Originally published Tuesday, 06 August 2013.
I was recently visiting with a mom about preparing our children for back to school with the purchasing of school supplies, summer reading projects, school uniforms, and the like. Neither of us seemed adequately prepared. I have mixed emotions this year about the opening of school. A part of me is always excited about getting my kids back into a routine. It just seems I get more accomplished when school is in. However, I relish the summer days of sleeping in, taking leisurely walks with my kids, actually getting to talk to my teens, and enjoying ice cream at a local shop - not to mention, no homework to help with or bicker with my teens about!
This back-to-school season is especially bittersweet. My teen son is entering his final year of high school - his senior year. I actually cannot believe it. I cannot believe that this will be his last back-to-school dance, his final prom. He will be playing his last high school basketball game. And my junior daughter will be quickly behind him...
But the inevitable is upon us. The summer is almost over and by month's end, schools across the country will be open with the hustle and bustle and students of all ages scurrying to class with backpacks in tow. And the launch of the school year is certain to bring a little chaos.
It doesn't matter if you are ushering little ones to elementary school or helping teens into high school. School mornings all look very similar. I can see it now - breakfast, ironing, packing lunches, lost homework, a missing belt, etc. All will have to be done before 7:00am, so that we can load up for the morning commute. So how will you handle the joys of back-to-school? How will you handle the adjustment in routine? The chaos?
Be certain that you utilize your morning commute with the kids as special time. Maybe you play a game of "I Spy" with the younger ones. Maybe you engage in a 15-minute convo with the teens. However you choose to use the time, be certain that you recognize that it is, in fact, special moments God has given you with your kiddos and it is fleeting.
It is widely-agreed that daily time with our Savior is the best way to strengthen our faith-walk. However, most of us frequently complain about lack of time as an obstacle that prevents us from reading the Word or daily prayer time.Have you considered having daily devotionals in the car with the kids? What about Bible on CD? What about playing a Bible Memorization Game on the way to school?
Make a decision today to enjoy the back-to-school chaos as just one more of the many joys of parenting. Make it your best year yet!
Jennifer Maggio is considered a leading authority on single parents and womens issues. She is an award-winning author and speaker who draws from her own experiences through abuse, homelessness, and teen pregnancy to inspire audiences everywhere. She is founder of The Life of a Single Mom Ministries and writes for dozens of publications. She has been featured with hundreds of media outlets, including The 700 Club, Daystar Television, Moody Radio, Focus on the Family, and many more. For more information, visit thelifeofasinglemom.com.