Summer is hard for parents.
There’s no way around it. The schedule changes, routines vanish, and even if you get to fill the hot months with memories and trips, it’s disorienting, and it can be difficult to regroup.
My kids went back to school a couple of days ago. For transparency’s sake, I am a huge failure when it comes to maintaining routines. ADHD and a creative brain mean that I struggle with basic daily activity a lot of the time, and when I am responsible for my own life and the full-time care of a bunch of other humans, it gets overwhelming.
Then, when they go back, I miss them, and I get lost. What do I do with 4 hours every morning? I spent two months building lists of things I’d do when the kids went back. Did I just forget everything? Am I lazy? What on earth just happened?
Here are some realizations and thoughts I’ve had this week while we all readjust.
1. Take a day or three to find your groove
You have likely just spent 2+ months completely out of school routine. It took you a couple of weeks to unwind and release the end-of-school madness, and then you had to ramp back up. It is going to take both you and the kids a while to figure it out again.
In short, don’t commit to 3k words as soon as the kids are out the door. Take a nap. Run some kid-free errands. Drink your coffee in quiet while it’s still hot. That’s enough.
2. Don’t assume you’ll do everything every day
You may think you could get everything done if you didn’t have interruptions, but your list is probably still insane. If you’re picking up a project you haven’t looked at in a while or starting something new, it’s likely going to take a minute for you to get reacquainted.
AND THIS IS OKAY.
Ease back in. If you need goals, set achievable ones. Some ideas:
- Write the first page.
- Start the next chapter.
- Post one thing on social media.
- Read for an hour.
- Fill out one character outline.
3. Don’t let the paralysis consume you
Sometimes when I look at my list, it feels so long that I abandon it entirely and check out. In my head, I feel like because I will 100% not finish that novel this week, I may as well tackle something I can complete.
But if I don’t take baby steps, it’ll never get done at all, right?
So I have to think of it one step at a time. I’m working on a huge anthology project right now. If I think about collecting submissions, reading them, sending communications, compiling, editing, formatting, and marketing the book as a whole project it seems like something I will never complete.
Instead, today, I’ve told myself that I will approve the edits. Then, I will complete the formatting templates. One step at a time.
Maybe today that novel feels overwhelming, and it’s so demoralizing you’d rather vacuum. That’s okay. Just take the next step. Rewrite that scene that’s bothering you. Write the next 500 words. That’s enough. If you keep doing that, you’ll start to see progress.
And progress is the best motivator.
About the Writer: Allie Gravitt is a mom of 3 and lives in metro Atlanta with a house full of animals and plants. Her debut poetry collection, prisonbreaks, and second collection Killing Ghosts are available now on Amazon. Follow Allie’s writing journey on TikTok and Instagram.