I love routine and schedules. While I am flexible to some point, I find security in knowing what comes next. My husband knows this is important to me as well, and we have had family routines and schedules even long before our son was born. But now that we are 2 weeks into kindergarten, our whole family is in transition as we settle into a new routine full of walks to school and homework.
I’m not sure if you feel discombobulated when your family develops a new routine, but I sure do. These past weeks, I have recognized the signs that I am adjusting and struggling to find a new normal. I’ve felt overwhelmed and unable to focus on one task at a time. I’ve been tired and have headed to bed right after I put our son to sleep. While our family works on our school year schedule here at home, I’ve been focused on strategies to help me keep my sanity. In case you ever find yourself in the same boat, here’s what almost always works for me:
Make a list.
Each day, write a list of things that need to get done. This helps me focus on one thing at a time without getting overwhelmed. Besides, there’s nothing better than checking something off a list! When I make my list, I include work things like writing deadlines and home things like laundry, because both are important and valuable.
Give yourself some grace.
When you are making your list or planning your new normal, don’t plan too much at the beginning. Instead, focus on 3-5 must-do items each day. When you get those things done, work ahead or do something for yourself like take a walk or watch the Kardashians.
Focus on self-care.
I’m not good at self-care, mostly because I think I need to take care of everyone else first. However, the first week of kindergarten I found myself running around like a crazy person so much that I didn’t eat breakfast or lunch that entire week. I’m sure you can imagine what a peach I was come dinner time – no one wanted to be around me! This week, I’ve been better about making sure I sit down for a sandwich or a quick snack so that I’m not hungry and cranky come school pick up time.
Rally the troops.
Change is hard for everyone, and trying to deal with it on your own isn’t always the best idea. The past few weeks, I’ve rallied my good girlfriends via group text and occasional meet up at Starbucks to let them know that I need some support and accountability during this transition time. I’ve cried a bit and laughed a lot, both of which I needed. You don’t have to do this alone, so call in the troops for support and encouragement!
I’m thinking that our family is starting to settle in to our new school day, and I’m feeling less overwhelmed each day. I’m celebrating small victories found in making sandwiches and meeting deadlines, and am excited for what this new routine holds for our family.
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