It’s Back-to-School season!
For some of our readers, this is an old hat you dust off every August and you have back to school shopping down to a science.
For others, you are just now entering that stage of life and it’s a whole new world of backpacks, packing lunches, and lots of first day tears. You are in a safe place…cry as many tears here as you want Momma. We are with you!
The biggest challenge I see so many families fall into is the back to school balancing act. Summer was fabulous in some ways because you had free time to go on vacation, sleep in, and have very few commitments. And it’s likely that all that blueberry pie and ice cream you ate is finally catching up and the gym is calling your name (hand in air! lol)
But in other ways, summer was crazy because the kids were home. ALL. DAY. And they played way to much Fortnite and you are ready for them to go back to the normal routine that school brings.
So how do you bring back to school balance into your life? I’m so glad you asked 🙂
First – Make a List
I LOVE a good list. Does anyone else thrive off of lists? On your list I want you to write down what you want out of this school year. Would you like to start having family game night? Family dinners? Want your kids (or Dad) to start helping with meals and chores? What about a family weekend getaway this fall? One night a week to all be home? Or find a church to visit?
It’s SOOOO easy to let others fill up our schedule for us so my challenge to you is to make a list of what you would love for your family this year. Go ahead and grab some paper…I’ll wait on you 🙂
Second – What do the Kids Want?
Now the fun begins! What is it that your kids want? Notice this is SECOND, not first. As moms it’s easy to put everyone else in front of ourselves so I’m giving you permission to think about what you want for your family first.
Here’s some questions that you could ask to help them think about the family…
- What would be a positive goal for our family this fall semester?
- What do you need from our family to feel loved and valued?
- What can you do for your siblings to help them feel loved?
- How can you use your skills and abilities to help out around the house?
- Is there something you want to do this fall outside of the school schedule? (Ie gymnastics, youth group, football, etc)?
Once you’ve had some sort of talk like this, write down what you talked about! You can even do this with all kids present. The goal is that you are getting your kids to think about how they can show love to their family and how they can be a part of making the family feel close.
I would LOVE to hear your kids thoughts! Share below!!
Third – Make the Necessary Cuts
Now I want you to think about how you felt last year. Did you have good balance? Did your family feel connected throughout the school year? Did you wish you had done more, or less?
Because of my husband’s job in ministry I talk with a LOT of families every week who really struggle with family balance. Usually the common stressor I hear is that the family and kids are just too busy.
The coaches want too many practices, the teachers are giving out too much homework, the kids are involved in too many activities, etc.
And I want more for you this school year. I want for our community to see an increase in family time and a decrease in family stress. I want you to have the balance you crave. Which means something might have to go. OR, many somethings.
How you decide is up to you. Maybe you have the kids make their own cuts, or you let them choose 1 sport/activity per semester.
Taking piano lessons, playing basketball, honors classes, etc. They all take time. They all require sacrifices. And the number one thing that ends up getting cut is the one thing your kid needs the most – family time.
Finally – Calendar It
So, now that you know what your family wants, and what needs to be cut – it’s action time.
I recommend on of those giant wall calendars for everyone to write down what’s going on for the month. You can pick them up at pretty much any office supply store or Walmart/Target/Hobby lobby. I actually made one out of an old window! Works awesome with a dry erase marker.
Each month fill in the family dates FIRST. If your goal is to do movie night every Thursday night with your kids, put a big circle on those nights. What about letting dad grill out one night a week? Calendar it.
Remember those questions you asked your kids? Helping around the house, what they can do for siblings, etc. Have them calendar it. Can your son mow? Calendar it. Can you daughter do all the sides on the night dad does the grill? Calendar it.
Having it in writing helps your family KNOW exactly what you are thinking and helps everyone be intentional about what you talked to them about BEFORE the semester started.
I hope that this guide helps you and your family to be closer this year than ever before! You are loved sweet Momma!!