Editor’s note: This article first ran in the August issue of Torch Talk.
The anxiety of returning to school usually hits when I walk into a grocery store and see the shelves lined with spiral notebooks, No. 2 pencils and backpacks. Even though I’ve been out of school for years I still can’t help getting a little stressed out at the thought of saying goodbye to summer. Fortunately, my daughter is only three and while she will be starting pre-school in the fall it won’t be as intense as when she’s going to school full-time. So how do working parents keep their sanity while balancing both their careers and their children’s school life?
To ensure your family starts off on the right foot I’ve compiled a few tips to ensure you keep your cool this school year.
KNOW YOUR ROLE
If your family is run likes a sports team —with everyone playing a specific role —you are more likely to be efficient during those stressful times. You know, the ones that remind you of overtimes in the playoffs. So make sure everyone in the family knows what roles they play, from transporting kids to school and activities, to who’s checking homework and starting dinner. Older kids can help by getting themselves ready in the morning or by getting their younger siblings out the door on time. Even younger kids can help by clearing the table at night and feeding the family pets. *Needs some help around the house? Consider hiring a cleaning service to come through to keep your family on track. Check out accredited businesses like A + Sparkle & Shine Cleaning Service in Tacoma.
What’s your Plan B? You should always have a backup plan in place should someone be unable to fulfill their role. If you suddenly have an early morning meeting scheduled there should be someone available to help out. Having a babysitter on-call is a great way to guarantee everyone is taken care of and you are able to concentrate on your job. *Looking for before and after-school help? There are a number of child care facilities who offer assistance for working families. Look for accredited businesses like Harvard Park Children’s Learning Center North in Spokane.
Imagine how you feel at the end of a long day of work. By the time 6 p.m. rolls around you’re ready to prop up your feet and settle down with a glass of wine and a little Netflix. Just because kids have more energy than adults, doesn’t mean they don’t require their own time to unwind. When kids are overscheduled with school, tutoring, sports, dance classes and play dates it can cause them to get grouchy. My mother used the term “recharge your batteries” when she would send us to our rooms for a little quiet time. While activities are important for a child make sure they aren’t out of the house too often. Stick with one activity per season so you still have time for studying and some much needed family time. *Want your kid to find fulfillment outside of the classroom? Consider putting them in extra-curricular activities like ballet or karate. Find accredited businesses like Spectrum II Art and Dance Studio in Idaho.
MAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF
At the end of the day if you aren’t making time for your own sanity, no one in your home is going to be happy. So don’t feel guilty about penciling in some “you” time once a month. *Find relaxation by getting a massage or hitting the links! Look for accredited businesses like Milwaukee Massage Therapy and Broadmoor Golf Course in Oregon, both designed to help you fight those back to school blues.