back to the grind RHWADWell we have been back from our summer holidays for a few weeks now. To be honest, without looking at a calendar I couldn’t tell you how long I have been back. Between jet lag (which seemed to last especially long this year), getting the kids sorted in school (after doing a last minute change up), and trying to get back on track with all the other routine tasks have made the past few weeks fly by.

Slowly fading are the summer memories of picnics in the park, forest hikes, and carefree afternoons spent playing in the backyard. We have returned to busy mornings, school drop offs, play dates, after school activities, grocery shopping, catching up with friends – really, this list can go on and on.  You get the idea.  In the first few weeks of getting back to school, it can be a bit difficult to find your rhythm with your daily schedule.  It is important to set up a schedule that considers everyone in the family – including you!

New school year, new activities, new schedule.  How quickly do you become captive to your children’s schedule?  It’s only been a few weeks and I am surprised at how many hours a day I spend driving.  It is way too easy to get caught up with the family’s activities.  You have to balance out your time.   Balancing your time does not require a schedule overhaul, only a few things to consider.  I hope these obvious tips will help:

  1. Make time for yourself – Seems fair, right? Taking care of the family always comes first, and it takes up a lot of time. Between grocery shopping, cleaning, school runs, there is very little time leftover. Try to set aside some time for yourself throughout the week to do something that YOU like to do. This can be as simple as taking time to read a book or working on an unfinished project.  You could also find something new to do, learn, or participate in.  It’s entirely up to you.  It’s YOUR time!
  2. Make time for your man – Most times hubby can feel like the last one anyone is thinking about. In reality, he is considered first and you plan everything around HIS schedule (but men don’t see it like that). Try to set at least two nights a month for kid-free social time.  Meet up with friends and also make one night a date night for just you and your hubby to hang out.  Two nights make seem easy when you say it out loud but with kids around, it is super easy to pass on going out in lieu of getting a few extra hours of sleep. Make the effort and be social.  You’ll be glad you did!
  3. Hang out with your girlfriends – Living in an expat community it is so important to have good girlfriends nearby.  Don’t let your busy schedule let these friendships fizzle out.  Even if you meet for a quick cup of coffee.  These women are the ones who can relate to your problems and issues like no one else.  Who else can you complain about your maid to and have them completely understand?
  4. Exercise – Yes, you know it has to get a mention.  This is SO important!  It is a great way to decrease stress levels – getting those endorphins pumping through your brain making you feel like the superwoman you are.  Find a fitness partner that you have to be accountable for.  It doesn’t matter what fitness level you are at.  It can be anything from walking to doing an high intensity fitness class. Just make sure you are doing something active.

That’s it.  I said they were obvious. Sometimes we know what we have to do but don’t actually do it.  Go on and make the time for yourself.  It will be worth it!