September 2022 Newsletter
It’s the start of a new year!
Whether your munchkins are 2 or 22, they are most likely off to school this week. For some, it is a stressful time full of “OMG” and “what if” thoughts swimming in their heads. Others will be the “hell ya, let’s do this!” kind. Either way, it’s the start of a new chapter, another year, new friends to be made, new teachers (good and not-so-good), new teammates, and their realization that they are a whole year smarter than they were last year. Once your munchkins finish their JK through Grade 8 years, it’s a quick four years of highschool, and another lightening fast four years of university. No one knows how quickly time flies like parents!
I don’t know about you, but in my head, the year runs by the school calendar. I feel that reflection and resolutions should be done in September, not on January1st. So this September, let’s embrace the passage of time by celebrating everything that you and your children have accomplished together. Successfully moving through the school system, regardless of what grades they are in, advancing their skills in the arts, in sports, you finding new family favourite recipes (hooray!), starting and finishing the journey of orthodontic braces, finding a new amazing vacation spot that you have already re-booked for next year, meeting your newest bestest friend of all time, trying sleepover camp and loving it, the list goes on and on. Think about it. Look back to this time last year, and you will see progress of all kinds. Be proud. Know that you’ve done a mind bogglingly awesome job moving everyone onward and upward. Remember the people in your “village” who have helped you get to where you are today with car pooling, or after school pick up, or a sleepover leaving you some time for yourself, or some one-on-one time with your other munchkin. Both you and your children have come a long way baby!
Whether it’s Pre-School or University – there is so much to learn.
Human beings are perpetually learning. From the moment we are born we are acquiring new skills, all the way through to the day we die. It is so important to keep that open mindset because that is what allows you to absorb knowledge. From the ABC’s to the periodic table to your great grandma asking “you can do all that on that little iPhone?”, not all learning happens in the classroom. But you knew that already.
Think of everything your children learn from life with you – sharing, fighting, kindness, fibbing, chores, saving money, responsibilities, working as a family, pet care, gardening, sports, cooking, getting homework done, being a good big brother / sister, helping Mom, earning trust, brushing your teeth, and on and on it goes. You are their first teacher, and what they will learn from you will continue long after university, and a lot of it modelled after what they watched you do.
I have another important nugget to share with those of you who have sent your firstborns off to university this year. They will come back different. Just telling you like it is. They will be a little more independent, a little more opinionated, and a little more confident. I will tell you from experience, it’s a bit annoying, but it is also awesome. You are seeing them mature into their own person. My two cents? Give them a bit of space to re-integrate themselves back into the family routine. Respect each other’s space, after all, this is growth for everyone. For those who move out of residence and into a shared housing arrangement for the balance of their university years, this is another big growth spurt. They have to manage house bills, groceries, cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc. And even if they screwed it up, they muddled through and figured it out somehow – even if it included a quick call to you to confirm. Be proud of them for having the courage to ask. Tell them that you’re proud of them for figuring it out.
We all knew that once they started school their peers would be more influential than parents, and that doesn’t change no matter how old they are. But the older they get, the more they appreciate you and your gentle advice as they try to figure out how to navigate (almost) adulthood. Be available, not pushy. Don’t make everything a life lesson, just answer the question. After all, you want to make sure you keep them in your life, not push them away.
Don’t ever minimize your importance in your children’s lives. Your impact is enormous! You taught them all about hugs and kisses, they will remember that forever, and hopefully smother their own with the same unconditional love that you did with them.
It truly does “take a village”.
New routines. New friends. New level of homework. New lessons. New sports. New meltdowns. New school perhaps. New everything! That’s a lotta new stuff for a kid to handle. It’s also a lot of new stuff for Mom to handle, multiplied by however many children Mom has, and then add her own life and work responsibilities. WHOA!!! Back up the train. How is one Mom with one brain and only 24 hours in a day supposed to juggle all this and more? I’ll tell you….. it’s magic.
