When the kids go back to school, stay-at-home and working parents alike often breathe a sigh of relief. No more bored kids begging you for things to do. No more summertime struggles, like getting squiggly children out of wet swimsuits or cleaning up mud pies carried into the kitchen. Finally, you can take a deep breath as you hug that deep, soothing sense of silence to yourself.
But then, only minutes later, you shoot up on the couch and think – what now?? You’re itching to get going, but you don’t know what to do with yourself. Never fear – we’ve gathered some ideas for you below.
Read on to see these 4 things to do once the kids are back in school.
Time for a deep clean. The summertime is for hanging out with family – it’s not usually filled with deep cleans and bags of stuff going to Goodwill. So before the fall season really kicks in and the weather starts to cool off, why not do a deep clean and get rid of the all of the junk that’s accumulated over the last year? Bonus – when you put items into the “to go” pile, there won’t be any kids to pull them out again.
Give back. Around the time that kids head back to school, charitable organizations are usually gearing up for the giving season. Local food pantries, churches and temples and fundraising organizations are probably in the middle of planning everything to their next letter writing campaign to a late-season 5k. If you want to avoid having too much time on your hands, one of these organizations can be a great way to get involved with your community – and you might even enjoy talking to adults all day instead of the kids ;)
Take a little R&R. Volunteering is certainly admirable, but come on – you’ve been swamped with children all summer! Don’t forget to take a little R&R for yourself. Nab a book you’ve been aching to read (or choose one from this Best Books of 2014 list at NPR), or hit the gym to start off a fit, stress-free fall season. When you remember to take some me time during the day, it means you’re 100% ready for your family when they head back home at the end of the day.
Whatever you do, embrace happiness. Yes, the kids are back in school, and yes, that means you have more time. But what you didn’t realize is that, even though you’ve been waiting for this moment, you’re actually a little bit sad to be surrounded by such a quiet house.
So, our biggest recommendation is this – embrace happiness. The happier you are, and the more you take care of yourself, the happier your kids will be. Summer is about them, and so is most of your life – so if you get a little free time, don't be afraid to take it for yourself. If you’re looking for ideas on ways to live a happy life every day, we recommend this Inc.com article, which includes tasks as easy as stepping outside and choosing to get enough sleep.