Back-to-School Tips for Stepmoms: Simple Life Hacks for Less Stress By Jessica Leon, PHD, LCSW
Kids and parents approach back-to-school time with mixed emotions. Certainly it’s exciting: new teachers, new supplies, new friends, new schedules and—some years—a brand new place in which to learn. But there’s something else, too: Stress.
Children fear the unknown, while parents are ever-concerned about what’s in store, what our (step-)children’s social or academic experiences will be like
and the knowledge that the first few weeks or months will bring on a lot of changes, as far as schedules and responsibilities are concerned.
Take me, for example. During the school year, my days—as a full-time psychologist/life coach, wife, plus mom/stepmom—look kind of like this:
⊲ Wake up.
⊲ Work out.
⊲ Wake my three boys.
⊲ Nag said boys to get moving.
⊲ Make breakfast, while packing lunches.
⊲ Get boys to their buses or respective schools.
⊲ Straighten up house and take care of the pets.
After which I shower, dress and then head to work. Then, after working all day, my evening typically involves sports, activities, dinner, cleanup, errands, more household and pet chores, helping with homework, baths and tucking-in rituals.
Then I have a bit of time with my husband or for myself, as I follow up with clients.
I’ll bet my list looks a lot like yours, right? That’s because we all have busy schedules filled with this virtually impossible combination of commitments which are “set in stone” and still “subject to change.” We must be committed to our kids and their needs, our own self-care, our partners, our homes, our work, our pets … and still be somewhat flexible. But how?