This is a contributor piece written for Portland Moms Blog
Summer nights in our home have had a drastic impact on bedtimes. The sun stays up later and so do we. Late night walks to get ice cream and sunset SUP rides on the river are a few of the memories I’ve tucked away from these warm months of fun. Late summer nights have made for lazy, slow mornings; allowing me some quiet alone time to enjoy coffee and read in peace. I’m not complaining, but now that we are heading to the routine that comes with school schedules and the changing of seasons, we have our work cut out for us to make this transition a success.
In our home, we grab hold of these three strategies: Rally, Reset, and Repeat to make it through the first few weeks of school schedules. If you find yourself in a summer detox situation like me, try these tips on for size. They may just help keep your sanity in tact!
Rallying the family tribe to get on the same page is of utmost importance. We need maximum buy-in from all parties (two adults and four elementary school-aged kids in our home) in order for this ship to sail smoothly. To us, this looks like pep talks on the regular, goal setting, and a smattering of group hugs and high fives. This is the one educational year that all four of my children will be attending the same school, so we are mapping out plans for morning walks to school as a family.
I love watching my older girls help lead and direct their younger sister as she begins her first year of school. They are assisting with fashion tips, assembling her outfits, and proudly giving her a tour of her new school. My momma heart is proud to see that as we are rallying around them, they are rallying around her to provide the extra support and courage she needs to step into this next phase of life.
Bedtime hours and routines are in desperate need of an overhaul. Summer has looked like messy buns and sweatpants, but now it is time to reign it in and provide some needed structure. Once the troops rally and listen to dad’s inspiring pep talk, we communicate rhythms and routines to serve as the guardrails that help us stay the course.
We work though the list of disciplines that ensure our success; packing lunches the night before, laying out outfit selections for the next day, and reiterating the new morning wake-up times are a few of the routines we implement. None of these ideas are new or creative. They are old hat, tried and true. Although they are simple to spell out, the commitment to consistency is hard. But they are worthy of striving towards nonetheless. By establishing and executing these simple routines, the mornings flow with peace and calm; two ingredients that are the balm to every mother’s heart.
One of my greatest struggles as a parent is getting my children to listen to me. They have an amazing knack of tuning out my voice and continuing on as if no on was speaking to them. I know I am not alone in this struggle. Repeating the goals and strategies for our transition from summer nights to fall mornings is vital. Repeating our words as well as our actions is the step that eventually begins to move us in the right direction, positioning us for success in the season ahead.
For the next month, and possibly even longer, our family will be working through the strategies of Rally, Reset, and Repeat, over and over again. Because practice makes perfect.....maybe.