Hey Mom, Got the Back to School Blues? Here are 4 tips for making this school year the best one ever. (Really!)
Heading back to school during a once-in-a-lifetime health pandemic is a new experience for everyone, but for moms it holds some unusual challenges. Back-to-school season is usually a time of anticipation for the kids mixed with a healthy dose of soon-to-come time relief for mom. This year is different.
There is confusion about when – if – schools will start. There are multiple considerations about how learning will take place; will there be full school days, rotating days of classroom learning, e-learning days, virtual classrooms – or should you consider home-schooling options or private tutoring with a teacher or teacher’s aide? What about social engagement for the kids? If this is a benchmark year for one of your children (his or her first year in school, or a transition year from elementary to middle school, or a high school graduation year), there are also emotional considerations – these are important memory-making years.
…and then, of course, there are the health considerations. The safety of our kids as well as of their teachers and school support staff is our most important concern – but can we ensure that they’ll be safe and stay that way? Sigh…there is so much to consider! With all the decisions that need to be made – and often with incomplete or changing information – our spirits can take a nosedive, impairing our ability to move forward with confidence and grace.
What can we do about it? Here are 4 ideas worth considering—
Don’t go it alone.
You’re a mom; we already know you’re a super-hero and a wildly capable woman, but we’re in the middle of a pandemic and however capable you are, this isn’t the time to go it alone. Be as smart as you are powerful and get a support team in place! Whether that support consists of a neighborhood group of moms, an online support group, your therapist or counselor, your personal concierge, your BFF – or all of these – make sure you have a support system in place. Having a support system in place is like having an emotional rainy-day fund. When times get tough, you’ve got a curated and well-chosen group of women behind you to help you get – or stay – on your feet. Don’t go it alone.
Get help on the domestic front.
We promise: when school finally does start, the confusion won’t end. As the school year (to say nothing of the pandemic!) progresses, you’re going to need all of your physical and emotional energy to deal with the changes and adjustments that this year will demand. Do yourself a favor and get some help on the domestic front. It’s not a question of whether you can keep your home running during a crazy time; we know you can. The real question is how you should spend your energy. We suggest you focus it on what’s vital to your personal health and to your family’s emotional and physical safety. The basic, repetitive domestic stuff? Let someone else do it. If you haven’t used a personal concierge firm previously, this is a great time to learn more about what they offer – from domestic de-cluttering services to auto and pet care, to vendor and errand management. Let your concierge take care of the non-essential stuff. You’re going to have way more important things to do.
Give yourself extra time – for everything.
This school year give yourself extra time for everything. The beginning of a new school year is always filled with new, untried, routines that require more of your time than you think they are going to. This year, especially, that challenge will be multiplied many fold. The vagaries of managing the COVID pandemic mean that there will be more changes than usual and your routines, however well-planned, may need to be adjusted. The pandemic-induced changes themselves will be enough to adjust to; don’t add undue stress to your day by failing to plan for them. Give yourself extra time to deal with the upheaval and disruptions that are bound to be a part of the coming academic year. Start your day a bit earlier, create alternative plans, and give yourself some “gravy” time for the unexpected. You’ll need it!
Delegate as much as possible
In aid of giving yourself a bit of “gravy” time in your day, delegate as many of your non-essential tasks as possible. If you aren’t already using the services of a personal assistant or personal concierge, this is a great time to begin doing so. An intelligent and proactive assistant or concierge, acting on your behalf, taking on the responsibility of the necessary, but mundane, everyday tasks of your life is a gift to yourself and your family. Laundry, meal prepping, and getting the dog to the vet? All jobs you can delegate. De-cluttering, running to the grocery for the one item you forgot for tonight’s dinner, getting someone out to fix the dishwasher – hand it all off to your personal concierge and get on with your day.
Now, more than ever, your family needs your full attention. Your kids need what only you can provide. They need your leadership as they manage a new school year – one that will be filled with new ideas, skills, and concepts they will be called on to learn and embrace – but they also need your love. It’s a scary time for you, for all the adults you know; can you imagine how much more so for your kids? Give them all your love and attention. Be fully in the moment with them as they ask questions about what they’ve heard at school, or talk to you about a scary situation in the classroom, or share with you a sadness they are experiencing because they don’t fully understand what is going on.
This school year, be smart. You already know it’s going to be an unusual time. Plan for it: don’t go it alone, get help on the domestic front, give yourself extra time for everything, and delegate as many of your routine tasks as possible. Your kids are going to need more of you this year; be there for them and make this school year the best one ever!
Want to learn more about how a personal concierge can help make this school year easier? We’d love to hear from you. We offer a complimentary consultation – by phone, Zoom, or in person. We’ll be glad to chat with you about your unique situation and your particular family needs. You can reach us at 864-283-6770 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.