If you are visiting my blog today from my Proverbs 31 Devotion “Where Your Tears Go“, it’s probably safe to assume you are struggling with sending your kids back to school this year too!
Anytime we face new challenges and changes with our children, we might find ourselves flailing around in a bag of emotions.
Preparing for my kids to go back to school has never been too hard for me (with the exception of major transitions like kindergarten or starting middle school), although I always hate when summer is over and have to accept that my sweet children would be gone all day long every day.
But last year it was a whole new ballgame when my first born child went to college. I was distraught – to say the least! I talked about this experience in today’s devotion, but you can also read last year’s post about it here.
Now that I have a year under my belt of being a college mom, this year’s college move in process went much smoother, emotionally speaking. Although I was sad to see Morgan move away from home again, I was able to hold back the waterworks. I was confident in knowing that God had protected her last year, and that He would do the same again this year. And I’m proud of my girl! But next week presents some new challenges, as Kaitlyn starts her Senior year of high school and Michael, my baby boy, who is now as tall as me, starts as a high school Freshman. Hopefully on Monday, I can still keep those tears under control.
But when it comes to wading through the challenges of parenting, back to school can be one of the most difficult times that moms have to endure. Not only because of school supply shopping, new teachers, new schools and new friends, but also because we know that time is ticking away. Us moms are filled with a myriad of emotions during this time of year – from sadness to celebration. And before we know it, our kids are grown – and going to college. When my kids were little I thought college was a life time away, but time went by all too fast.
I think that’s one reason moms get so emotional and stressed about back to school – its not just that school started back, but it’s that another year has come and gone. And if you ask me, watching my kids grow up right before my eyes is reason to boo hoo! But as I mentioned in today’s devotion, God cares about our feelings, longs to comfort us through every season, and always catches our tears.
As women, we are each just a bag of emotions at times, but how comforting to know that God is always holding the bag!
If you are struggling with a flurry of emotions during all the back-to-school chaos, below are few things to keep in mind:
* Don’t feel guilty for having feelings, or for shedding tears. God made us to live by our hearts, and a mom’s heart for her children is stronger than any emotion. So although we do want to maintain some self control, tears are a faucet from the heart. And it’s ok.
* If an emotional day lies ahead, such as the first day in a new school or new grade, spend some time in prayer that morning. Ask God to fill you with peace, before the chaos hits, and ask for the confidence to be emotionally strong.
* If you find yourself alternating between crying or celebrating over the kids going back to school, don’t be too hard on yourself! We’re only human and our emotions may vary. Find support from friends and fellow parents and take time to talk out your feelings.
* Ask God to help you be acutely aware of each and every little blessing with your kids. Time does go by all too quickly, so make an effort to record special things that happen. Like cute things your children say, maintaining a book of notes or certificates that your child receives, or scrapbooking. Although it seems like there is no time for those things right now, one day you will be glad you took the time to do it.
* Remember that each season of life brings it’s own set of blessings. Change is hard, and watching our children grow up is hard, but I have learned that every age brings a basket load of blessings and memories.
* This is a great time of year to kick off a new commitment to daily prayer, for our kids and with our kids, but also for ourselves and our own faith walk. To help with that, there is still time to enter to win a free copy of Julie Gillies new book, Prayers for a Woman’s Soul. Click here to enter! Winner will be announced next week on my blog.
For more information about managing back to school chaos and warding off the stress of this busy time of year, visit my Pinterest Summer Survival board to review some of the free information and downloads available.