How to survive the new school year – for busy moms

How to survive the new school year – for busy moms


Happy new school year, Moms!

It’s this busy time of the year again when busy moms take the plunge of back to school supplies, routines, lunches… but also endless paperwork to fill in… and new activities to register for!

I’m happy to report that this year, my goal for me and for you is to help us enjoy a low-profile start of the new school year. Wouldn’t it be great to set up simple and achievable goals and schedules? To manage a doable to-do list? Girls, that’s what I’m aiming for this school year.

I kept thinking about it this summer. I finally found something I think you could be interested in; I’ve been applying this idea to manage my 4 kids going back to school to Ireland, new schedules, my new professional goals and our project of moving house. I’ve tried it for weeks and it’s been a complete game-changing tip to survive the start of the new school year for me. Hope you’ll love it!

How to find peace when you’re a busy or working mom in the midst of back to school season followed by a rushed start of the new school year? Just make a list of your priorities for the school year!

Sounds too simple, right?

Step #1: Make the right list

I’m already hearing some of you say “But Elise I’m already buried in lists and lists of things to do, a new list won’t help me one bit!!” Rest assured, Ladies. The idea is to help you create a reminder of your true and right areas of focus. Self, faith, being a mom, being a wife, work, a specific job you have at the kid’s school or at church… I’m sure you already thought about this kind of list before.

Try to stick to 5 to 6 areas of focus at the most. The order within the list doesn’t really matter at this point.

My own list is:

  • Faith: my own prayer life and my kids’ prayer life
  • My role as a wife to Mathieu
  • Being my kids’ educator (helping with homework, teaching French, helping with music, educating their faith, values, and behaviors)
  • Exercise
  • My business as a coach for moms

So, what will be your list?

Step #2: Choose a priority of a goal for each area of focus

If you’ve already a lot on your plate at home or at work, try to stick to simple and achievable goals. It could be as simple as “stick to my exercise routine outdoor 2 times a week” or “keep on with my prayer group” or “be mindful and fully present during homework time”.

In my experience, one priority is especially hard to pick within our role as a mom. I don’t know about you, but I have a lot of dreams and desire when it comes to educating my kids.

But I think it’s the same for most of the moms, right? We want them to succeed at school, to teach them artistic skills, to train them into the habit of exercising enough, to educate their faith and values… The list goes on and on.

Think of it this way: if we pick one priority, one main goal here, at least we’ll be able to achieve one thing right. At the end of the school year, we’ll be so proud of them and of our dedication as moms to make things possible! And maybe – maybe – if life is not too hard this school year, we’ll even be able to fit in secondary goals in the small gaps of everyday life.

By all means, that’s what I’m hoping for! This is the kind of mindset that’s helping me choose between priorities, anyway.

Step #3: Learn to say NO to anything that is not on the list!

The goal here is to help you (and me!!) set boundaries to protect ourselves from over-commitment and frustration.

For example, if one of your goals is to keep on being active in the PA association this year, you’ll have to say “No, thanks” to becoming your daughter’s soccer team coach parent. That’s the way this list works!

As for me, as I choose to teach French to my kids myself (as opposed to sending them to an afterschool french school, for example), I will not be able to create a new curriculum for catechism this year. I had to choose. And I made my choice.

Same goes with my business: as my main goal is to coach more moms, I won’t be able to launch my video series about time management at the same time. That’s totally not realistic.

Life Coach Susan Gregg says: “My early attempts at saying no were often far from graceful but with practice, even my no came from a place of love.”. I think she’s got a point. Practicing to say no is definitely a process that could bear many fruits 😅

One last piece of advice

As I tried this process for myself, I have one last piece of advice for you, Girls: to not bury this list in a pretty notebook in your home office drawer – Yep, I did that, silly of me!

Instead, write your list down on several post-it notes and stick them everywhere. You could stick them on your wall calendar, inside your planner, on the inside of your kitchen cupboards, everywhere!

So when you’ll have to sign up for new activities/engagements for you or the kids, it’s going to be easy-peasy to have your priorities straight.

So, what now?

  • You brainstormed your own list of areas of focus,
  • You did your best to pick one priority or goal within each area of focus
  • And you’re beginning to say “No, thanks” to anything that is not on the list.
  • This list is now visible at all times, ready to be used when you need to make a new choice for you or for the kids.

If you’re anything like me, you’re going to feel already a new sense of calm and peace using this strategy. And of course, this tip can be applied to any season of our busy lives as moms.

That’s it, Ladies! I hope you’ll find this strategy as helpful as I did. I’m confident this simple list can help you be the happy and serene woman you deserve to be.

I’m confident this simple list can help you be the happy and serene woman you deserve to be 😊

Happy Organizing!

Elise

 

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