School’s In! Tips for Getting Organized for the New School Year.

It is with a degree of difficulty that we think about giving up that last little slice of the summer pie we have been afforded year after year. But, alas, as summer draws to a close and fall is upon the horizon, it is time to prepare for that ever daunting task of getting back to school The time doesn’t have to be stressful, however. And, I have created some tips to help get you organized and all set for the new school year with a degree of optimism and enthusiasm like never before.

Morning Routine– No matter if you are a busy mom with children heading back off to school, you are a college student, or you are a more non-traditional adult with no small children, but have a full time job and are working on college courses, either online or in a brick and mortar university, having a solid morning routine can substantially set you up for a more successful school year. Morning routines are as varied as the individual that is executing them. Perhaps, you are a stay at home mom who only needs to be mindful of the time in which the children need to be ready for the school bus or time to leave for the school drop off line; or maybe you work outside the home and have a specific time that you have to have everyone ready to leave the house in order to arrive to work on time. It is simply a matter of taking into account any times that have to be allotted for non-negotiable things, such as school times, work times, and commute times. My current morning routine consists of two components- house chores and self care. My morning house routine is to being my day with unloading the dishwasher, swish and swipe the bathrooms, make the bed, and begin a load of laundry. Likewise, my morning self care routine is brushing my teeth, applying my morning power serum, day cream with sunscreen, make up and hair. I’m both cursed and lucky in the regard that my hair is short and thin, so I do not have to allow for extra time for hair straighteners or curlers. My whole morning routine takes me less than thirty minutes to complete. I currently work from home, so I do not have to stick to a rigid time frame for completing my morning routine. However, that was not always the case. I used to work outside of the home and I knew what time I needed to leave to arrive to work on time, taking into account that I was in the heart of the rush hour commute in Atlanta traffic. I made allowances by getting up thirty to forty minutes earlier to provide the time needed to complete my morning chores and maintain my morning routine.

Make a Plan– I cannot stress enough the value of a functional planner. I put emphasis on the word functional, because it is all too common and all too easy to start preparing for a new school year by purchasing a crisp, clean, and gorgeous new planner to keep track of all of your important dates and reminders, yet after a few weeks or so, the planner seems to fall by the way side and gets written in less and less as you find yourself forgetting more important things. The planner system that I currently use is the Happy Planner brand. I chose it for its functionality as well as customization. I have played around with a variety of planners from the generic Walmart planners to Franklin Covey and I have a set up ready for 2020 from the Agenda 52 line to go back to a binder style planner. Regardless of what brand or style of planner you choose, it should be one that is functional for all of your needs and user friendly enough to inspire you to refer to it and write in it daily. The idea is that keeping a planner is essential to tracking appointments and assignment due dates.

Prep for the Evenings– As important as a morning routine is, having an evening routine can be just as vital. Evening routines include tasks such as dinner, cleaning the kitchen, baths, and laying out clothes for the next day. A good way to prepare for the evenings, and alleviate a lot of undue stress is menu planning. By planning out your menus in advance, you can adjust day by day, according to any after work or after school appointments or errands and prep easy to fix meals on the days that you have commitments that would otherwise take away time needed to prepare a complicated recipe dish. For instance, ball practice after school? Toss an easy roast in the crock pot, set on low, and when you arrive home dinner will be ready with only a quick side dish or two. Side note, steam vegetables make a wonderful quick side dish on those busy nights! In an effort to try and have an easy and stress free evening, try to implement planning for the evening and night routines as much as you can early on in the day or on a Sunday evening, to alleviate a lot of the juggling and panic to try and decide on a dinner choice or locate the baseball mitt on the fly.

