The weeks are dwindling away and I find myself worrying that we haven’t squeezed every last bit of summer fun into our schedule, so we’ve been working on that. The start of school is the first signal of fall, and that is an outstandingly busy time for our family. Harvest begins, and another summer is in the books. Here are a few tips for parents with ‘back to school heartache’ like me.
#1.) Seize the remaining moments of summer with a ‘you choose day’.
*We like to do this at the Iowa State Fair, the ‘you choose’ part is usually what additional rides we get to go on, what exhibits the kids want to see (my son=tractors, daughter=horses) and finally who they get to take along for the fun. (Or as seen in the picture above… face-painting of choice.)
#2.) Have ‘kitchen time’ with your child.
Recipe Suggestions: Wacky Cake, Homemade Play Dough, Easy Monster Bars, Easy Energy Bites, Butter Dips
*Create a recipe with your child to serve to the family. This could be something you both have never made before. Cooking adventures are some of my earliest and most vivid memories. Inexpensive and meaningful. When I was in the kitchen with my Mom or Grandmas, there was never a distraction it seemed… which leads me to #3:
#3.) Put down your phone, put down your work and be present.
*This pretty much goes without saying. The phrase quality over quantity comes into play here. Spending quality time with your children is so special, and is noticed. Unplugging is not only healthy for them, it is healthy for you. Modern technology can be a convenience for EVERYONE (trying to reach you) but you. Unplug and enjoy this time of your life. Soon, your children will be grown. Make the memories you will want to remember then, now.
#4.) Slow down. Play together. Eat together.
*Relish the small things that you can do before school starts, then establish a ‘fun’ weekend time (like Saturday afternoons) where, as a family, you can do fun things together. So many activities and growing schedules tend to prevent this, but finding a fun day, or committing to eating meals together certain nights of the week can allow everyone to check back in with each other and ease the back-to-school growing pains.
#5.) Seek out the friends you haven’t gotten to spend time with, and get together.
My children ADORE the children of my friends Adam and Mandy, owners of Priority Crossfit, the gym (or “box” if you are a CF-er) I go to. Since my kids accompany me to some classes they get to see these 3 ‘friends’ of theirs, and wanted to have them over, so we did, of course!
Though they do live in town and don’t work as farm-hands regularly… you could’ve fooled me. They were fantastic help and I’m already dreaming up jobs for them when they return. Above, they each got to water their own sow!
We also took the tractor out on the open road… very proud that each of them took over (no cars were coming, promise!) and steered the tractor excellently! I’m telling you, farming is in their genes somewhere. I know it.
Seriously, I can’t take it… too much cuteness in the cab of one tractor. I hope they come back and visit me in the fall too. There is more fun action in the field (and is a heck of a lot crazier) then.
Are you ready for harvest… I’m not. (I can’t find my lunch box.)
Ready or not…
PS: I’ll be thinking of you while you send your kids off to school, whether it is preschool or their final year in college. It isn’t easy folks.
And no one said it had to be.