The Tuesday posts here at Midwest Parents are all tips and ideas for keeping family life running smoothly and happily. I have a lot of ideas that I've used with mostly success over the seven and a half short years of my parenting career but when I sat down to write this post I drew a blank.
I could tell you about how I bought plastic sandwich boxes for each of my school-age kids and make 6 sandwiches on Sunday so that I can send sandwiches in their lunch boxes 3 days of the week. I could tell you how I send a hot meal in a Funtainer one day a week and how they get to have a Lunchable as a treat on Fridays.
But then if I told you that I wouldn't know what else to say about that.
So I thought about what other things I do that I haven't already shared with you and I drew a blank.
Then I thought about how, from the start of first grade when my oldest first started getting homework I insisted she do it right away after school so it would be just done. And now, half-way through second grade when she gets homework every day she automatically gets out her pencil as soon as she's finished her after school snack and just does it.
And then I thought that tip won't be very helpful to those whose kids are past this stage already. But let me tell you this is a wonderful thing to not have to battle about doing homework.
What I really wanted to write about I can't do for you. You have to do it yourself. Every parent (every person) needs time to do what he or she needs to feel rejuvenated. Whatever that is...reading a book, watching a movie, exercising, a bubble bath...it doesn't have to be anything big or expensive. Watching a sunset or a sunrise doesn't cost a penny but it can center you and remind you how little annoyances don't really matter. Take care of yourself. If you don't, who will? If parents value themselves enough to take care of themselves, the kids will see that and value themselves as well.
I can't think of anything that helps keep a family running more smoothly than that.