Summer Is Almost Over, Are You Ready?
Heading back to school means new chaos, new schedules, earlier bedtimes, new homework, new friends, new beginnings. Back to school shopping and uniform purchases, completing summer reading, and keeping your fingers crossed that your kiddos didn’t spend so much time having fun and unexpectedly mushed their academic brains. While this next chapter can be exciting, it is certainly a time of transitions, and you’re probably hyper focused on prepping your little ones with encouragement, expectations, and enthusiasm. But inside of your head, if you’re anything like me, you’re also in need of your own affirmations, strength, and serenity.
It’s easy to fall into this next school year and, like other years before, unintentionally lose who you are, re-identifying yourself as a logistical mastermind, chaos coordinator, homework hero, and superwoman of schedules, sports practices, and special events.
But this year can be different, and I’ll tell you a little secret to how: habits.
Build a new habit that allows you to work in some “you” time, where you’re off the clock and the world doesn’t fall apart in your absence.
New habits are not a new notion, but they are a little ironic. What I mean is, it takes creating new habits to make new habits. No wonder it’s so difficult to actually do, especially long term.
In the summer before my eighth grade year, our school got a new girls’ basketball coach. I was elated when he invited me to attend a summer basketball camp for … get this … the varsity team! I joined the camp and was completely out of my league. Starry-eyed at all the varsity girls, I attempted to emulate their skills and their enthusiasm for the game. I was by all accounts the star of my junior high team, but I was just a little minnow in a giant pond of groupers at this camp. Still, I gave it everything I had, and no one could deny that desire was my weak point.
The coach pulled me aside at the end of the camp, and he told me that he recognized my work ethic, but I could not make a left-handed layup if my life depended on it. It was a Saturday afternoon. He said that if I came back Monday and I could make a left-handed layup consistently (with my left-hand), he would put me on the varsity team! I asked him how I could possibly do that, and he said that I have to teach my body a new habit. He said to say the steps out loud when I do the steps ONE THOUSAND times, and he promised that it would yield positive results. I trusted him, and I went straight home to practice.
Left – Right – Left – Shoot! Left – Right – Left – Shoot! Left – Right – Left – Shoot!
1000 times. I did it! I practiced long into the evening hours and all day Sunday, counting to 1000 times. I went in on Monday and … you guessed it … I made the varsity team!
Now, as an adult, I forever have that memory to rely on to remind me that new habits are possible. And as a mom, I need these reminders so I don’t lose myself again in this new school year. I’ve learned that new habits don’t magically stick, and just like learning to make a left-handed layup, it will take effort to make sure I have time for myself this new school year. What are new habits you can do so you don’t lose yourself? Exercise, bubble baths and a glass of wine, thrift store shopping, getting your nails done, and even relaxing with a binge show.
All of those are achievable, and here’s how:
- Get a habit tracker and hold yourself accountable
- Stop feeling guilty for needing some time to yourself. You give, give, give, and others take, take, take. You deserve a rest on a regular basis.
- If you have a partner, it’s ok to ask them to step in and take the reigns. Sure, they might complain. And you’re right, no one does the mommy job as well as you – you know all of the details and are able to remember details that your partner may not, but perfection can sometimes cost you your sanity.
- Don’t give up!
You will survive this new school year, but you can do with your sanity and building some good new habits.