IT’S THE END OF THE SCHOOL YEAR!
Anyone else feeling the freedom that is about to ensue as we close out another school year? This mama is so full of ambition and bright promise and a whole list of things I want to do this summer with my kids- like items from THIS POST!
I also find myself tempted to fall into the trap of what I “didn’t do” this year. What volunteer slots I didn’t show up for or sign up for. What field trips I didn’t quite make it on. The books we didn’t read (Harry Potter series will have to wait for next year) and all the seemingly important things I just didn’t make time for.
I signed up for some things in the year and made promises that I just didn’t quite follow through on. And it’s easy to sit and shame myself for why I can’t get my life together or be more perfect. But at the end of the day- I’m ONE PERSON. Managing a house with 4 others (and the dog which is a whole other situation). I only have two arms and one brain. Time to give myself some grace- and you should too!
Here are some ideas I mention in the post:
Take a look back at your year- look at your photos on your phone to help you reference what happened in each month. Create a list of your favorite memories or moments for each month in the school year. Do this as a family and find out what really mean the most to your kids, your spouse and you!
Take time to reflect on what YOU learned this year! It can be easy as a mom to look at how well our kids learned to read, mastered their math skills or what science projects they created. But what about you, mama? Did you take up a new skill? Take more time for self care? Start reading more?
Read more about this podcast by checking out the whole transcript- or listen in now! We’re all in this together and I know if you can reflect on your school year with positivity- you’ll feel much more prepared for a marvelous summer!
So today, I wanted to talk to you guys a little bit as the school year is wrapping up here, at the end of the 2018-2019 school year. If you’re listening to this in the future, this is May of 2019, and I am seeing the close of the school. You’re coming and I’m starting to observe some tendencies that I have that pop up, probably this time every year, but I’ve noticed them and I’ve had a little bit more awareness about them this year compared to other years. And so I just wanted to share some of my insights with you in hopes that it will help you to avoid some of the end of year regret or any of the end of year shaming that you might be doing to yourself. Because I know I saw this really funny image that one of our contributors one of our past guests has shared. It was the August school lunch versus the May school lunch, and it was like this Deluxe, and then it was a car wrapped up in bread. And I think that’s such a perfect illustration for how we kind of lose our steam throughout the school year and by the time I’m gonna be honest with you guys, totally. Truth moment. I pulled one of my sons out for homeschool in April, and so I only had one kid going to elementary school and then I had a pre-schooler and so I kinda got a little bit lazy and I thought, You know what, I don’t wanna make lunches if it’s just for one kid. And so, my middle child, Parker has been getting school lunch pretty much every day for the last six weeks of school. I’m not gonna feel bad about it and actually opened up an opportunity for me to go before the school year was over. And I’ll touch on this in a minute. Things you have to do, so that you don’t regret them. I don’t know how many of you guys operate in this way. Out of fear of regret. I do, it’s not the best, but I… We’re gonna talk about it… And I was able to go have lunch with him at school. They have lots of options. The kids have to choose at least two fruits and vegetables, so it’s fine, but you know how we lose that steam and we can sit here and we can look back on where in the world did the school year ago, nine months a whole pregnancy worth of life has just passed us by and what can we look back and find ourselves regretting, but how can we shift that into a space of gratitude and making it a positive thing? I know we’re all super anxious for summer to begin, and you get this big old it’s like the same thing, right? We have these different seasons of our year when we have these laundry list items of things that we wanna get done and we might have our summer bucket list, and in the school year, we might have the things we’re gonna do differently and we’re gonna be better moms this year and we’re gonna join the PTA and we’re gonna be super involved. And then the end of the year comes, and maybe I’m alone in this, I really don’t think I am. No, there have to be other moms like me. Where the end of the school year came and I, for example, had signed up to do a certain thing at my daughter’s preschool and I went to one meeting in the beginning of the school year, and then I think I was supposed to respond to an email, a sign-up sheet somewhere along the line, after that, and I didn’t do it, I just, I never signed up and I never followed up. And we were planning a huge event here in Nashville from basically the whole school year up until, I mean it started in August our planning and then it ended in March and so I just kept thinking, Okay, well, once we get