Congratulations, mama! You did it. Pandemic spring, stay at home summer and now we’re tackling a new year.
This episode started out with my chatting with basically my most important guest ever, my daughter Evie! Evie is 7 and starting 1st grade this year and I wanted to give you the kid perspective on this new school year. She shared what she’s excited for, nervous about, not looking forward to, and showed off her funny, silly sarcastic little personality that I loooove so much!
2020-2021 School Year Hopes and Dreams
Grab this printable in my shop (either digital or printed and mailed to you with confetti!) to get some good conversations going about back to school and where their heads at!
My Back to School Love Letter to You
To the mom who is feeling sad, overwhelmed, anxious, scared and grieving for what this school year should look like, this is my love letter to you.
First and foremost before I begin, I want to tell you that you are a great mom. You have chosen the plan that is best for YOUR family and that is the only thing that matters. If it’s different from your friends, cool. If your family isn’t on bored, okay. It may be scary, you may be questioning and hoping you did the right thing for everyone involved and thats okay. You are a good mom. You want the best for your kids and family and you are doing just that, no matter what it looks like.
So to all the moms out there, virtual learning moms, sending kids to school moms, homeschooling moms teaching the kids on your own, to the mom that may just take a break from school because your mental health or job may win- you are a great mom. You love your kids. At the end of this we will be fine. Every single one of us and our kids will need some catch up damage control time so we’ll all be in the same boat. Grab a lifejacket and hop aboard. Time to ride it out and see what happens.
I have a few recommendations for all families that I’m going to share today. Take what feels good, abandon what doesn’t, or revisit at a later time when you’re ready to make a plan. I am someone who needs a semblance of control. Just a little bit to make me feel like I got this. So that is what my tips are about today- what can I control, what can I do to set me and my kids up for success.
Figure out something to outsource. Let things go. Order meal delivery for the first month, do Instacart of Amazon Fresh for groceries. Hire a cleaner, pay the neighbor kid to fold your laundry or help your kid with their homework. Whatever is sticky right now and feeling like yet another thing you need to do that you don’t have the headspace for- try and find someone to take it over.
Rediscover Your Girlfriends
Get a date on the calendar RIGHT NOW with your girlfriends. Car date, drinks in groups of 4 at a restaurant, whatever you feel comfortable with as a group- text them right now, get a date on the calendar and have something to look forward to.
Claim a Day of the Week for YOU
After you text your girls, sit down with your partner and each claim a night of the week that is yours. This is crucial to my mental health and to the health of my marriage. We both need alone time to work on ourselves and whatever it is we need at the time. Sometimes this looks like driving around listening to a podcast, sometimes it means locking myself in my room with Selling Sunset and other times it’s working at a restaurants with my laptop and glass of wine. For my husband, it looks like riding his mountain bike. It doesn’t matter what you do, the point is to do it and feel ZERO guilt about it.
Back to a Routine
Try to have some sort of system for making school look different than home. I haven’t started school yet BUT this is my plan: kids wake up, I still stay in bed and drink my coffee and read because that is MY time and my kids know how to make their own breakfast. Then, we have a set music alarm on Alexa, she goes off 30 minutes before school starts and it’s login time. During that 30 minutes, we’re getting dressed for the day, brushing teeth, shaking out some wiggles and starting our day. Enter school and hoping the teacher takes over and sets the routine/schedule so I’m not planning anything until I see what goes on there, and then at the end of the school day, I am going to have some sort of trigger habit to signal that its time to just hang as a family. Either a snack waiting, a candle that gets lit, another music alarm on Alexa that acts as the “School bell” A physical cue to them that their day is done and now they get to be kids and have fun at home. Does that make sense?
Pick a word of the year.
You heard Evie and I talk about our word at the top of the show- she chose kindness because it’s something she’s working on, and I chose patience because hello. Patience with myself, my kids, my partner, the teachers, the government, the friends online during an election year, oh boy. PA to the SHINTZ. We haven’t sat down as a family to decide ours yet but I’m going to take a guess that it may be something along the lines of patience, grace or however else you are supposed to sum up get me to the end of this immediately. This word keeps your family on the same page. It’s easy to refer to, it’s easy to spark discussion around it and it helps remind everyone of the focus and what you’re trying to do as a family unit.
I have no freaking clue what this next year is going to look like. I’m just as overwhelmed and nervous as you are. But I’m going to put my mom pants on and try to make it the best damn first grade and PreK year I can because my kids will never again experience those grades. So bring it 20-21. I’m sure as heck not ready for you, but I will do my best and appreciate what experiences you bring to my family in watching my kids learn and grow this year!
Mama, I believe in you. I’m here if you need to chat, vent, share, whatever. Can’t wait to hear about this first month at school. Fill me in would you? Let me know how it’s been, what’s better than you anticipated, harder, etc. Share away. I’d love to hear about your journey!
Feels so good to be back on the show talking to you! I’ve got some really fun things in store for this next year of the podcast, can’t believe it’s almost been two full years! Make sure you’re subscribed and I’ll talk to you next week, my sweet friend.
CONNECT WITH ME, ALLISON!
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