Now that school is right around the corner, I can officially say that this summer was a season of survival.
By the end of June I was barely hanging in there to complete the day’s tasks involving the drop-off/pick-up shuffle, cooking and cleaning while a heavy baby was clinging to me and two young kids were constantly asking for snacks. I was so content with the school semester being done because my tank was surely empty.
July and August brought the long awaited summer sunshine but for me came intensely painful migraines caused by the humidity. Now these weren’t as debilitating as the ones I endured in the first postpartum month, but at the point they got to — they were terrible. And oh my gosh, the sleep deprivation definitely made them worse. I also don’t think I’ve never had as much coffee as I did this summer. We now have an 8 month old with all 8 front teeth that came through within 3 months (extremely painful for him), who’s mastered crawling and standing. Not to mentioned we’re breastfeeding on demand which keeps my body working even harder (OMG the mastitis pain when it hits though). I was also hit with a bout of postpartum depression that brought me to the darkest place that I had been in some time so I’m doing what I can to wiggle out of there.
One thing that has been my saving grace was taking everything as easy as possible. Dishes piled up? They’ll get done when I can. Laundry? When I can. Tidying the house? When I can! Etc etc. The only things that were immediate was keeping hydrating, getting everyone out when I could and making sure we were fed (made possible by Uber eats and struggle meals while the baby cried). There was more television than I envisioned but of course the kids didn’t seem to mind. I hoped we would spend hours outside daily but unfortunately that became a health risk for me and difficult to fathom at times. A big thanks to my mother in law and sister in law who’d take the older two kids once a week when available so I could get a few hours with just the baby or silence when he’d nap.
Something that hasn’t been necessary but will be crucial for the next 10 MONTHS of school: a plan! A new routine as now we’ve got a baby on board. My biggest challenge the last school season was not breaking down into tears every time while walking from the pains I experienced during pregnancy. This season the struggle will be with time management and making sure I don’t burn out completely.
Rather than waiting until mid September for the feeling of defeat, the plan of action is already in order. Here are things that are major for my mental, emotional and physical clarity so I can feel and stay feeling (even in the slightest bit) accomplished moving forward:
☺ Setting the alarm an hour before the kids wake — This had been very difficult for the past few weeks since the baby had been waking at night with teething pain and to perfect his crawling, standing and talking. Regardless of how many hours of sleep I get moving forward I need to be up and at em before all 3 kids so I can have solo time and ready myself for the day.
☺ Simple daily tidy — Instead of waiting for the big clean once a week, lightly tidying the room the I’m presently in has been beneficial. Also periodically taking something that doesn’t belong in the room I’m in out when I’m leaving it so there’s not a huge buildup.
☺ Clear counter tops and sinks — I have a much better start to the day when the kitchen is completely tidy since clutter usually has me on edge and feeling mentally weighed down. The morning is usually and will be even more the busiest with breakfast and lunch prep so this is a must!
☺ Set up the entry/exit way — Shoes are lined up, jackets and accessories gathered, clutter is cleared and the stroller is packed with whatever extra we’ll need until we’re (baby and I) back home midday all the night before.
☺ Mental, emotional, physical work — This is all about getting my full body back in motion. Child bearing and rearing is very tiring and my methods of coping and habits learned won’t benefit me or keep my body working as I need it to moving into this new season. Keeping journals focusing on my nutrition, physical exercise and mental health really help me to focus and feel less congested overall.
As we all have been busy getting back to school supplies for the kids, it’s important that us parents are back to school ready in order for everyone to succeed. Cheers to a new season of growth and contentment!