That BIG yellow bus rolled down the hill again on Monday. This time taking a 3rd and 5th grader with it!
When I stopped staring into space wondering where my rolly polly babies went and how time can possibly move so fast it hit me. Here it is….FALL. My work schedule picks up along with seemingly every other schedule in the world. Working with the parents of my patients this week, I realize that I am not alone. Parents everywhere feel the increase of the family pace associated with school starting. As the kids brought home 3 trees worth of papers for us to sign, I noticed there is a big emphasis on the contract these days.
I will behave at school (sign here parent & child)
I will behave on the bus (sign here parent & child)
I have read the handbook and will follow all 53 pages of rules (sign here parent & child).
I am a first-born child. I like rules. So this doesn’t bother me so much. In fact, I decided to make myself a contract to sign. I’ve decided if I can stick to it, everyone in this house we call a home will be much happier. Sending it to the blogosphere makes it legal, right?
Here it is….
I will not answer work phone calls or emails during evening family time unless there is an emergency.
I will REST when by body tells me to and I am able.
I will set hours for myself for all the different “jobs” in my life (both paid or unpaid) and try hard to not overdo any one area (note to my brain: please comply and turn off when I ask you to!)
I will spend the first few minutes after the afternoon bus drop off LISTENING about my girls’ days before homework, TV, dinner prep etc.
I will make something that resembles a dinner that we can sit down and eat together and have some conversation 5 4 out of 7 nights a week.
I will be more REALISTIC with my goals so they are accomplishable and I won’t feel defeated.
I will MOVE in some form most days. If this doesn’t take the form of a structured exercise class in a gym or a DVD in the living room, it will include my kids and/or my husband doing something fun outdoors or together.
I will be better at recognizing that the women and the message in my weekly Bible Study group fill me up & I will make that a priority.
I will let go of control and learn to delegate small household chores so that we all have some free time together, so that my kids learn that the world doesn’t revolve around them, and so that I am a nice person to be around.
I will say “yes” to extras in the schedule that are meaningful or fun to our family and “no” to extras that aren’t. And I will know when I’ve said “yes” too many times already.
If I stick to my self-imposed contract, I will reward myself with a hot yoga class and a delicious smoothie every Friday and NOT feel guilty!
There it is. It’s real and I need to follow it. Surprisingly, it doesn’t make me feel stressed. It actually gives me relief. Just like a child feels relief and safety with boundaries and a known expected routine, I think we adults can too. I recommend that to parents all the time, yet I’ve let myself run around like a chicken with my head cut off for years!
It was actually a fun little exercise. So if you are feeling stressed with the start of a more scheduled season, I urge you to do the same, especially if you are a rule follower like me. It’s been 3 days, and so far so good. Ask me how I’m doing come November! And if you see me running around clucking with my head off, remind me of this contract!