through the holidays, I’ll kinda check in on that and I’ll make sure that I’ve done my part, and that I’m following through. And then the event happened, and I was like, Okay, now I can do this. But then there was a couple of months left of the school year, and before I knew it, I blinked my eyes and the school year was ending and I passed around those moms in the hall and I just felt so much guilt and shame for like why, why didn’t I make sure that I did my part? I hope everything I mean everything. Obviously, I was and it was easy to get into that pit, of like, I didn’t do enough, I didn’t show up enough, I didn’t do what I needed to do this school year, I didn’t contribute enough I didn’t pull my weight. Oh, my gosh, all the other moms are looking at me like, That’s the loser who works from home and never does the sign-up sheets and blah blah blah, the… But I know that nobody’s thinking that maybe somebody is but I wanna instead turn it from this tendency I have and maybe some of you are like me, maybe you’re not, maybe you’re super positive and really good at seeing the silver lining in the bright spot in life, and if you are, then congratulations, and I need you in my life to be an example to me, but I just thought what are some things we can do, instead of reflecting with guilt and the things we didn’t do, we didn’t sign up enough, we didn’t… I went to lunch with my kid at school now, and I said, “Are you happy?” and he came and he said, Yeah, I thought you were never gonna come, and I thought, “Oh my gosh, I had… I set this expectation and he asked me off and on throughout the whole school year and it just… I tried one time to go, and I had gotten the school lunch times mixed up ’cause my kids had different lunch times and I came right in the middle of when they both had school lunch, and so I totally missed it. And then just with the busy life and having kids in going different places and working from home, I just I never made it a priority and I felt so bad, so I could choose to live in that space of like, I should have come every month, for the whole school year, or I can choose to live in a space of… I’m so glad I did it though, I’m so glad that I went and even if I had never made it at least my kid gets to eat lunch, right? I don’t know, maybe that’s not a good perspective, but for me sometimes we overload ourselves with so many things and we think that everything is important when in reality very few things are important. It is important to me that I met an expectation of my child that he wants me to come eat lunch with him, so I made sure that I did that before the school year ended. So some things that I thought would be a good recommendation for everybody. And you can do this as a family, you can do this on your own combination of both is to really treat this as a time of reflection. We do this at the end of a year, like a calendar year where we look back we have Thanksgiving to think about what we’re grateful for and we look back on the things we’ve accomplished through that calendar year, but really looking back at the end of the school year and reflecting on how much we have grown, and so some of the ideas I thought were to create a list together as a family activity or to create a list, even for yourself, and to really highlight each month, and think of a specific memory. And if you have a hard time remembering like me, I don’t know what month we did that in or I don’t know what even happened in November, because it was such a blur. Pull up the photos on your phone, you can go and search by date, you can if you have an iPhone, you can search November 2018 and all the photos from that month will come up, so go do that, pull up the photos look and see what the kids… This is something you could do over the course of a week and focus on a different month, each day and figure out what it is that stood out to you. What was their favorite memory? Did you go to a school Festival in October, did you go on a family vacation in December? What were the things that really stood out to you each month? And I promise, when you look back at the collection of all the memories you made and all the things you did and the places you ran around and the things you accomplished throughout a school year when you can look at it in months you’re gonna have at least nine big things that stand out for your family and by big things, I don’t mean nine huge trips or nine big events, but just nine things. Nine really beautiful memories that… And possibly more if your children have different memories from each month, create that list and make it more of like the look at what we did instead of look at what we didn’t do look at what I didn’t do. And so when you are taking the time I do think, whether you do this with the family and you’re contributing your memory, or you take some time alone, which I recommend, because that’s when you can really be alone with your thoughts, and not allow any of that self-doubt to creep in, ’cause you can really take control of your mind and really observe the ways that you grew? Observe the things that you learned, and how you progressed as a parent. How did you grow as a mother, this year? What hard lessons did you learn what weird awkward conversations did you have with other parents or with teachers that helped