Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Re-engage the brain (for a little bit longer!)

Has anyone noticed that their kids' brains have turned off since coming off Spring Break? Isn't it supposed to be a time to recharge the batteries before wading back into the school routine? The answer is yes, but Spring Break has the opposite effect in my home. 

The girls and I spent a fantastic 12 days in New Mexico with my parents over our break, which was so nice. We relaxed, the girls played, and we did tons of fun stuff. But now we're home slogging through the same-old routine and brains are disengaging. 

While the idea of a recharge is nice, I almost wish we could just skip it and get out of school a week earlier. The girls wouldn't get used to sleeping in and playing all the time, and I wouldn't have to be the warden every single morning, reminding them to brush teeth and comb hair (because we never do those things). 

My zeal for school work has also diminished and I have to force myself to care about what's coming home. Heaven help us if someone brings home a project! This is the time of year when Mom helps the kids find the shortest book in the library to write a book report on or homework is completed in the backseat on the way to ________ (fill in the blank). 

My kids are involved in one sport (all together!) that runs year round, so our sports routine is constant. But many kids pick up baseball, soccer, or lacrosse this time of year, and schedules get even crazier! I've known many moms who pack dinner into the car and eat on the way to one practice or another. 

So how do we re-engage our brains and get through the rest of the year, ladies? Here's what helps me - when I remember to do it! 
1.  Write it down - If you have something coming up write it down on the calendar. I keep a desk calendar hanging over my desk so I can see what's going on each week. This requires actually keeping up with it and adding things as you find out about them. This time of year it's hard to remember to get everything on there, but boy do I pay when I forget! 
2.  Say "no" if you need to - You can't do everything; sometimes you need to say no and let someone else pick up the baton and run. It's hard, I know, but you know when you're getting to your breaking point. The last thing you need in the middle of all the crazy end-of- school-year hustle is a breakdown!   
3. Pray! - It may seem oversimplified, but prayer can be the difference between a harried, crazy mom and a calm, centered mom. Yes, our schedules are busy right now, but the Lord knows what each one of us needs to get through all the craziness, and he's able to bless us and our families through it. When things start to feel overwhelming I make myself spend some time in prayer, then I start prioritizing my list. It's amazing how much clearer everything looks after I've taken that time to connect with the Creator.