School Year Re-set (part 3 of the “That’s a HARD NO” series)
End of Summer Blues
So it’s mid-August. The kids are gearing up for back-to-school any minute and most moms are losing their shit on a daily basis. Yup. I said it. I’m hearing from WAY too many moms that the burnout has reached “Disco Inferno Level.”
No joke–I hear the words “crazy,” “chaos,” and “overwhelmed” multiple times a day and is scares me a bit for myself and my friends.
Why is August so much worse than the rest of the year for moms (I’m not trying to exclude dads, just that in MOST families, what I’m about to outline TYPICALLY falls to moms)? Here’s my personal list of reasons why and see how many are relatable:
- Kids are bored and fighting.
- The school supply lists are coming out and are daunting.
- New clothes for your kids who’ve outgrown everything and/or completely changed their style over the summer.
- You are trying to suck the life out of the FUN part of summer and cram in the last few fun bucket list items.
- Your list of projects keeps growing (clean out closets, re-organize garage, paint the bathroom) but someone needs something literally EVERY DAY.
- The school sports (for upper grades) has been all summer, but is now EVERY DAY and you live in your car with carpools.
- Your vacation was weeks ago and you’re sad because you have no beach to look forward to.
- You looked at your new year’s resolutions and feel like an epic failure because you haven’t done any of them.
- You’ve put on weight because you live in your car (no exercise) and have been eating crap food with your kids (please remember, both my boys play football and are huge. So quadruple what you’re thinking).
- You write a new check EVERY SINGLE DAY for something else for school and feel totally broke.
- You miss your time, your friends, your schedule and that list is sooooooo long, it’s depressing.
I Saw the Signs
Just so happens that this morning, I was viewing my “Darren Daily” video. Darren Hardy is a VERY famous motivational guru and I get his emails every day. The first book of his I read is linked in this post too (“The Compound Effect” is my go-to when I need to reset). You can sign up HERE and I URGE YOU to do so. Watch over your morning coffee for a mental charge, but I digress. Here’s today’s video that spoke to me on SEVERAL levels, so I am truly taking it as a sign to share this process with you:
Here’s why this resonated with me TODAY of all days…I’m already in this process AND I’m headed to my kid’s media day (football photos) as well as STEELERS TRAINING CAMP today. You see what it was SOOOO karmic?
So NOW What?
Motivated by DH, I thought it’s a bit past the mid-year point, but games are won in the fourth quarter too. The kids have to re-set for the school year, so I will too. Therefore, I want to share what I have actually ALWAYS done in August to prepare for MY New Year’s Eve–this year it’s August 31, the day my kids go back to school.
When you have kids in school, I am a FIRM believer in using the school year as YOUR New Year’s also. Their schedule is changing, the family calendar needs updating, and *maybe* you will get a little more predictability in your life. If you feel like you cannot possibly have more routine, NOW is the time to ENSURE it happens.
Ever noticed that MANY planners and calendars start in August? THIS IS WHY THEY DO!!!! Now honestly, I wish they’d just do an August-August version and not do the 18 month because I ALWAYS get a new planner in August (Hey, Spartina 449 and Kate Spade–I’m talking to YOU!!! Help a girl out, m’kay).
First and foremost, COLLECT ALL YOUR DATA: calendars, resolutions, planners, meal plans, anything you can think of that is what you need to AND WANT TO commit to. THE WANT TO COMMIT TO PART IS CRITICAL!!!!!
First load the HAVE TO DO’s. The work obligations, kids’ activities. EXERCISE is an absolute (even if it’s walking your dog, write it down). Keep a block DAILY for homework time, meal times, and YOUR calendar prep for the next week, etc. If you luck out on a “no homework” night, you’ve earned a bonus block, which I’ll explain later.
Next up, your WANT TO DO’s. These literally should be treated as SACRED. These are your dream blocks. Wish you had two days every month where your family was committed to a fun activity? BLOCK THE TIME. Maybe it’s a game night, movie night. Perhaps you all like to hike or have some bucket list items to check off. Want to take a cooking class, learn a new skill, sort through your photos and take scrapbooking back up (this would be me, for sure)–WRITE THEM DOWN. Have a stack of books for personal development or pleasure reading sitting bedside? Give yourself an hour 1-2 times a week to sit and read. (Incidentally, we ALL need quiet alone time and it’s a premium anymore, so ask your kids to set apart their own time, too. No tech involved.) The key is to WRITE IT DOWN.
Now, look for open times. Is there anything left? These are BONUS BLOCKS. Highlight them, circle them in red, whatever you need to do to cling to that time. Sometimes, they happen by surprise. ENJOY this! maybe you can do something spontaneous….they are a bonus and I hope you revere them and celebrate.
That said, if you’re like me, there really isn’t too much. HOWEVER, I am committing to getting up BEFORE my kids this year (I am a complete glutton for punishment and NOT a morning person) starting in ten minute increments. I’m setting my alarm ten minutes early, a week at a time, until it’s a bout 45 minutes before them (which would be 5:00am. Wish me luck).
The VERY VERY good news about having it all written down is this….get ready…it’s your big takeaway….
When your calendar is completely full and someone asks you if you can do that one more thing, the answer is a QUANTIFIABLE NO.
Sam, I literally CAN’T EVEN with you right now….
I’m sorta doing it to myself as I read this blog. And now, I’m going to get SUPER transparent–I suck at this. I write my calendar and it lasts about two weeks. Sadly, the saying goes that something you do for THREE weeks becomes habit, so you see how successful I’ve been. BUT here I am again, channeling the teachings of every mentor I’ve ever had, blocking out my calendar. This year, in writing it all to YOU, it just may stick.
So there’s my game plan. Ready for the game changer. These small tweaks and new mental resolve and commitment are ready.
PS Check out Darren Hardy’s book. This really changed my life and my goal setting. I don’t beat myself up with failures anymore because each step is progress.
PPS Tell me how I can help you or what things YOU do to stay on track.