January 25, 2018
Well my kiddies went back to school this week and I went back to work. It has been quite a nice and uneventful first week back so far which is great! I did make sure my kids were on their 'back to school' flower essence blends for the last week of holidays to help get them school ready again. It's such a change from our lazy summer days by the pool...sometimes not getting out of pyjamas or swimmers all day to going into a uniform and school shoes and being in a classroom for the better part of the day.
I know if it's hard for me to go back to work after a long break, times that by 100 for my young kids going back to school! At the lead up to the school term and especially in the first few weeks as they settle in again, feelings will no doubt be spilling out left right and centre. So for any families in a similar position as us or for those of you going back to school or work in the next week, it's a good idea to keep all this in mind.
And don't even get me started on the kids and the mums who have a child going into prep or kinder or perhaps their first year of highschool! Big changes and big feelings! I had both my kids start a new school last year, one into prep and one into year one and it felt raw and hard for all of us so it was lovely to have things much smoother this year. But I just wanted to do a big shout out to anyone facing new schools, first time schools or going back into the workforce (or all of the above at once!) Please be kind to yourself and please remember to be patient with your kiddies.
They will have emotional overflow right now which can result in more acting out, more tantrums, more attitude and more tears at the drop of a hat. And this may be you too? That's so ok.
More than ok.
I thought I'd list a few ideas to keep in mind during the back to school or back to work period -
Don't rush into too many after school activities or playdates. Just let the first few weeks settle in gently so you don't have to push yourself and the kids don't get too over stimulated. Remember they will have lots more info entering their brain at the moment and need a bit of extra space to chill either side of this initial information overload.
So the over-scheduling point goes for you too! Parents get so many more e-mails and back to school communications and of course there is all the prep you need to do for returning to school again (did I hear someone say school lunch ideas?) and if you are going back to work as well, then it's a great big recipe for overload.
Have quiet weekends, quiet afternoons and don't rush into anything 'extra' just now. But definitely try to have some self care rituals in practice. So I'm allowing walks around the block, your yoga class, your meditation practice or anything at all that makes you feel more human and not like you are just a mum! Without you coping, your kids might also have trouble coping.
Now is a really good time to get a bed time routine going again for you and the kids. I know in my house, things get a bit out of whack during the holidays. Sleep helps you all cope so much better and if there is lack of sleep along with all the changes, it makes things just that much harder. So whatever your nightly routine is, start that back up again. We have teeth, books and bed. Sometimes my youngest worries about what the next day has in store for him and it's at lights out time that he will voice his concerns. He has his Sweet Dreams drops and then we say together - "I am safe, I am loved, I'm at peace and I'm relaxed" We say it 2-3 times (and my son is already yawning when we hit the 'I'm at peace' part) but your child can say it as many times as they want to feel better. Some kids need more routine than others to feel more relaxed and giving them something they can say to themselves (even when you aren't around!) can be a big help to add into their regime!
And Mumma, do try and get to bed earlier and log some more sleep into that day of yours! It might mean less Netflix but surely that's a good thing right? ;)
Feeding yourself and your kids healthy whole foods cuts down an amazing amount of bad behaviour! We need lots of good fats, protein and plant food to function well so if there is a lot on our plate, it's even more important to be eating right. As soon as more sugar, processed foods and takeaway enter our household, everyone gets rattier and struggles more with just about everything. Make sure you have plenty of healthy food ideas and recipes on hand to keep everyone healthy, happier and calmer. Here's just a few quick ideas:
Breakfasts - Eggs (scrambled, omelettes, boiled, poached, fried!) smoothies or avocado on toast, chia puddings, yoghurt with healthy granola or muesli
Lunch boxes - leftover cold meats, cucumber, carrot, beans, snow peas, capsicum, rice crackers, meat and salad wraps, cheese, fruit, boiled eggs, dips and crackers, yoghurt
Afternoon snacks - guacamole and corn chips (our fave!), popcorn, veggie sticks, peanut butter or almond butter on celery or apple slices, smoothies, yoghurt, bliss balls, nut and seed mixes, home made slices...
