Today is the first day of school for many (mine started last Monday, more on that later). I imagine all the smiles and waves as the bus drove off this morning taking your precious ones away for the first of 180 glorious days. Maybe there were tears, probably a few cheers and possibly even giddiness bordering on euphoria. For me, when that bus turned the corner, I vowed that it was time to reclaim my house and my life! I would make a change. “No more procrastinating, it’s time to get back writing.” That was eight days ago.
FAIL. Epic fail.
I had such high hopes. Finally, the peace and quiet I’d been longing for, yearning of, dreaming about, salivating over …you get the idea. Oh, dear me, can it possibly be TOO quiet. Nah, impossible, inconceivable, no bloody way. If I had to rank one of the hardest parts of being a parent it would have to be:
Oh, the noise! Oh, the noise! Noise! Noise! Noise!
There’s one thing I hate! All the NOISE! NOISE! NOISE! NOISE!
The Grinch and I are firmly aligned on that point. So, what could be the matter?
Some of you may be shaking your head saying “nope, no problem here.” Carpe back to school diem all the way. Snap. Plenty of time to workout after I get the kids on the bus. There go the the five plus pounds of summer barbecue weight. Snap snap. I’m uber-organized, firing on all cylinders. Ten ready to reheat meals for the freezer. Snap, snap, snap. Closets changed over from summer to fall clothes. Applause all around to you ladies. Good for you, you go-getter you! Better cover your head: falling sarcasm here.
This blog post is for the rest of us. The ones that are jarred by the change from summer vacation to school days. The deer in headlights Moms that can’t believe the house is empty and quiet for huge swaths of the day. The Moms that are drowning under a sea of school paperwork and dirty dishes.
You CAN get back on track. I promise you and all it takes is three easy steps to start you down the yellow brick road to school day productivity.
First, turn off social media. Yes, that means Facebook, Pinterest, and the like. Or, limit it to the time it takes you to drink a cup of hot coffee (and don’t let that coffee go cold!). If you check social media all day long, it’s nothing more than substituting one distraction for another. Instead of “Mom, can I set up a lemonade stand?”, it’s “[Insert name] commented on a post you’re tagged in” or “[insert name] repinned one of your pins.” Distractions take many insidious forms and shapes. You need to eliminate them. I know it will be hard but you CAN DO IT!
Second, set manageable goals. My to-do list was a mile long at the beginning of last week and only two things got crossed off the list. Every time I glanced at it, I reached for a bag of Cheetos instead. Snap. Back to school weight gain. Rip that list up (or just tuck it away somewhere in case your Mommy brain forgets some of the stuff on it) and start over with just two or three things to accomplish.
Third and last, set up a routine and stick to it. We always tell ourselves that kids thrive on routine but parents do too. Whether you’re a stay at home mom or work full-time outside the house, the back to school routine is different than the summer vacation routine. You need to make sure you stick with your routine whatever it may be.
It may take some of us a little longer to get our back to school groove on but we’ll get there. I know we will. Writing this blog post was a great first step!