Today is the day we all get back to routine, school and work and the regular structure of daily life, or at least as it is for us. It’s exciting and a little difficult after the holiday and its very different structure. I find though that now with Michael in my life, I enjoy the transition back to our every day life more than I used to. Christmas time is my favorite time of year and it’s still sad for me when we take down the decorations which we do after Epiphany on the 6th, but I like that I have a plan now for my life as an exceptional parent and for my career.
For Michael having autism means routine is key, so though he is not happy to be getting back to school and work, I know that the structured day for him at school will help him long term. It means a break for me too in play date and activity organizing, though now that he is older, the holidays went better overall with just a few kinks here and there. We’ll see how today goes, but as I’m sure for all of you parents out there, we have our arsenal of tools that help us at the time of year. Here are a few tried and true methods that have helped our family get through the first week back:
- Pick out clothes, pack bags and pack/plan lunch nigh before: This one ensures no stress the first day back for everyone.
- Gradually build bedtime and wake up schedule to your usual one: Make sure you gradually build up your child’s and your wake up schedule. This is if you were lucky to be on a holiday one. In our family, is was the regular one all week with our early bird! 🙂
- Talk about return to school with your child if they are nervous: I make sure to gently bring it up to Michael and he does it with me. You may want to do pictos as well and whatever other visual aids will help.
- Get a good night’s rest the night before: This one is hard, but goes for the whole family. A tired body cannot handle stress well, and this will undoubtedly be a day that contains stress for all of you.
- Stay focused and breathe: This is for all the type A Moms like me who need control. Seriously though, breathing, meditating, try if at all possible to have some quiet time before all heck breaks lose with breakfast, people scurrying around and leaving. If not, collapse with coffee/tea in hand immediately after the house is quiet (if you can) and give yourself some time to breathe in and out and enjoy the quiet. Try and do this even if you are dashing off yourself. Trust me. It sets the tone for the whole day afterwards.
So wherever you are today, I wish you and your family luck getting back into routine. Take it one day at a time, and remember that everyone around you is in the same boat. Breathe in, breathe out and happy Exceptional First week back! Until next time .