3 Tips for Working Mums to Reset after the school holidays

Are you still reeling from the school holidays?

Lacking focus and energy on what next?

Thinking about how to make next year’s a better experience for everyone?

Holidays can be a very intense time, with all family members thrown together in different environments, countries, time zones and potentially with other family members and friends. There is immense pressure to enjoy every moment and capture the memories.  It’s interesting how Mums enjoy spending time with their children the most when they are at school 5 days a week!

The most honest post I read on Facebook this summer was when a MasterMum of 3 young children had posted the most amazing photos of her European adventures with the message,  “Please note that amongst all these happy staged photos there were numerous children and parent meltdowns and immense sibling fatigue!” Or another MasterMum who told me about her road trip holiday with her young family. “I ended up giving my 3 children a middle name ‘STOP IT’ as they continually squabbled the minute they sat in the car. It reached a crescendo when I shouted out ‘Will you all shut up and stop telling each other to SHUT UP.” I really enjoyed hearing about their holidays so much more because of their honesty and reality check.

I had a moment too during the holidays when I sat down to meditate, and my two young children were noisily running around me playing tag. I stopped meditating and feeling really irritated, I jumped up and shouted out at the top of my voice “will you please stop it I AM TRYING TO MEDITATE!!” Luckily, I quickly realised the foolishness of my statement, they are children after all. I laughed out loud and decided to use my meditation time to focus on my kids instead.

Well the summer holidays are ending and Mums, you made it, you survived! Here are 3 tips to reset after the holidays:

  1. It’s a New School Year for you too!

Maybe it’s because my birthday is in August, but I always use the start of a new school year to do some dreaming and planning about what I want to achieve in the next 12 months. You don’t have to wait until 31st December to set a new intention. You can choose to reset your direction every day. I remember when my kids were younger that each night, just before I went to sleep, I would wish for a minimum of 6 hours with no babies waking.  I would remind myself of what Scarlett O’Hara said in ‘Gone With The Wind’ when she went to bed exhausted from physically toiling on the land and worrying about how she was going to survive, “Tomorrow is another day”.

What about you MasterMum?  What would you like to achieve in the next school year? What progress do you want to make, in any area of your life?

Susan Jeffers in Feel The Fear and Do it Anyway writes about ‘Living a Whole Life’ – fulfilling 9 areas of your life to ensure you are achieving balance and progress. This also protects you if you have unplanned changes in your life, like redundancy or divorce as you are not ‘putting all your emotional eggs and time in one basket’.

The areas I use are Health, Wealth, Career/Business, Personal Development, Relationship, Hobby, Family, Contribution, Alone Time. Download your free worksheet here. I have found from experience that the most common area MasterMums struggle with committing to is ‘Alone Time’ and they can’t remember what it is like to be on their own. They have no idea what they would do as their habit has been to always take care of everyone else first. I will cover that in the next tip!

Using the above areas of your life (or choose others that work better for you):

  1. What is the ideal scenario for you in each of these areas for the next 12 months? Visualise it and imagine it as if it has come true – the power of your unconscious mind can’t differentiate between fact or fiction!
  2. Brainstorm some ideas and thoughts of activities you would like to do over the next 12 months, for example, improving your health where you might bullet point 3 things like eat more broccoli, find a new exercise class to enjoy, try two new vegetarian recipes.
  3. Review it monthly. As I am a progressionist not a perfectionist’ I don’t beat myself up if I don’t achieve everything. Instead I observe what has worked for me and reset for the next month. It’s amazing how after a regular period of reviewing and resetting monthly leads you to achieve more than you think you can.

As James Clear explains, in his book ‘Atomic Habits’, “Atomic Habits are small habits that can have a huge impact if performed over months or years. The goal isn’t to make a single 1% improvement, but to make thousands of them. It’s lots of atomic habits stacking up, each one part of a system, that eventually creates a huge impact.”

From https://www.instagram.com/james_clear/

  1. Alone Time – What do I do with it???

I know we hear this all the time, but as MasterMums we really are the oxygen of the family and we must regularly recharge our batteries. Imagine when you are feeling ‘full of self’ how much more you can maintain your emotional reactions, reduce the onset of burnout and generally enjoy your life more. Alone Time could be 10 minutes in the office just enjoying a cup of coffee in a quiet area, it could be a walk in your lunch hour surrounded by nature or it could be treating yourself to a massage or pedicure. Anything where you feel you are nurturing yourself; the choice is yours. You will really notice that the more you take care of yourself the more others will respect you. And you will inspire others to do it too.

 

  1. Reflect and Review

Once everyone has settled into their new school routines, and you have joined the new and ever growing WhatsApp groups. And when you have managed to achieve some head-space and gain clear thinking time again, please give yourself permission to reflect on the 4 W’s – What Went Well and Why from the holidays.

What did you really enjoy and why did it go well? What will do differently and why? What are your learnings? Maybe you want to spend less time with particular family members, or maybe more time? Whatever you need to help you feel that you have made the most of your precious holidays. During my review of the holidays I found that not hiring a car when overseas made a huge difference. No one had to navigate whilst driving on the opposite side of the road, in an upside-down time zone! A scenario which usually led to many arguments! We booked all our accommodation within walking distance to the local shops and restaurants and booked taxis for any other travel.

And remember that next year the children will a year older, you’ll have another year’s parental experience under your belt plus (after your review) you will have confidence in having a stress-free summer holiday after learning from this one!

If you’re struggling to find balance as a MasterMum and want some help to review and reset, please contact me mary@butterflymango.com