parenting

Possibilities: 5 Ways Mom Can Overcome Back-to-School Blues

momparentingparentingages and stages

Back-to-School—I've been seeing a lot of tweets and hearing a lot of chatter among my mom friends about their kids entering pre-school, going into kindergarten, or their youngest progressing to all-day school. Back-to-school time can be a bitter sweet mixture of tears and smiles for all involved.

My youngest entered all-day kindergarten only a year after I had quit my corporate job. I remember feeling almost violated. "Why would I quit my job only to have one year at home with my kids? And furthermore, what on earth was I going to do with a seven-hour stretch during the day now that they were gone?"

Tips to Making the Most of Your Time While Kids Are in School

Whether your oldest just entered school or your youngest left you feeling like an empty nester prematurely, here are five ways to overcome the back-to-school blues:

  1. Dream big! Write down a list of things you'd like to do, things just for you. When I first started blogging, my youngest was just entering all-day kindergarten. I wrote this post, outlining the various possibilities of what I could do during school hours. After reading that post yesterday and thinking back on how hard that moment had been, I couldn't believe how much has changed in my life in three years. I even accomplished one of the things I wrote down, which was to visit Africa and get involved in global initiatives. So, dream big! Write down your possibilities and you'll be amazed at what you accomplish.
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  2. Get together with other moms in your area. Don't go through the tough times alone. Lots of other moms are experiencing what you're going through. Plan a monthly lunch club, join a book club, ask a friend to go to exercise classes at the gym with you while the kids are in school. Have a fun time building relationships and getting to know other moms.
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  3. Develop your skills. Admit it! You have been wanting to learn photography or how to decorate cakes or to improve your gardening skills. Maybe you want to go back to school or start freelancing. Whether you want to start or continue a hobby, get educated, or get a job, look into your options! See what choices are out there for you and go for it!
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  4. Have the right attitude! I think a lot of times, especially if we're stay-at-home moms, we think we still need to be watching after the kids while they are in school all day. Remember that by making me time and strengthening yourself, you will be better able to raise strong kids. Don't let your house go to pot, but just make sure to carve out time for yourself and no guilt allowed when you do!
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  5. Be part of their school experience. The first couple of years my kids were in school seemed busier than my past job. I was PTO president one year, designed the yearbook the next year, chaired the cultural awareness committee as well as the school carnival in addition to volunteering weekly in the classroom. To say I went overboard is an understatement. But, at the same time, I really knew what was going on in their school lives and I was happy to help make a difference. Volunteering at the school comes in so many forms. And statistics show that kids do better when their parents are involved. So don't be afraid to use some of your new found time to go into the classroom and make a difference in your child's education.
Whatever you do, know that these back-to-school blues don't last forever. The school year is such a fun time for both parents and children and there is so much to look forward to!
What is the biggest joy and challenge of sending your kids off to school each year? Tips for making the most of the school years?
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An active part of the Mom It Forward team, Jyl primarily writes about parenting, social good, and all things travel related. In a past life, Jyl was an award-winning copywriter and designer of corporate training programs for Fortune 100 companies. Offline, Jyl is married to @TroyPattee; a mom to two teen boys and a beagle named #Hashtag; loves large amounts of cheese, dancing, and traveling; and lives in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Topping her bucket list is the goal to visit 50 countries by the time she's 50.

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