9 Tips to Keeping Your Cool for the End of the School Year

The biggest complaint I hear from Moms around this time of year is that there is too much to do with very little time to do it in. Honestly, why do schools pack everything in at the end of the year? Between school concerts, sports championships, field days, and the other million and one activities that school’s pack in for the end of the year, you can feel like you are just trying to keep up. Below are tips to keep organized and help you have the best end of the school year possible.

Planners and Calendars are life savers! Writing down what you have to do and keeping track of important dates will add structure to the constant swirl of crazy. If you have multiple kids or need to keep track of different family obligations, try a color coding system that works for you. For example, I have two kids, so I assign one color to each of them. So, when I look in my calendar, I know exactly which events belong to which child.

This is extremely important! Prioritizing your tasks helps you decide what is most important. Focus on the tasks that need to get done by a certain date as well as tasks that you NEED to do. Push off those tasks that you WANT to do. Sorry, but deep cleaning your entire house or trying that super complicated recipe that you found on Pintrest will have to wait till the summertime.

I know, I know! Your weekends are a time for you to relax, but if you do small tasks that can help you save time and relieve stress during the week, your week will go so much smoother. Try meal prepping your kid’s lunches and family dinner, packing bags for every sport that they have going on that week (so they can grab and go), doing laundry, running errands, or baking those cupcakes for field day. If you have difficulty getting yourself motivated to do those tasks, reward yourself between each task with something that you want to do like watching an episode of your favorite TV show, reading a few chapters in a book, or exercising.

No matter how young your child is, they can help you out in some way. Impress upon your kids that you need their help. Ask them to clean up after themselves after dinner, putting their toys away, getting ready for school on their own, or simply having them listen to you! When you let your children help you, it gives them responsibility as well as appreciation for all that you do for them!

If you do have a lot to do, at least have fun with it! Try to make tasks a family event. This will help the task be completed faster, and you can have some family fun in the meantime. If you need to bake a hundred cupcakes, have your kids help you! If you are getting stressed by all of the clutter or toys everywhere in your house, put some music on and tell your kids to try to get all of the toys put away in the time of one song. Turning it into a game adds an element of excitement for your children. It can be easy to get stressed about everything in your life, but remember to take a step back and enjoy the small activities and moments that you have with your children.

Work with your mom/parent group to trade off tasks. Car pooling, baking goods for the bake sale, or coordinating events for your children can all be divided and conquered. Working together helps everyone! Also, you can assign different days of the week to have all of the kids go to one mom’s house to give the others some alone time to relax or get stuff done. Really utilize the whole “it takes a village to raise a child” mentality.

Please, please take breaks! Every mom needs a break at least once a day. I know, as a parent, that we have one of the hardest jobs in the world because our job never ends. However, you need to take breaks whether it’s for 5 minutes or longer in order to recharge and be the best parent that you can be. If you are honest with your kids, they will understand that you need a break or a timeout. Please take time for yourself, every person in your family will thank you for it!

You don’t have to sign up or do everything! Your kids don’t need to sign up or do everything! Do NOT over schedule yourself because you will get burnt out. If you don’t want to volunteer for your kids’ field day, then don’t do it. If you don’t want to make cupcakes for the fair, don’t do it. Figure out what is most important to you and your family, and make sure that you do that stuff. Everything else is just extra.

If you need help getting everything done, get some! Hire a babysitter, home helper, or maid that can help you keep your life together. Obviously, not everyone can afford to hire help, but ask your friends/family/loved ones to help you. It’s amazing what can happen when you ask for help. Although it may sometimes feel like you are doing it all alone, there are people out there who will drop everything to help you! And when they need it, you return the help!

Although this time of year can make you want to pull your hair out and crave those summer days more than ever, remember to stop and smell the roses. Your kids will only be this age once, and one day when they are older and off to college or married, you will wish that you had these moments with them just one more time.

Spring Break!

 

When we hear the words ‘Spring break’ most of us conjure up images of crazy young people covering the beaches and over indulging! (No judgment, I once was one of those young people.) Today spring break is all about renewal. Whether it be my house, my relationships, my lifestyle, my thoughts, I find myself contemplating change.  Every spring a certain restlessness sets in and the need to make new is sometimes overwhelming. I think change is one of the healthiest and hardest things to do. If you are striving to continuously become a better person, healthier, more patient, more loving, open to learning, one has to embrace change.

My children are visiting their grandparents, so I have some extra time for reflection this week. I am taking this much needed time, to make sure my priorities are in order and making plans to increase my creativity and productivity. I just finished a book that is helping me get in line with my core values and implement some of these plans, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People  By Stephen R. Covey. I have walked past this book for years thinking it was just another *self-help book. I was wrong! It is full of the best advice on understanding what is truly valuable to you and making plans to reach the goals that matter most.

It is hard for me to rest, I once had a naturopath monitor my heart rate, and she informed me I was more relaxed standing up then laying down. I don’t know if she was legitimate or not, but what I do know is doing is in my blood, moving feels right to me, and small talk bores me. But if you do continuously and you don’t take the time to plan and reflect on what you are trying to accomplish I think you end up spinning your wheels. I am sure I won’t be able to sit still for more than a couple hours a day, but the next two weeks I will be taking a break and doing some mental spring cleaning. As Stephen Covey says in his book, “you have to take time to sharpen your saw.”

Have fun and be safe wherever your spring break takes you!

*Self-help books can be beneficial and they have had their time in my life, but they are not where I seek guidance anymore.