Parenting responsibilities kick into overdrive when back to school time begins. Shuttling kids to activities, packing lunches, attending school events, and adhering to stricter schedules can cause stress and press us for time. It’s hard to feel refreshed.
My husband and I tend to collapse on the sofa on Friday evenings in September. We are not only getting our own children back into the routine, but we return to our own classrooms as high school teachers as well. The first week of school this year I was eager to get my kids into bed at 8:30 so I could crash just after they did.
It’s important to remember to take care of yourself in addition to your family during the transition. We need to get refreshed. Here are the ways I accomplish this on a tight schedule:
MEET WITH JESUS
Every morning at around 5:20, I head into my Prayer Lair with a cup of coffee and my Bible. This habit, which I established seven years ago, is indispensable now. You can read in detail about this journey HERE, in my first-ever Daughters of the Deep article.
For a long time, I failed to pursue devotional and prayer time consistently, and it showed in my life. I was irritable, impatient, and unsettled more than I wasn’t. I allowed the frustrations of work and home life to rob me of my peace.
Mornings may not be your thing, so choose a time of day when you can be quiet with the Lord. Then, pray, reflect, and read the Bible. Maybe you have an hour lunch break. Try using half of it for this purpose. Perhaps your children are young and go to bed early. After they are tucked in may be your ideal time.
The important thing is to make it a habit no matter when you decide to do it.
Above all else, rest and refreshment flow from God, but only if you pause to seek Him. When we run helter-skelter with no time to be still and reflect, our souls can’t be fed.
MEET WITH YOUR SPOUSE
If you’re married, it can be hard to make time to date your spouse. It’s important for everyone. I like to think of it as teambuilding.
My husband and I plan our nights out in advance so that we can secure childcare and make a dinner reservation. That way, there is no long wait at the restaurant and we can enjoy each other’s company.
Have a cup of coffee in the morning or after dinner with your spouse. Talk about your day. Check in emotionally. Pray together. Do a couples’ devotional.
Make sure you don’t become ships passing in the night because things are busy. Your relationship will be refreshed by these simple moments.
MEET WITH YOURSELF
One of the most neglected relationships is the one we have with ourselves. As busy as you might be, try to carve out time to reflect, dream, and plan.
Small chunks of time may be the only way for some of us.
This could mean reading a good book for half an hour. It could be scheduling a manicure or getting to the gym for a quick workout.
Take a walk alone. Breathe in and look around you. A short walk outside in the quiet will help clear your head and strengthen your body.
Moms struggle with making “me time”. I certainly did for many years. My advice is that you must give yourself permission to let go of things that aren’t urgent. If the dishes sit in the sink, but you get a little while to pause and reflect, you’ll have benefitted greatly.
There’s always something else to do. If everyone is fed and where they need to be, it’s okay to take a little time for yourself.
MEET WITH TODAY’S TASKS
One of the things I’ve asked God to help me with is worrying too much about what’s beyond today. Meet today’s tasks as they come and accomplish them the best you can.
To fret over what the next week or month looks like brings undue stress because we can only operate in the moment. This is not to say we should not plan well, but to worry about what’s ahead is not beneficial.
As always, every human need has an answer in the Bible. Overthinking and fretting are no exception.
Don’t worry about tomorrow. It will take care of itself. You have enough to worry about today.
-Matthew 6:34 (CEV)
What I love about this is that human nature hasn’t changed in the two thousand years since this scripture was penned by Matthew. God knows and understands our human nature. Handle what you can today and tomorrow will be a new project.
I hope these suggestions on how to get refreshed help as you transition into back to school time. It’s easy to get overwhelmed, but some reflection and a bit of planning can bring peace into a hectic schedule. God bless you as you set up the important meetings mentioned here.
Hi! I’m Tracy…Christ-follower, wife, mama, writer, blogger, speaker, teacher, dreamer. I love Earl Grey Tea and quiet mornings. Here at Earl Grey and Yellow, the focus is striving to be faithful and appreciate the small things. So glad you stopped by. Please have a look around and subscribe to our newsletter and social media to stay connected.