So you just got used to everyone enjoying later nights and less structure and suddenly you’re back into the school term, grinding it out. Transition is never seamless, no matter how well you set it up.
When we’re calm, engaged and focused, our kids will get the best from us. What’s going to make it easier to get back on track?
Here’s a quick heads up of 5 key areas to focus on:
Let go of the “should’s”
Kids don’t need perfect parents. It’s easy to heap expectations on ourselves that are counter-productive. When we make a mistake we can model how to be gracious and apologise. Read on for more ideas so we’re less likely to have to apologise.
None of us is at our best when we’re sleep deprived. Get up half an hour earlier. This is never a popular idea as it means we have to go to bed earlier! It’s a game changer though. You don’t have to do this every night to feel the benefit, one or two earlier nights in a week will add up. The laundry will be there to fold the next day. Put it in the spare room and close the door.
Schedule “me time”
Being a parent is an endless job, we are giving out constantly, all the time. We probably don’t have time to take several hours off to play golf or go to a spa. So what is achievable? Focus on small, achievable chunks. Even just 10 -20 minute chunks of something you like to do, can have a measurable impact on your mood. What do you enjoy? Chatting to your friends? Gardening or exercise? Grab those small chunks of time. If you can get away for longer then do that as well.
Ditch the guilt
Sometimes parents need to be reminded that it is OK to be selfish. A parent I know put it like this, “Self-care is not selfish”. Putting ourselves first, not only benefits us, but our entire family. Having something outside our families — a hobby, a career, baby-free friends, a moment of celebrated silence — is not only something that is vital to a parent’s mental and physical well-being, but something we all deserve.
Keep good friends
These folk are gold dust. Who do you appreciate and who appreciates you? Keep investing in those relationships that boost your mood. If you find yourself feeling a bit out of sorts when you’re around a particular group or person then maybe it’s time to limit your exposure to them.