Summer is starting to fade and back to school is upon us. Cut to the Staples commercial with the mom dancing through the isles singing “its the best time of the year”, remember that one?! Although this can be one of the toughest transitions we face during the summer it is also exciting. Prepping for back to school can cause some SERIOUS anxiety! Let us count the ways!
Change in schedule…
Back to school means a change in schedule. For some it can even mean going back to having a schedule when you have had a few months of no schedule. Any change in schedule can warrant anxiety, but the change in schedule that comes with starting school again will undoubtedly bring on anxiety.
Back to school means a new routine. A new way of going through your day. While routine is a good thing, going from no routine to a new routine can make all of us a little anxious. Back to school brings new wake up routines, new after school routines, new bedtime routines, and new routines for mom and dad. So EVERYTHING IS CHANGING. No wonder it causes anxiety.
You have to go get all the things…
Whether you have one kid or several, I think we can all agree that getting all the things needed to return to school can be A LOT overwhelming. You have to find out which teacher your child has and then shop for school supplies. Anyone here been school shopping? Yeah it can be a little overwhelming, especially if you are trying to buy supplies for the WHOLE YEAR at one time at the same time as every other parent in your community!
On top of shopping for supplies you have to go buy new clothes for school. This is not an easy task in itself, but then you add in the opinions of your child based on whether they may or may not be made fun of can certainly send the best of us over the edge. And for those of you who have girls like me (I have 2)…godspeed. If you have a girl that has to buy new school clothes and shoes because their school doesn’t have to wear uniforms, it may test your patience and cause you some anxiety. Thank goodness mine do wear uniforms but the shoes alone are a whole thing. Hang in there!
And let’s face it! Having to buy ALL THE THINGS for ALL THE KIDS at THE SAME TIME can be a real stress source on a whole different level. That’s a lot of money to have to be shelling out at one time. It can be a little overwhelming whether you have prepared for it or not. And can anyone tell me WHY the state tax free week doesn’t include school supplies? WTH?
Let’s face it… a new grade in a new school year means our babies are growing up! Sometimes, that can be a hard pill to swallow! Even though it means our kids are healthy and growing the way they should, it can be hard on the heart and cause you a bit of anxiety. I know that we tend to want to protect our kids from the world. The reality of that is we can’t. This can cause a bit of anxiety as our kids are setting off to experience new things.
For some of you, your child may be transitioning from high school to college. You may be getting ready to drop them off at their dorm now. THIS IS A MAJOR LIFE CHANGE! It will undoubtedly cause you anxiety. You need to know it’s normal and okay to experience this anxiety. What’s not okay is to live in that anxiety. You need to learn how to deal with and process it to make your life easier.
Learning to deal with and process all of the anxiety of transitions is important because change is a part of life.
We have to learn how to deal with the transitions of each stage so that we can continue to help our children grow. And we most certainly grow along with them. One way we can learn to process this anxiety is by setting boundaries and sticking to them (check out my blog on Boundaries). This could be a certain day to do all the school supply shopping in a certain time period. It could be creating a time period to sit down and go over new schedules for during the school year. It could be creating a schedule and sticking to it to prepare for the upcoming school year including certain wake and bed times. It looks different for everyone!
Take some time to think about the boundaries that you can put into place to help you take control of your anxiety during this time. What boundaries work best for you and your family? Also make sure you take some time to explain to your family why you are implementing said boundaries so they understand the concept behind them.
HAPPY BACK TO SCHOOL! Send me cute pics of your kiddos on my Facebook Page!