found so much more time for myself once I sat down and planned out my week. Now if you aren’t a planner this might be a bit of a change. Once a week I sit down and look at the upcoming week and month. I’ll look at any events coming up, fun unique holidays to celebrate with the family or anything around the area that we can enjoy. I plug those dates into my calendar and come up with a list of things I will need that week. I have found when I do this, I only go to the store once a week. None of those rush mid-week trips to Target that eat up time. My Amazon Prime membership is mighty handy too. I don’t run around town looking for items when I know it will be at my door in two days. If you limit yourself to going on errands once a week you are able to reserve the evenings for family activities and enjoyable time together.
Yes, you have the time. You know that nightly homework your kids get every year to read 20 minutes every night? That’s your homework too. The best way for kids to develop their love of reading is to see their parents sit down and dig into a book. If it’s important to you, it will become important to them. This is great quality time with your kids. They can see you laugh at parts, question why things are happening and the greatest of all…talk about your books with each other.
Another way to stay up to date on your reading list is audiobooks. I commute almost 2 hours each day and I’ve fallen in love with audio books. You can also listen to children’s audio books too. I alternate between books I pick and books my son picks. Find topics that you are interested in learning more about and see if you can find audio books that will help challenge you outside of your commute.
I hate the way this sounds. For a few minutes every morning, I hate the way this feels too. I’ve never enjoyed waking up early. I don’t wake up early to work out, even though it’s probably what I should be doing. I wake up early to have alone time. The house is still quiet and everyone is asleep. Alone time to get started on my day and visualize all the things I want to get done. I make a list of all of the things that I want done before heading to bed. One thing about me, is that I absolutely love making lists. What is something you would like more time to do? Wake up a little earlier and see how much more you are able to get done in that quiet time.
Your kids love YouTube, and I promise there is something on there that you will like too. I love going on there and finding videos of projects I want to do around the house. They have how-to videos for practicality anything and it can be extremely satisfying to do a project completely by myself that I never imagined doing. I never thought I would change my car’s interior air filter ( I didn’t even know it had one until I needed to replace it)…but $8 and one YouTube video later I did it. I also love watching make up tutorials, they are a guilty pleasure that I’m able to enjoy in small 5 minute increments before getting back to laundry or dishes.