It is that time of year again, the end of summer and the back to school grind. There are a lot of changes happening during this time. My 2 younger children are due back from sleep away camp in about an hour and they start school next week. My 2 older boys are heading off to Israel in just a few days.
There is so much to do!
Here are some ideas on how to keep your life from careening out of control
1.Clear your schedule:
This is just common sense. This is not a good time to take on any new projects, chesed or otherwise. Instead, just focus on your family. Since I work from home, I try to work extra hours the weeks before the end of the summer so that I have a lighter workload. Many people plan a family summer vacation at this time. Make sure to come back with plenty of time to get all you need done, done.
2. Make lists:
I know, I know, most people know this one. Somehow, I had to learn this the hard way. I would think that I could keep everything in my head, but taking care of a household of 4 kids makes it nearly impossible.
Right now I have a list for each child and what they need in terms of clothing and school supplies. Now that they are older, I keep the list in an accessible place and have them add the things that they need as they think of them.
3. Schedule last minute shopping trips:
So this may sound silly, but I really don’t like shopping and I really don’t like last minute shopping trips. I like things done in advance. But I have given up, I just know that the day before my older boys leave, we will be going to at least Target and I schedule that into the day.
The same with my other kids, after the first day of school, no matter what we have bought before, we will be heading over to Target to buy some more school supplies.
4. Try to have fun:
Again, I don’t like shopping, nor errands. During this time of year, I know I need to make an extra effort to curb my crankiness. I try to look at it as a bonding time with my kids and I make an extra effort to put a smile on my face. Now that Target has this cool Target Cartwheel app- shopping has been a little bit more fun- albeit time consuming. We have all fought over who gets to scan the next item and we all cheer when it finds us an offer!
5. Appreciation cures all:
My husband and I both talk about how much we value our Jewish education and we are so grateful that our children attend excellent Jewish day schools and are able to study in Israel. When I get overwhelmed, for a quick fix, I try to focus on that. This can give me the lift that I need to change a bad mood to a good one.
I hope this helps you get through the next few weeks and helps with those end of summer blues.
The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.