by Jennifer Keitt,
Summer is almost over and we’ve got to start thinking about the school year ahead. I’m a Mom of four and I know what you’re up against. So here are 5 tips—tried and true—that can help maintain your sanity so that you (and your children) can have a great school year!
1. Retrain your brain! Heal self-defeating thoughts:
“I stunk at math and my kids will stink too!” This was my greatest self-sabotaging thought as a Mom, and I had to heal! As Moms, we allow toxic negative thoughts to run through our minds every single day. It’s time to stop it this school year! Moms are defeated in their parenting before they get out of bed in the morning. Thoughts can’t be removed they have to be replaced, so here is what every Mom needs to try:
Tip: Face the fear. Just because you aren’t good at math, for example, doesn’t mean that’s going to be your child’s truth. It’s scary, but arrest those thoughts as soon as they enter into your mind (handcuff it literally). Then replace the negative “Jimmy isn’t going to “get” math thought with “Jimmy is smart, resourceful and able to do it!” (Plus Mom, you can hire a tutor or grab a homework coach to support him). And then repeat these “healing” thoughts and strategies every time those old self-defeating ones come up.
2. Let yourself off the hook. Have patience with yourself:
Life takes patience—especially life as a Mom! So what the cookies burned up—run to the store and put those store bought cookies on the tray to send into school! So what your child is wearing the same socks two days—he/she won’t die, cut yourself some slack.
Tip: Moms, inhale, take a deep breath, slowly exhale and give yourself the scary gift of having patience with YOU every day this school year.
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3. Dare to take care of yourself! Attend to your own needs:
It’s hard for Moms to “put their oxygen masks on first.” I know. I’ve raised four kids! The scariest, boldest thing Moms can do, is, dare to take care of themselves, first.
Tip: Get up early and go out on that Saturday morning run. Grab that cup of coffee with a friend for girl talk. Take a long bath locked behind closed doors at midnight! Attending to your own needs first is taking the time to honor you, and preparing to be the best Mom possible for your kids this school year. You can’t be who you’ve not nurtured and you can’t give what you don’t have. Face your fear of putting yourself first and just do it this school year.
4. Know what makes you smile:
We lose sight of how much joy our children really do bring into our lives, underneath the crushing weight of the responsibility of parenting. This school year, take the risk and remember over and over again what you love about your children. What do your kids do that only they can do to make you smile. My son is the only one on the planet that can flash those eyes and teeth and melt my heart! I know this and I look forward to it.
Tip: Moms, plan for moments of laughter throughout the school year while in car line, waiting after practices or trudging through homework. Lighten your life by knowing what makes you smile.
5. Put everything in perspective:
Before you know it, the kids are gone. I know this sounds cliché but because I am acutely aware of how real this really is, I want to encourage you to stroll slowly through this school year rather than trying to get through it in a dash! The scariest thing you can do as a Mom is to will yourself to keep the bigger picture in mind.
Tip: Don’t sacrifice the relationship with your kids while trying to preserve your reputation as “Mom.” It can be scary to keep the bigger picture in mind rather than blowing up because they won’t get out of bed in the morning; but trust me it’s worth keeping the long term goal of a lifetime with your child in mind every single day this school year.
BMWK – what are your tips for keeping your sanity during “back-to-school” time?
Jennifer Keitt empowers and educates more than one million listeners across the globe each week as the host of Today’s Black Woman Radio Show and, her new talk show, THE JENNIFER KEITT SHOW, which airs on KISS 104FM in Atlanta, GA. Visit her website at www.jenniferkeitt.com