This is part of a sponsored collaboration with Minute Maid and DiMe Media, but all opinions are my own.
August and back-to-school is always the most hectic time of the year. Once this time of the year arrives, it can be hard to get that quality time with your kids that’s an important part of family life. The good thing is that, as parents, in time we learn how to juggle all of the stresses of back-to-school along with regular life. So I already know what I have to do in order to still get that special time with my Sammy, but what about a new parent?
I've been a mom for 25 years, but I gave birth to all five of my kids. My daughter, Jack, is now a parent to 3 kids whom she did not give birth to. She is one of those amazing people that have given up their childless peaceful existence in order to care for and parent three kids who needed her. How does this mom of a year learn to cope with all the havoc that life, back-to-school stresses and a full-time job bring? To tell you the truth, I don't even know myself. I learned how to do everything that has to do with parenting over the course of having all of my kids. It took years and years for me to learn and, in fact, I still learn every single day. They say that all heroes don't wear capes - and that's so true when it comes to special people like my daughter. These people who foster and adopt children without ever even having any of their own are honest-to-goodness real-life heroes.
So now that it's back-to-school season, Jack has to juggle her job, one child that does not attend school and the two kids who do. As someone who still struggles with all of these things even after being a parent for so long, here are just a few suggestions I have for her in her new role as a parent.
give yourself a break: take some time for yourself. Get a sitter and give yourself some ME time. All moms need to take this advice.
don't be too hard on yourself or the kids: no one is a perfect parent. Don't expect too much of yourself or of them. There will be bad days but the good will always outnumber the bad.
stop and enjoy the moment: each moment passed is not one that will return again. When we're so overloaded it can be hard to take a minute to remember that the important thing is to spend time with your kids, and to enjoy it. One day they will be grown up, stop and enjoy each minute.
At the end of the day Jack is doin’ good as a parent and I'm sure if we ask the kids they will fully agree. That's the message that I would like to convey to her and all parents who might not think they are doing an amazing job. The truth is that parents are usually doing much better than they think, but we can all be so hard on ourselves. The back-to-school season is hard on all of us, but we can all make that extra time to spend with our kiddos, give them extra hugs and let them know that no matter how busy we are, they are the most important thing.
Now Minute Maid and I want to hear from you! Tell us about a family member, friend, co-worker who you think is doing a better job as a parent than they may realize.