How to Simplify the School Routine
The kids are back to school! How does this make you feel? Are you excited, relieved, or concerned about getting back to the school routine?
Many mothers feel a sense of relief once their kids are back in school and busy growing intellectually and socially. They appreciate the space and time to focus on their delayed self care and wellbeing.
Still other mothers dread the thought of waking up early, going through the same routine of preparing lunch boxes and school bags; dropping kids off to school and picking them up; doing homework and chauffeuring afternoon activities.
But whether you prefer a structured routine, or enjoy a free-style unstructured day, there are three strategies that can help you enjoy the school routine.
Establish a vision
Write down in your journal/diary how you would like your day to flow. It really helps if you can think of what would make you feel accomplished and relaxed. Include the things that you do for yourself (personal self-care); at work (that could include house work) and for others (kids, partner, parents, siblings, colleagues). Be very specific in the daily tasks, activities as well as weekly and monthly ones too. Write them all down in a calendar in a way that makes you feel confident and not overwhelmed.
Establish agreement as a family
Once you’ve established an overall vision and schedule, it’s time to share this vision with your family. I highly recommend preparing well ahead of this conversation. Make sure you have all your specifics and details in place to avoid any confusion or misunderstanding in the future as you implement this vision. Also, make sure everyone agrees on the time for this discussion.
If you prefer structure, agree with your family on specific times for each activity and hang the schedule somewhere visible to everyone.
If you prefer a more flexible flow for the day, discuss your expectations with your family and be clear on what tasks need to be delegated and what each person’s responsibility is and instead of a visible schedule, prepare an accountability sheet where everyone can tick off their completed task.
Once you’ve shared your vision, it could take you a few days or even weeks to finalise the vision and then actually implement the specific activities, especially if working around shared goals isn’t the norm for your family, and that’s ok.
Be open and flexible
It your original plan doesn’t work out, so what?! Review and make changes to your agreement and share with your family what worked and what didn’t. Think of other available options and try again!