Delegate- As mothers, we tend to want to do everything for everyone. It is, in essence, in our nature to be nurturers. But, being a nurturer and being a martyr are two completely different things. While we love our families and love taking care of them, we do not have to do it all. It is possible, and essential to delegate our work to the other members of our family. Even small children can benefit from being assigned to pick up their own toys or put their clothes in the hamper for washing. Taking on everything can be stressful and limiting in the amount of quality time we spend with our families. So, take a few items off your to-do list, and graciously gift them to family members who can handle those tasks. The work will get completed much quicker, and you can enjoy a few moments of blissful silence relaxing in the bubble bath with a glass of chilled wine at the end of the evening. Oh yeah, and enjoy time spend with the family as well. Now, the important, and I do me the most important thing to remember when delegating tasks to the other members of your family is – do not expect perfection! Perfection is an illusion best saved for fools. Be grateful to them for the help they provide you. Do not go behind your children and re-make their beds or re-fold their clothes in the drawer. Just enjoy that you had the time freed up and enjoy sitting with them on the couch enjoying a movie before bed time.

Affiliate Disclosure Statement- This blog post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a commission (at no additional cost to you.) Thank you for your support in this way.

Who’s Identity Is This Anyway?

The family dynamic is often different from family to family. But, sometimes, one, or both, parents will form an unhealthy attachment to another member of the family, be it a spouse or child, that can cause a great deal of undue stress to the family system, as a whole. A problem in living could arise when a single mother becomes too dependent on her children. She may use them as a crutch. As the children get older, and get jobs as teenagers, the mother uses their income as “family” income to cover the bills and family expenses. The mother does not want the children to date or have relationships outside of the home. As the children grow into adulthood and eventually do leave home, the mother becomes very bitter and grudgeful toward them. The mother tries to make her children feel guilty for leaving home, and continually expressed to them that she is struggling to make it in life because she does not have their financial support. She expresses to her children that she is depressed, the home is unkempt, her health is declining, and she lies in bed all the time. She makes suggestion to them that she just “wants to die” because she has nothing to live for since her children have “abandoned” her.

            The problem with using her children as a crutch and trying to make them feel guilty for living their own lives, not only affects her, but can have an enormous strain on her children. The relationship they now have with their mother can be strained and stressful. Some of the shadow side of her thinking can include the limiting beliefs that she needs the financial support of her children to survive, or that her children have abandoned her when they have simply pursued their own adult lives.

            Some of the goals that can be beneficial to her can be, finding hobbies or interests that may get her out to social situations where she can make friends, she could take an interest in dating and develop a relationship that becomes important to her so that she does not feel alone, and she could work on restructuring the relationship that she has with her children in a way that is more of a parent of adult children, rather than a mother who is dependent on them.

            The outcome of achieving those goals could include a future where she no longer has a strained relationship with her children, but a healthy one in which they can progress through the future in a normal family system. She could find someone to date, and find happiness in developing a relationship with someone who could be a potential spouse and they could build a life and home together. Also, she could find things that she enjoys doing and make friendships that will get her out of her home and socialize more instead of lying in bed all the time feeling like she has no one or nothing in the world to live for. Achieving those goals can also influence her declining health. By taking an interest in having friends or dating, she may be more inclined to take an interest in herself and work on the things that are contributing to her poor health, such as taking her medications, eating properly, and being more active versus just being dormant by lying in bed when she is not at work.

            This process could be achieved by being empathetic and actively listening while allowing her to set the pace, or be in the driver’s seat, and work on the problems as she is ready to tackle them. When she gets to a place where he is bogged down by her limiting beliefs or procrastination or simply stuck on one problem and does not seem to be making the effort to progress forward, she can be nudged or challenged in a way that will provide the little push she needs. A collaborative effort to work on setting the goals with her that are realistic and will produce the idea future she envisions for herself would be the next step. Then, mapping out an action plan and focusing on a reasonable time frame to put the implementation in motion to mover her along toward her goals would come next. All along, there would be a need for feedback to assess where she is in the helping process and what should be the next step to keep her moving forward.

References

Egan, Gerard. “The Skilled Helper: a problem-management and opportunity development” 2014.  Cengage Learning.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