With the arrival of fall, families are busier than ever. Whether you’re rushing to school events or after school activities, it’s easy to overbook your schedule. Have you ever been happy to watch your child’s sporting activity, but being somewhere else was constantly on your mind? That’s me this week – thinking about the laundry – instead of enjoying Samantha’s second tennis practice. Even though this time of year can be hectic, you can manage your busy fall schedule with a few simple tips.
3 Tips For Managing A Busy Fall Schedule
When you can’t focus on loving the moment you’re in, it’s time to reconsider how you manage your schedule. As a mom of two kids under age 7, I have a few ideas to help you pause, relax, and enjoy the beauty of fall.
1.) Divide and conquer.
To better manage your time, take all the help you can get. Whether you’re accepting offers for help from neighbors or grandparents, you might find that people can be very generous with their time.
Share responsibilities within the household too. You should encourage the kids to do their chores around the house. Someone once said you should live as though you’re a household with 10 kids. When you have a big family, everyone pitches in because they know it would be impossible for mom to do everything. Live this way, even if you only have one or two kids. Chores are simply a part of life.
2.) Create a non-negotiable routine.
As the kids return to school, set a clear routine for them from day one. We require some time for exercise or outdoor play right after school. Then, it’s time for homework. If you insist that homework happens early in the evening, it can be easier for your child to focus on the task at hand and stay alert while processing information. After homework comes dinner, reading time, and bedtime.
One of the most key parts of creating a routine is that it becomes a habit. Make clear from the beginning that the routine is not negotiable. If you notice activities that tempt your kids to veer from the routine, such as television or tablet time, simple make those activities off limits during the week. You can allow more unstructured time during the weekend when everyone wants to relax.
3.) Continue a passion or hobby.
Over the summer, taking time for yourself is often a priority. As your schedule gets busier in the fall, it’s easy to forget to give yourself Me Time, but you really must. This summer, I read Hemingway and Fitzgerald as well as the new Harry Potter book, went to the gym, ran long distances with the stroller, and soaked in the sun. As the school year starts, forgetting to create a routine for yourself (and one that includes Me Time) can make you feel very overwhelmed because your schedule becomes about everyone else.
Take some time to write out a schedule for yourself. While your children do their homework, can you visit your home gym or go running around the block? When it’s time to make dinner, can you read a new novel as the food cooks? Adding in time for yourself might sound difficult with so many places to be all the time, but once you’ve created time for yourself, the whole family will get used to you doing that activity. As a side note, doing work from home does not count as time for yourself! Make sure you’re really doing something you love and that helps you relax or get healthier.
As you learn to manage your busy fall schedule, you will better appreciate this beautiful time of year. Remember, don’t become so overwhelmed with the details of where you need to be next that you forget to enjoy where you are now.
Do you have tips for managing busy fall schedules? Share in the comments!