The start of the new school year can be a stressful time for the whole family, but Y has found there are ways to keep your cool
Many mums say the back-to-school season rivals the holidays as the most stressful time of the year. The whirlwind spans from shopping for supplies to scheduling new autumn activities. Whether you’re a single parent or part of a pair, everyone can benefit from reducing stress during this busy time of year.
One full-time working mum who lives in Muscat admits she is dreading the start of the new school year, saying that getting back into the swing of a stricter routine is stressful for her family.
Thanks to the long summer holidays enjoyed by students in Oman, she says her children resist the earlier bedtime and wake-up times, while the school run is a nightmare.
“We have to be on the road by 7.15am to get to school on time,” she says. “So being super organised in the evening is a must if we are to make it in time.
“The crazy drivers and traffic jams do nothing for my stress levels and I still have to get to work myself! I race back to school for the afternoon pick-up and drop them at home before heading back to the office again.
“Then there’s homework, after-school clubs, play dates and all those other school-related activities that parents have to attend.
“Every day is busy, but it is much more difficult for the first month or so of the new school year.”
Nancy Peplinsky, founder and executive director of Holistic Moms Network, a US-based non-profit organisation, offers some of her favourite ways to relax and stay calm as the family gears up for the new school year.
“There are some very simple and inexpensive things every busy mum can do in just a few minutes to reduce stress,” she says, including:
“Mums need to be healthy to support their families,” Peplinksy says. “Reducing stress keeps mums healthy so we can be more effective parents.”
Our Muscat mum agrees.
“There’s a lot I should be doing to make going back to school a more relaxing experience for my family,” she says. “As a working mum, sometimes it is hard to take a step back and see the forest for the trees.
“But this year, I will be trying to make an extra effort to keep everybody calm, happy and looking forward to going back to school – even if it means stopping for 15 minutes to take a deep breath and slow down.
“If only I could do the same with the traffic.”