Dinners - I keep things pretty easy and basic especially on Summer nights at the beginning of term. After bath time my kids snack on raw carrots, beans, snow peas, capsicum and cucumber while watching some tv!
At dinner time it's simple meat (often from the bbq- chicken satays, good quality sausages etc.) and more veggies like peas and corn and potato or toast with avocado. I also love doing eggs, bacon, beans and avo on toast for our dinners some nights! Big salads with roast chicken and roasted veggies thrown in or any protein that can get tossed in a salad with chickpeas or roasted veggies to bulk it up. Homemade pizzas with leftover chicken or sausage or even some ham and as many veggies as they will allow you to put on their pizza! We love a good mexican night with nachos or tacos too :)
There are still nights that I so need a break and we order Grill'd burgers from Uber Eats which is a real treat and I'm lucky I can do that from where I live. But have yourself a healthy-ish go-to when you feel like takeaway because the more you stay on top of your food choices and and the kids food choices, the better everything will be!
Please have a look at my recipes for some new ideas or inspo (all are gluten free)
Letting some of our feelings out via our words is so important. Overflow and meltdowns also occur a lot more if we keep everything bottled up. When it comes to getting our kids to chat to us, straight after school is the worst time! They are still all up in their heads and still processing everything that has happened that day. The best time to get stuff out of them is over dinner or just before bed when they are more relaxed and ready to chat. I know some kids can just shut down on you and not tell you how their day was (at any time of the day!) but some simple, open ended questions often lead to clues about what your child might need to talk more about. Ask them specific questions, nothing that can just be answered with just a yes or no. With younger kids, it's good to get them to rate their day out of 10 and if it's on the lower side, you could ask them 'why do you think you only had a 4/10 day?' and often you'll get more info this way.
And if you have your partner, friends or other school mums to chat to about anything that may be bothering you, please talk it out! Even write it down in a journal, but just get it out of your head. We are all just energy vessels that can blow valves when under too much pressure and we can release some of this pressure by letting it out via communicating how we feel in a safe way. Don't leave everything for the volcano eruption down the track ok? But if you do lose your shit, or your kid does, please know it's ok! It is so ok. Let's just cut down where we can though shall we?
This brings me to the flower essence blends that I recommend for these times. They help so much with shifting the energy and emotion that can build up on a daily basis and they are also great to have on hand to help you or your child process and feel this energy and emotion in a gentler way.
Back to School Pack is VERY handy to have at this time of year as it has the school term covered for both kids and us parents. It contains these 4 popular blends -
Help blend - for settling jangled nerves and upset energy (before school drop off is an excellent time for this one!)
Slow Down blend - for scattered thoughts, erratic behaviour and slowing down busy brain syndrome (after school!)
Focus blend - for increased focus and concentration (before school, homework or assignments and can be added to water bottle for during the day)
Self Love blend - for increasing confidence and self esteem (perfect for any shyness or hesitance about school and making friends!) This one is also a MUST if your child has been bullied or afraid of anyone at their school.
For us parents, these packs can be used by us as well but please also check out:
Mumma Magic - Just to help with all the emotions and feelings that motherhood constantly throws us!
Like A Boss - When juggling work, motherhood, study etc. this is a wonderful flower essence blend to be on.
No matter what time of year it is, I think the most important thing to recognise is that we have to be gentler with ourselves and gentler with our kids when it comes to processing and feeling our emotions. Processing and expressing our feelings can often be put on the back burner and this is where a lot of our problems first occur. Many of our choices and behaviour may be based on unexpressed emotions and energy and we can wind up pretty far from our true selves and our true reactions...
So lets remember to get it out and express it out on a regular basis and lets also encourage our kids to do the same.
"I am safe, I am loved, I'm at peace and I'm relaxed"
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