you become a strong or advocate for your child, right? I had to do an IEP for my son, and I didn’t love it, it wasn’t awful, but I still had to get out of my comfort zone and go and work through something and help and advocate for my son and that was something that previously just made me get the Habs. So really observe the ways that you grew as a person both as a mother to them through a school year situation and just as a human being, because we’re constantly in a state of learning. Maybe even giving yourself credit for the day. You discovered the marvelous mom’s club podcast, and you binged on episodes and you grew and you feel like you became a better mother, because you heard stories of other women, or maybe you started reading this year, even if it’s not like non-fiction even if it’s not personal development, but you just started doing something for yourself, this year, how did you grow? And if you take the time to really reflect on that and give yourself a pat on the back for the ways that you progressed, it’s so much better than looking back and thinking of all the things you missed all the sign-up sheets that you didn’t show up for all the times you didn’t bring a treat to the school. All of those different things that can really bring us down. And if you’re a home school mom, and you wanna be sitting here looking back on all the things you didn’t get to the curriculum, you didn’t learn the experiences that you didn’t quite have time for. Create that as your to-do-list for next year or just be grateful and acknowledge the ones that you did get to this year, and then, I think nothing is complete full circle, without taking that acknowledgement that positive acknowledgement of what you did accomplish. And if you need to write down a list of the things you feel regretful about, if you didn’t make it to this event, if you wish you would have gotten there sooner to sit on the front row if you… You know, all these little things that can really seem like a big deal to us and figure out why those things didn’t happen if there were certain family trips that you wanted to go on if there was a field trip that you wanted to sign up for and you couldn’t… And you feel really bad about it. I don’t know, you could go on and on with the things we choose to feel guilty about and give space to figure out why that didn’t happen because a lot of times we just… We give ourselves all the credit for making the mistake when there’s so many circumstances and there are so many other opportunities that would have been missed had we chosen to only do that one thing, right? And so, if you can really look at circumstances surrounding why it wasn’t able to happen, was it life or was it that you didn’t prioritize it, was it that other things had to happen? Is that, making… Hopefully that’s making sense. I know you guys can’t respond, but really if you look at it and you can break it down instead of making it the shameful thing of… I didn’t get to it, I didn’t do it. Look at… Oh, well, I couldn’t go to that field trip because I have a two-year-old at home and I wouldn’t have been able to bring her and it’s hard for me to get child care in the middle of the day. I was being a mom to my two-year-old, my seven-year-old will forgive me that I didn’t go on that field trip. Next year I’m gonna make sure ahead of time that I’ve mapped it out, you know what I mean? So and then also how can these tags that have tech, how can these “ failure?” These moments that you missed help you to have more awareness going into the next year, and then also what things did just not matter that you seem like such a big deal at the time, your not being able to go on the field trip you not being able to volunteer on a certain day. Did it matter do your kids even remember, did their life fall apart, did their trust in you break? Probably not, right? And so, I think reflecting on the priorities that we’re making and how really important and impactful they are versus how we might be making them a bigger deal than they are, how we can go forward, how we can approach summer and let that baggage go, and create fun and lower, guys, we just gotta lower some expectations on ourselves, we are putting way too much pressure to be perfect at all the things. Nobody has it all together, nobody does. Nobody was able to volunteer for everything and run a business from home and take their kids on exotic vacations, and if they are there is somewhere that you can’t see that there is a hole or a gap in their life, so I don’t feel too bad about it. You’re doing an amazing job, I believe you’re a marvelous Mom and I hope this episode has helped lift your souls and spirits. If you were feeling a little bit of that end of the year slump then I hope that these tips have helped you in giving you some perspective on how you can shift that, and make it a positive thing and to create some really amazing maybe journaling opportunities with your family. So, go check out the show notes if you want more ideas. Marvelous Mom’s Club dot com. Thanks for listening and I will see you guys on the next episode have a marvelous day thank you so much for listening to this episode. If you wanna take action right now, you’re feeling inspired and you’re filling enlightened, and you really wanna own this role as a marvelous mom.