So you survived the summer, full of busy days or just a fuller house. If you’re like me, you actually look forward to the return to routine and cooler days that fall and back to school season brings! But then you realize you have to start packing lunches, and doing laundry more regularly, and the sprinkler may not count as a bath anymore. There will be more extracurriculars, and fundraisers, and suddenly it feels like there’s just not enough time! Remember, self care needs to be the top of your to do list if you’re going to make it through this season. And we’ve got your back to make it happen.
Schedule Self Care
If I really want something to happen, its gotta be written down, either on our monthly family calendar, or my own daily to-do list. And I write down even the most minor things. As a stay at home mom, if I knew I couldn’t take another day without a shower and some grooming, I wrote it on my to-do list. It makes it a concrete priority, and helps me see what I have accomplished. I even write down things like “school run” and “take kids to the park”. As a stay at home parent it can be easy to feel like you didn’t get anything done. Give yourself the mental pat on the back you deserve and count all your accomplishments.
And returning to school means scheduling out who is doing what when it comes to kids getting where they need to go. When I write those things on the family calendar, I also make sure to write at least a couple “Mom is not available” notes, to make sure I get those breaks for self care.
Being the default parent is tough. Sometimes we have to demand the time we need to fill our own cups. Take charge and hold no guilt.
Prep everything you can before hand
If I can get it done the night before to make the next day easier, that's what I do. Meal prep, laying out clothes, ending the day with a clean kitchen. These are all things that give me more space on my plate the next day to put joyful things on it. Carving out 10 minutes a day to prep for tomorrow or a Sunday afternoon meal planning party with friends, goes a long way to making my weeks run smoother.
And for the love of sanity, make it a priority to pack those lunches the day before. Nothing sets my day off worse than a frantic morning. Giving myself time and space to breathe during a busy day helps me manage my mental health and get the self care I need.
Start a new hobby
Fall is a great time to try something new that is just for you. Painting, fabric art, DIY, zero waste upcycling, fitness, whatever your interests are, carve out at LEAST an hour a week to pursue them. If you can, give yourself space away from your mom duties too. It is so easy for the head of the household to get lost in parenthood. Finding something that is truly just for you and your self care can make a big impact.
Self Care Community: Connect with others
Speaking of hobbies, the fall is a great time to also join that book club you’ve wanted to make time for, or start volunteering. But if you’re really busy and that seems overwhelming, be sure to connect virtually. At Lil Helper, we are proud to host our Unsnapped community where you’ll find like minded busy moms deep in the parenting trenches. Sometimes reaching out and hearing “hey, me too” is the thing that fills my cup the most.
How do you practice self care? Does back to school change the routine? Share with us in the comments below!