With labor day behind us, Summer is officially over. That means parents are sending their children back to school or putting them on the school bus for the very first time. This can be a stressful time for both children and parents alike. But with how busy your life can be outside of making sure your children’s anxieties around this time of year are low, how can you make sure you are taking care of yourself as well?
Managing the stress of back to school
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In a study conducted by Care.com with 1,000 different parents about the stresses of preparing their children for back to school, they found that the most stressful aspect parents experience is simply getting their children out of bed in the morning. 76% of all mothers and 67% of all fathers polled in this survey said that this was the biggest contributor followed closely by stresses involved with after school activities which 60% of all parents say they have.
Another startling finding from this study was that those parents polled said that they were forced to leave work to pick up their children 6.3 times on average and attended school events another 9.1 times a year. Adding that all up equals over two weeks of interrupted work days each year. Considering many personal time off (PTO) policies at most offices, that could add up to a lot of time that parents could request for things like summer vacations or, in some cases, sick time away from work.
The study also found out that the average parent spends around $220 per child going into elementary school in the Fall. This could be tough for parents working hourly wages who might have to take time off from work to pick up their children from school or attend school functions.
In fact, the time that is needed to manage the stresses around back to school time is something that employers should really take note of and understand as the dedication most parents must give during this time is like another part time job outside of the office. “I try to talk to my children as much as possible so that I stay engaged,” one 31-year-old mother of four told Care.com on how she prepares herself for this time of year. “Also, I visit their school lunches to reduce their anxiety. Waking up early and preparing everything the night before helps with morning stress.”
The truth is, the more you find time to prepare for the morning madness before sending your children off to school and heading to work, the better off you will be. To be honest, it will never be easy juggling it all. Just take a deep breath and remember that you can get through this.