As a working or stay at home parent, keeping all those balls in the air gets very difficult. Let’s face it, it’s truly a juggling act. We as parents and grandparents have the best intentions when it comes to making sure our children have everything they need and a whole lot of what they want, but then tend to forget to include the plan of action in making in all happen smoothly.
The start of school is finally here. Yay!-Some peace of mind for a change. Who are you kidding?! It’s off and running again to morning car line, multiple practices, phone tree reminders, school meetings and afterschool pick-ups. Not at all one school, mind you, but multiple schools; and did I add they need to be picked up at the same time?! How in the world do we make this work? And yes, the next question as your child opens the door to get in the car after you have rushed across town hoping that you are not the last parent: “I am hungry, what’s for dinner?” Or better yet, “Can we stop at McDonald’s?” Oh, the things we want to say, but instead hold our peace and ask, “Honey, how was your day?” Finally, we make it home, tackle the homework assignments, eat that take-out we picked up because we were too tired to try and cook, and prepare for bed. Then a few hours later the alarm goes off, we hit the snooze button one last time, and we are off and running again.
STOP! Let’s find some balance in the chaos before we lose our sanity.
1. Start by planning ahead and getting things prepared and ready the night before. Assist your child with picking out clothes and making lunch and snacks for the next day. Fix breakfast sandwiches on the weekend and freeze them so they are prepared and ready for the microwave each morning.
2. Organization is essential! Have a place for everything. Select a space for keeping up with your children’s school related actions, and then create a rule for your children to clean out their book bags daily. Place all of their notes, calendars and announcements in an assigned folder that you review at a designated time each day.
3. Hold your children accountable and make sure they complete their chores. This includes cleaning up after themselves, folding and washing their clothes, assisting with dinner and preparing what’s needed for their upcoming events.
4. Ask for assistance from peers and other parents you trust, and then do the same for them.
5. Remember, there is no such thing as perfect balance, so don’t set unrealistic goals. We can only do so much. Look ahead at what’s on the horizon, and make plans accordingly.
6. Be sure and put yourself on the calendar for rest and relaxation so you have the energy to handle the next juggling act.
Until Next Time, Be Sincere, Kind and Intentional
Jackie Warner, Community Outreach Specialist
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