This blog was written for the Little Ruth book series.
It’s back-to-school time. While you may not technically be taking tests or sitting in class all day—there’s a lot to learn. I’m not even talking about how to do the new long-division method.
All of us at Little Ruth gathered together and created a Working Mom Cheat Sheet For Back-To-School. This cheat sheet goes beyond the basic and unpractical, “perfectly follow a bedtime routine, eat a 3-course dinner while the whole family happily talks, etc.” We are here for the real and the realistic stuff. We got your back. Yes, you can cheat off of our paper ;)
Both you and your child(ren) may have a backpack full of emotions about returning to school. The excitement of a new grade, fears of not knowing what to expect, nervousness about making friends, and worries about what other kids may think of them—just to name a few.
Start talking to your kid about their feelings a few days or even a week before. Repeat often that you are always there to talk about whatever is going on inside their mind and body. An upset stomach the night before school can be related to nervousness, not dinner. Body language and physical "I don't feel good" can tell a lot. Let them know you also have feelings and that it is helpful to talk about them.
Continue to connect with your kids once school begins. Ask them things like: “High and low - I’d love to hear about your day.” High = a happy or fun point of their day. Low = a struggle or tough part of their day. And then share about your day. This brings them into your world and shows that you have happy and hard times as well—and you can get through them.
People of all ages (including you) are designed to play, use their imagination, laugh, and be silly. We all need to de-stress and feel a little lighter. After sitting at work and school all day, take even 15 minutes to “play” with your kids. Dance around, kick a ball, doodle in a coloring book, play tag, and ask your kids/teens their favorite ways to play. A little playtime goes a long way. It role models a healthy lifestyle, creates happy memories, and even counts for exercise time!
Create your mindset for the day. You may not have control over what happens to you, but you do control how you react and handle it. In the morning (in the car or eating breakfast, etc.), have everyone say 2 things they are grateful for and 2 affirmations. Examples: “I am grateful I’m on a softball team, and I am grateful I get to go to school (not everyone does around the world). “Today, I will lead with empathy. Today, I will stand up for those being bullied.”
Lastly, just order everything online. School supplies, clothes, snacks, and dish soap—can all easily be dropped off at your door for basically the same price. Dear busy working mom—instead of spending an hour sitting in traffic, wasting gas, and searching for items all over a store only to find out half are sold out…spend that time on yourself. You need and deserve YOU time. Having a career and being a mom are big parts of you, but they aren’t all that are you. Never stop being a student of yourself!