I don’t talk too much about parenting because I am not a parent but I do hear things. I know that a lot of you have crazy mornings trying to get everyone ready and out the door for school. I know you have mom guilt about things you are or are not doing for/with the kids. As the first week of school has started, this is the best time to revamp schedules and how things run in the house. You’ve had a few days to see how things are going and can analyze what needs improvement and what is working well.
Does it seem like a marathon in the morning? Is everyone running around like a crazy person to get out the door on time. I have found through the years that getting up five minutes earlier can do wonders for a schedule. You really don’t miss five minutes. But breaking that snooze habit that I talked about yesterday is key to making this work. If it means less hassle and stress in the morning it is totally worth it. If you give yourself five more minutes to get ready you may be able to appreciate the moments of getting the kids out the door. But remember to step back and take it all in at times. These moments won’t last forever.
There will likely be times you have to stay late at work and you will guilty about that. It’s okay! It happens from time to time. Don’t prioritize work over family but sometimes work needs a little more attention and sometimes family needs a little more attention. If there is one thing I could change right now for women it’s that they would stop feeling so guilty for living their life and doing the best they can.
Having dinner together remains a good source of family bonding. It happens on a regular basis and really gives you time to connect daily (or almost daily). I’ve read books where parents have quizzes about what kids learned at school that day or on current events. Or asking their opinion about some things that are forefront in the news. Give your kids a voice at the table and they will remember it and pass it on. Dinner should be a happy event. I don’t always remember it being that way when I was growing up. Make it a festive time that the whole family can look forward to (or try to make it fun for the teenagers...you know how they can be!)
Celebrate the moments and little victories along the way. Make a big deal out of the small stuff. I’m not saying you don’t do these things…only a reminder if your busy life has made you forget. I know how busy our lives are and it can be tough when you are in the thick of it but try to remember to enjoy the moments. Give that hug when they need ask for it. Make time for a chat. Look for those lists of questions that draw responses out of your kids. You know the ones that suggest you ask what the favorite part of their day was instead of a general “how was your day?” Be specific and they will more likely open up.
I know all of this is easier said than done. As most things are. Just do the best that you can if you are truly doing the best you can. And please, stop with the guilt! It doesn’t help you enjoy your life and it doesn’t make you a better parent. Be grateful for the time you have with your kids now before you blink and they are grown.
It’s already “I wish it were cocktail Friday” Thursday. Think of some fun things you can do with the kids this weekend that will help build lasting memories for all of you. And make today, your best day yet!
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