Summer’s nearly here (but it’s not here YET!)
The end of the school year can be stressful. There’s so much going on, with sports days, assemblies, the summer fair, last-minute drumming concerts, gifts for teachers (give generously, they work so hard!). The light evenings and light mornings mean that nobody is getting the right amount of sleep. Summer weekends often are busy; though they’re fun, it can mean that Monday morning arrives and you feel anything but rested and recharged. Amidst all of this, there are plans to make in terms of what the kids will do over summer, you’re desperate for a break yourself but that’s still a few weeks away, the mid-year point of the year is here so work may have additional demands, you know you want to exercise but in the heat it’s just easier to eat an ice cream instead, and you think your partner was at that same BBQ that you were at over the weekend, but you can’t actually remember talking to him/her!
The end of the year means that some kids are changing schools, and transitions can present a whole extra emotional minefield; and even without big changes, the close of the academic year represents the passage of time and our children’s ongoing march to independence (crazy how that can seem make me whoop with glee and feel tearful at the same time!).
To top it all off, a colony of ants has decided to form a conga line from the front door to the kitchen – a mini parade of ant glee, because, well, of course I have time to handle that, too…
Ok, so…at least that’s how I’m feeling!
And I know I’m not alone. Definitely at least, not on the ant thing – B&Q had ant-killing materials right at the entrance this morning, which gave me a sense of relief that it wasn’t just me who couldn’t prevent the little pests from ransacking the house.
When I’m feeling like this, there are a few things I do that help me find a bit more balance and equilibrium:
- Take a pause and get an overview of the week and days ahead. Ask yourself, What can I plan for this week, and into the coming few weeks, to make life easier? If I look at this situation from a helicopter view, what do I see? When you can’t see the wood for the trees, taking a big picture view can help.
- Communicate. I’ve been notoriously bad in my life with thinking that people around me are mind-readers; turns out that, no, they’re not! I’ve realized that I have to communicate more often and more clearly – about upcoming plans, changes to the schedule, who needs to be where and at what time. I had to miss the boys’ sports days last week, so I remembered to encourage them to have fun ahead of time, and was sure to get a debrief. Consider what communicating more will give you – it’s usually more clarity and less stress!
- Remember that this, too, shall pass. Keep in mind what’s important, and that the hard times eventually become easier.
- Ask for help. This is very much still a work in progress, for me, but I know it has to be done. Who might be able to help you so that one thing in your day is easier? Is it delegating an assignment, speaking with a friend to see about sharing the school run, getting the kids to take more responsibility with some chores? We are not meant to shoulder all these things on our own. When there’s more being piled on the proverbial plate, we might need help, lest it all start to spill over and get messy. Working with a coach has helped me get clearer on my priorities and taken away the need to “do it all” and the accompanying guilt that comes up when I feel I fall short.
If you’d like a sounding board to work through how to have more fun and less stress in integrating your work life and your family, please get in touch for a free coaching sample session. My mission is to help people have more fun and less stress in life. In particular, I love helping working mothers with this, through improving confidence, increasing self-awareness, and having fun while we discover who you are and how you want to be in your relationships. I get it because I’m a parent too, and know the challenges of doing the juggle.
If you know of anyone who might be interested, please have them get in touch with me at email@example.com and we can set up a phone or Skype call. In the meantime, I’m off to Cultural Evening! Or is it the drumming concert…?!