It’s that time of year again when mothers enter my office with worn smiles, their eyes gaze downward as they confess the horrifying truth: they are ready for their kids to go back to school. This is a difficult thing to admit as a mother. Of course we love our kids and long to spend time with them, but let’s face it, we’re drained!
First in line to celebrate summer’s arrival, Mom’s are tired of calendar squares filled to the brim with activities and responsibilities and are desperate for a break. There is too much structure. We enjoy the freedoms summer brings; however, we soon find ourselves without enough structure and begin to make frantic efforts to put things in order. We are drained again and are ready for the predictability of the school year. Maybe the answer doesn’t lay within kids and calendars, however, maybe the answer lies within Mom’s faulty battery charger!
Mom’s notoriously put self-care on the back burner year round, but especially in the summer. It is part of our gender training to put our needs behind our family’s. In the summer, surrounded by kids who are inherently needy, we don’t stand a chance. Our battery is in use 24/7 and if we don’t compensate for it by getting a battery recharge once in awhile, we will eventually have nothing left to give. If you’re at your wits end this summer and are secretly anxious for school to resume, try putting Mom at the top of the list for awhile. Just for a day or an evening, do something for yourself that is not a ‘should’. Go out for a walk – by yourself; meet up with the girlfriends for dinner; get a massage, manicure, pedicure or a cut & color; spend an afternoon by the pool reading a good book (leave the kids with a sitter); go see the latest chick-flick alone. Give it a try. You’ll be amazed at how far just a short time on the battery charger will go and maybe you’ll have the energy to make these last few weeks of summer be what they are supposed to be – fun!