Are you drowning in busy?

  • Are your counters covered in stacks of art projects, permission slips, and homework folders?
  • Is your calendar spilling over with ink from after school activities, volunteering, and the beginning of fall commitments.
  • Are your days rushed: running nonstop from here, to there, and everywhere?

The beginning of back-to-school used to leave me treading water. Just waiting for the next wave to pummel me before I could return to the surface gasping for air. After nearly three years of this continuous back-to-school blues cycle, I did something about it. Here are my top tips to not just stay afloat but to beat those back-to-school blues and ride that wave in all the way to shore!

  1. Limit Activities. 

    This one isn’t just for the kids either. Limit all family activities: church activities, work activities, sports, and clubs. In our family, each child is allowed to participate in one after school activity at a time. One activity, doesn’t always translate to one day a week, so this rule keeps us from having multiple activities each day, for each child.

  2. Use your time in the car for fun! 

    Driving is inevitable no matter how many kiddos you have or how many activities they are in. It’s just a fact of life. Utilize that time and use it for fun. Podcasts are one of my favorites ways. Other ways are: telling jokes, rocking out to music, or talking about our day. We use the game High-Low, we each take a turn telling about our high point of the day and then our low point. It helps to avoid the inevitable response, “fine”, when asked how’s your day?

  3.  Make Homework time productive. 

    Get kids a good snack, and get after it. Sometimes this depends on the day or the kid, but we like to get our homework done right away. If your kiddo struggles to sit down and get his/her homework done in one chunk,  try breaking it up little by little through the evening. If homework becomes a battle in your house, know you have a choice. Talk to their teacher about reducing their homework or not doing it all together. I did this for my daughter last year. This article has more information. 

  4. Plan Ahead. 

    There is nothing I love more than walking in the door at the end of a very long day to dinner that’s been cooking while I have been running around. I also try to double-dip while out and about. I plan errands around drop-offs and activities that are in the same proximity. Planning ahead whether it’s meal prep or organizing errands to specific locations can make life so much easier.

  5. Give your self a break.

    There’s absolutely nothing wrong with take-out or drive-thru on those super busy nights. Or instead of running errands try reading a favorite book during baseball practice or taking a walk. Make sure you give yourself a beak and take care of you.