How to Avoid Being a Frazzled Mom
Yahoo! It's almost September! I know many of you are groaning right now, but that's too bad. I think September is awesome. I love the spontaneous and sunny days of summer, but only to remind me how much I crave the cooler weather and regular routines of fall. I wouldn't want it to be fall all-year-round but it nourishes my soul in a way that restores me for the rest of the year.
Even though there are still several weeks left of summer, September is back to school (or homeschool) for many of our kids and it's often referred to as the Mom's New Year. It seems to be the month that moms get their crap together and get the home running smoothly.
But that doesn't just happen by accident. If we're not prepared for the month ahead, we can end up frazzled and burned out halfway through the month. Or for some, we're frazzled the first morning of school when we realize we still have lunches to make and backpacks to load up.
No one wants to be that frazzled mom.
Here are my top 3 tips for keeping September smooth and stress-free!
1. Have a routine
Whether you realize it or not, we all follow a routine. We're creatures of habit. But there are two issues I see happen a lot:
First, we get stuck in our routines. This isn't necessarily a bad thing... until our routine needs to change. We can either make a sudden, forced change or we can make a gradual transition. Kids don't tend to do well with abrupt changes. So figure out what your daily routine is going to look like for the fall and start making those changes now. That might mean going to bed earlier and getting up earlier. It might mean getting dressed right away instead of lounging in pajamas until 10am. Think about it now so you're not scrambling on the first day of school!
Second, we turn our routines into strict schedules. Again, not necessarily a bad thing... until something unplanned comes up. Which we all know happens a lot. Schedules are generally very rigid and based on an exact time. Routines don't follow exact times, but more of the flow of your day. It's very easy to plan a schedule ahead of time but when we're faced with the unpredictability of life, we think we've failed.
The key here is to look ahead at how your day will flow and transition your routine to get there, but don't be hard on yourself if you're on day three and you still haven't managed to fit everything in. It takes time to adjust!
2. Plan ahead
Fail to plan, plan to fail, right?
There are many aspects of our days and weeks that could be planned ahead to avoid a lot of frustration and last minute craziness. Kids lunches can be made the night before. Dinners can be planned ahead and prepped in the morning. Take a look ahead at your calendar for each week and make note of what the kids will need each day for school, what activities the kids have scheduled, and what appointments you need to be at. If it's on your calendar, it shouldn't take you by surprise!
By planning ahead and being prepared for what you can predict is coming, you can better handle all the unknowns that inevitably come your way.
3. Take care of yourself
When our schedules get fuller, it becomes easier to forget about our self-care. But the irony is that without taking care of ourselves, we won't be able to keep up with all the demands! We're no good to our families if we're fatigued, frazzled, and unfocused.
No matter what comes your way, be sure to make these a priority:
- healthy meals
- regular exercise
- daily bible reading
- time for yourself
- time spent with friends
Just like January 1st, September can be a month to start fresh and get yourself healthy, organized, and ready to tackle life!