Truth be told, it almost is magic. Moms’ best kept secrets to juggling… each of us has created a finely tuned interconnected web of support. I wish I could tell you that we all have a little Mary Poppins in us, but that would be a lie… sort of. Here’s how it works, and it only works because it’s a Mom network. Yes, sure, we have wall calendars and apps so that things can be seen in a quick glance, but ultimately it’s a finely tuned power team of Moms supporting each other to get it all done. Everyone has heard people talk about “it takes a village to raise a chid”. Well, it does, and don’t knock it. I love my village, especially by the time I had my third.
For those of you who are new Moms diving into this crazy world of playdates and lessons plus plus plus, don’t worry, we’ve got you. The first week of school is all about getting to know your children’s friends. Get names sorted (keep a list) and extra-curriculars to see if they line up with yours, and where they live (hopefully nearby). This is the “recon stage”. By the end of September all lessons and sports have begun and you will start to meet parents there too. This is a critical stage. This is when we Moms start discussing carpooling. This is one of the most crucial facets of the Mom network. The kids get to everything they need and want to, but you only have to do half the work. Why does this work so well you ask? Because Moms are fabulous at sharing advice and offering assistance – we get it. So don’t be a martyr. Say yes to any and all offers of assistance, and you offer up whatever help you can be too. Before you know if you will have a new bestie with whom you can grab a coffee, sip a cup of tea (or something else), go for a quick run, or vent a little. Venting is important, not only for you, but for other Moms to see they aren’t alone.
The Mom network is a strong one ladies, so do not underestimate its supportive power. No one will judge you, no one will think you are weak. In fact, to the contrary, they will applaud your eagerness to participate. And if, for some reason, you cannot find a Mom network at your school – create one! You and the other Moms have nothing to lose and everything to gain, like your sanity, some peace of mind, a new friend, and showing your children how true teamwork is done. Best lesson ever.
Worth repeating: Our February 2022 Newsletter listed a variety of online planners / calendars to aid in your Mary Poppins appearance.
Sleep. Need I say more?
There are hundreds of articles extolling the benefits of a good night’s sleep. Sure, sounds easy, right? NOT! All Moms would love 8 hours of sleep, but it’s just a pipe dream (pun fully intended). I mean come on, we all know sleep helps with anxiety, depression, managing stress, improves our focus, improves our digestion, and helps us recover properly from exercise / exertion. But what if you can’t sleep? Then what?
“Sleep Hygiene” is a good first step. This basically means looking at your bedtime routine and sleep habits. According to Dorma Lab in Quebec, these habits should include the following in order to get the necessary 6 to 8 hours of sleep that you should have each night:
1. your sleep environment – should be dark and cool with no electronics or alarms nearby; and do not use your bed for anything other than sleeping;
2. establish a routine – get as much light as possible during the day, establish a bedtime relaxation routine at night;
3. avoid – energy drinks, caffeine and stimulant medication 5 hours before bedtime;
4. smoking and alcohol – cause fragmented sleep which is harmful to your health;
5. food – do not eat anything for at least three hours before bedtime;
6. exercise – it reduces stress and improves continuous sleep, but do not exercise before bedtime as the endorphin release will keep you awake.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I) has been shown to be highly effective. See this article from Dorma Lab. See if this might be something you should speak with your doctor about.
Night time meditation is also a great way to establish a good bedtime routine. I am currently giving two apps a try. One is called Better Sleep, and the other is called Balance, and Balance is offering the first year for free. So far, liking them both. Loving the sound therapies both offer, and the meditation. Have a look, give one a try. Hopefully you will find something that can bring you some peace as you drift off into a deep sleep.
The Cove Global and YOU!
Here at The Cove Global our mission is to save Moms time, simply because time is so valuable. You can’t buy it, borrow it, rent it or steal it. So less wasted time means more time to spend making memories with the munchkins, more time on well earned and much needed self care, or more time building your business that you have put your heart and soul (and money) into. Keep track of your time, take back some time, and make great use of it for your benefit. Sounds like another great goal for 2022!
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This month, build your Mom network and let the teamwork blossom, because it truly does take a village to raise a child! Go find your village.
From your Cove Team Moms,
Athena, Aleka, Michele & Heidi