Going Back to School Prayers and Goals for This Mom
Last day of summer. Time to make new goals. We did reasonably well with some goals, but still struggling with the application of others. Did better at getting help with household chores, which is something that was making me feel grumpy about. Having a balanced mom creates a better home-life for everyone. I wouldn’t say that “If Mom’s not happy, ain’t no one happy”, but I would say that when she is trying to maintain everything in the home for five people for twelve or so hours a day…she needs company, companionship, assistance, and no qualms about it. I used a Melissa and Doug dry erase board and spend my planning period each morning praying, having my devotion, and writing down the things that needed to be done, my chores, and just various house chores. The kids began to learn that to get my blessing to go out or plan other things in the week, that list needed to be accomplished by the group. They’d look at it early to take the jobs they preferred. If they chose to sleep late, they got what was left over. No one seemed to complain about this system. They sort of worked it out for themselves without my ever officially assigning anything. There were times the youngest needed a job assigned they could do, but that’s about it.
I sometimes added a “word of the day” or a “verse of the day”. Sometimes they were just responsible for having a devotion and reporting to me what it was about. I still feel like daily devotions are something I’d like to build a better passion for on their own, but it will just take time, modeling, and reinforcement from other people in their lives.
So, tomorrow starts school for us! How will these systems need to evolve? I’m not sure. I wanted to see today that I wasn’t left cleaning up the summer party on my own when one of mine wants a party here Friday night. Again, a bitter and overworked mom is not a good mom. They’ve helped me unpack luggage, clean shoes, do laundry, cook breakfast, and allowed me time to deal with some billing issues I needed to make calls about. I hope we can find something special to do tonight to celebration the end of Summer Break, even if it’s just family game night. Dad has a late meeting, unfortunately. Late meetings throw us off a bit. He generally brings home evening work at 7:30 as it is. Forcing another hour after not getting home until 8:30 or 9, church the next night, dinner at Grandma’s the next night, and we’ve had like three days of no couple time. I may need to get up early or try to meet him for breakfast to make those days flow better.
I don’t know how to do this stuff. I just know we need to plan ahead to keep from getting stressed, not having supplies, and having things left undone. I learn from another mother that her key was to “just do as much ahead of time as possible”. It’s true! That one phrase is the key. Otherwise, it all snowballs, and our stress level does, too.
It’s been a difficult year in a lot of ways, yet, trying to just keep the main things the main things and trust God with the rest. There is still joy. Some pain in loss, but a lot of joy.
No kids in elementary this year! The clock is ticking to teach the values and disciplines I’d always hoped to teach my kids. I can say that I enjoy my kids. I love their company, their interests, and the time we get to enjoy as a family, even with all the demands to time and schedules and responsibilities.
This time every year I pick up all the books I’ve accumulated on how to pray for my kids, and I begin. I pray for their teachers, I pray for their character. I pray for wisdom. I pray for us as parents. I pray for those who work with them in youth. I pray for political issues that affect them. I pray for their safety. Nothing kicks me into gear like sending my kids to school.
Right now, I have at my feet “The Power of a Praying Parent” by Stormie Omartian.
Also, “How to Pray for Your Kids” is at my bedside.
My prayer journals for each of them I pull out, read, and sometimes add to.
I’ll write them notes of prayer and hopefully find a scripture for the year for each of them until they are old enough to find one on their own…sometimes it’s the same for all three of them.
I’ll try to create fun times when they return home: favorite treats, favorite suppers, fun time.
And we’ll talk about situations that can come up. Hopefully, they’ll be prepared, feel safe, and equipped. We have no control over their teachers. It’s like putting kids in a daycare and never getting to hire those who care for them. It seems insane sometimes. I trust these people. I trust them with my kid’s time, with their character development, with their education.
So, I pray some more.
Besides that, I get ready for meds that need to be taken to the nurse in case they need a Pepto or Tylenol or allergy tablet (our school supplies NO meds).
I still need to prepare the van with Kleenex for morning commute sneezes (this is very important!!!), extra pencils, Alleve for sore athletes, an extra pen for writing school lunch room checks, some liquids and snacks for “I AM STARVING” moments in the van.
This year, I’ll email teachers more often. Relying on Infinite Campus didn’t work for me last year. Too much is not entered until too late, and by then, there is nothing I can do to hold them accountable to what needs to be the priority each day. I hoped to not have to do this, but nagging, asking, and insisting hasn’t worked so far. I just need information. Then, I know the priorities and whether or not my kids are addressing them. I don’t know any other way to do this without embarrassing the kids. I also need to find out what kids are in class with them so that I know when things are coming up better. How can I use technology to my advantage in this area? Is there a group assignment system so that if one kid doesn’t like keeping an agenda, I could learn with those who do share classes? Would Google Calendar work for this? Maybe. I’ll explore.
Lots to think about, pray about, and just release into God’s hands ultimately. Tomorrow, year ten of schooling my children begins!