How are you feeling on day 18?
- Happy my husband isn’t traveling this week (after 2 back-to-back travel weeks)
- Proud of my 12 grade daughter and all she’s still accomplishing
- Super busy getting our house ready for guests
- Excited about my relatives arriving for commencement celebrations
- Joyful about planning some local tours for family members
- Stretched a bit in trying to meet work deadlines
- Elated my 4th grader has had the best teacher, ever – this academic year
- Ecstatic about an upcoming television appearance
- Nervous about a writing project
I spoke with a good friend about May and how I love this month, but I also label it MAY-hem.
Because the month of May seems like the ramp-up to the wind-down.
When I am working with families and talking with my friends during this time of year, I often hear these expressions of frustration:
- Mornings are getting tougher each day. We just don’t want to do it anymore.
- If the PTA asks me to do one more thing, I will snap!
- I can’t believe I cannot log into the web portal. What was the password again?
- Why does this time of year suck so badly? I hate it.
- No more damn projects! I’m over it.
- Is it bad that I want to take a flask to my kid’s musical performance?
- I feel like a bad mom. I stopped checking the backpack after spring break. I’m sure there is something growing in there, and I’ve missed something I should’ve signed.
- I think the school forgets that these are children. My kids have too much to do and my family’s dynamic is suffering.
As spring turns into summer, the additional daylight helps people feel they have more time to get things done. The shroud of cabin fever is exchanged for an energy boost that gets people out and about so they can feel the warm breezes and celebrate the newness of this time of year.
On the flipside, this can also be very stressful time during the spring season. Families with school-aged children get excited about what the looser schedule summer promises, but before they can get to that sweet spot, they have to navigate the obstacle course of getting to the last day of school.
Families can feel the last day of school drawing nearer, but the exhaustion of staying present in the day-to-day hustle and bustle often leaves them feeling frazzled, stretched thin, overscheduled, frayed, and stressed out.
If any of this is true for your family – consider these simple and effective tips:
Call it out. Each family member should make a list of the top 5 things that stress them out about this time of year. It is important to identify and know what these stressors are. During dinner or a family gathering – family members can offer suggestions on how perspectives can be shifted when any of the items on the lists are triggered.
Prioritize your event calendar. Do not hold yourself or family members to an unrealistic expectation about attending school-related events. Be selective about which events or ceremonies your family will attend. Prioritize which ones are a must do and which ones can be skipped.
Expand your support network. Seek out more help to lessen the spring load. Think about hiring a “nanny driver”, tutor, housekeeper, or have your groceries delivered. By utilizing support services that may fit your needs, you subtract tasks that may stretch you too thin. This will allow your family more time to finish the school year strongly – instead of limping across the finish line.
Take a break. Remember to unplug during the days that are extremely busy. Set aside at least an hour to be screen free. Spend time as a family doing something that is fun, connects you, and refuels you.
How do you handle the busyness of a particular month or season? What are your healthy coping strategies? What do you need to shift or upgrade?
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