It's the time of year when I start combing through my “must read” list getting ready to curl up next to the fire with a great novel. As an avid reader and author I’m a bit addicted to books. I must credit my Grandma, Mo who bought me my first series of Little House on the Prairie books, and all the babysitting gigs allowing me to fund the purchase of the entire series of Sweet Valley High books. Mostly, the credit goes to my high school English teacher, Ms. Reidler for helping encourage my love for reading. She made me work hard to find the meaning behind the words. That was a priceless gift.
Its Back to School Time… Every year as summer comes to a close I hear rumblings from parents, myself included, uttering comments such as, “I think it is time for school to start” accompanied by the “you know what I’m talking about” look.
Shortly thereafter the Schrads’ find ourselves in this vortex of things to do. School physicals, shopping, meet the teacher, and the list goes on. Just when we think we have checked off everything on our list, WHOMP! Head slap! Something sneaks up that we completely forgot. Sound familiar?
I found myself wondering why it feels like this EVERY year. Perhaps we are in denial that summer flew by once again at warp speed and we are desperately trying to capture one more day of fun? Quite possibly it is the fear of losing the freedom to spend our days as a family on our terms? Filling our calendars with only activities, vacations and parties we plan…well, for the most part. And then it dawned on me!
On a recent summer morning before the kids had stirred my girl friend and I spent 2 glorious hours on the deck casually drinking coffee without it getting cold or left in the microwave while we tended to one of the “Mommy, Mama, Moooommm” requests. Just she and I catching up. We laughed, we cried, and shared all that has been happening in our lives. TWO hours before jumping into mom and work mode.
And that was my “Aha” moment. As parents we need to carve out time for ourselves! And, I know I need to practice what I preach. I have awesome intentions but when my internal clock goes off at 0500, I’m compelled to catapult out of bed and start checking off my mental checklist. Because quite frankly its quiet and “I am woman.. hear me roar” at that time in the morning. Inevitably, just when I feel accomplished and have time for that first cup of coffee, my kids are up and ready for my undivided attention. And I give that to them. But wouldn’t I be a better mom, more focused and attentive if I just took 20 minutes to enjoy the morning air and my cup of coffee lost in my own thoughts, not lists? Absolutely! And I’m positive that as school gets underway I’ll be more calm, relaxed and ready to solve those last minute morning emergencies more efficiently. I’m giving myself 20 minutes.
Into our second cup of coffee we launched into the excitement and fears our kids have about starting school. Between us we have 7 kids, so the range of emotions and feelings were abundant. We shared stories of planning for the school year. Clothes shopping with two teen girls (God really does give us patience and understanding when needed), a very comical backpack debacle and finally, we as parents trying to gain a semblance of organization as we start the new year and our own fears about our kids next new beginning.
I discovered we all have some version of anxiety. How we cope with it is unique to each of us. But the truth is, we all have it. As the old saying goes if you are afraid of the dark, turn on the light. Maybe, taking 20 minutes for ourselves before the day gets underway is the adult version of that.
We would love to hear about your experiences. Shoot us a comment, an email or even a text! Make today a great one.
Angela and Dave Schrad
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