You're listening to episode four of our School and Childcare Transition series. In this episode, we're going to dive into you, the adult. How do you take care of your nervous system as you're doing this stuff with kids? It's hard, and it's draining to hold space for somebody else. So what does this look like for you? All right, let's dive in.
Welcome to Voices of Your Village, a place where parents, caregivers, teachers and experts come to support one another on this wild ride of raising tiny humans. We combined decades of experience with the latest research to create the modern parenting village. Let's dive into honest conversation about real parenting challenges, so it doesn't have to be this hard. I'm your host, Alyssa Blask Campbell.
Take everything that you can off your plate for those first two weeks. This is the biggest piece of advice I have for you, because when we're doing something new, it is inherently exhausting because our nervous system is constantly trying to keep us safe. It's looking around and assessing everything around us. And everything that is new feels unsafe because our brain and our body don't know yet, am I safe here? And so as our kids are navigating this, we too, are navigating this. It's new for us too, and we will be holding space for those tiny humans big emotions throughout the process. So it's imperative that we have something to pull from that. We recharge our battery. I had a parent once when I was teaching who, every single first day of school, she and her partner would take the day off of work and have a date day. It nourished her and kept her from sitting there thinking, I wonder how they're doing? And being stuck in her own anxiety loop when her kids were at school. It also gave her someone to lean on, a shoulder to cry on. After she dropped kids off and held it together for them, then she had a place to turn to process, because remember, kids are not responsible for our emotions. We should not be processing our stuff with them. It's not a healthy dynamic. It's not their job. We can turn to friends or to partners or to co parents to do this.
I have another friend who every single year in the first week of school, somewhere in there, she and her friends do, like, a spa day. Like, they just play hooky. They hang together, they'll grab lunch. Sometimes they'll literally get their nails done or whatever. They call it their spa day, and it's just a day of spending time together and filling their cups. Now, if you can't take a day off of work to refill your cup, there is plenty else that you can do. You can prioritize sleep. You can say no to all the extra things that might come up. Someone asking you to go grab dinner, or someone asks you to help with something, like, it's okay to say no. You're going to really work hard to protect your energy and your space. It might mean you're ordering takeout or leaning on support, reaching out to parents or in laws and saying, hey, would you mind helping out this week? Could you bring over dinner or could you pick up our groceries? Tapping into your village and your resources will be key. Looking at like it's kind of similar to when if you were birthing human and you had a postpartum experience where we say, don't worry about all those extra things. Call on your village and lower your expectations. Similarly, now a time of transition is the time to lower expectations of yourself, of the tiny humans. Just recognizing that we're all a little bit fragile right now. And my husband says he calls these times like snappy times where he knows that there are times where I might just be a little more on edge with him when I'm really working to hold it together as a parent that he might get those hard parts and we have a mutual understanding of like. I will repair as much as I can and we'll come back together and it's not about you. I'm working so hard to be kind and I just have less bandwidth in that time. Prioritizing food, making sure you're eating consistently, really like, meeting your basic needs will go a long way here.
Pause. Find five minutes of pause twice a day. That's your challenge in these times when everything is pulling at your nervous system, when your battery is draining very fast. We need to recharge. You need to plug back in to recharge. Right? So find five minutes of pause twice a day. Maybe after you drop kids off at school, you go to work. And before you start your day, pause. Go into a bathroom without a phone. Close your eyes. Sit in the car. Zone out for five minutes. No judgment of your thoughts. Let whatever needs to come up, come up. Cry if you need to cry. Scream into a pillow if you need to, feel your feelings and just be there for five minutes. Disconnected from everyone that needs something from you, twice a day. And then move your body. What would it look like to set a timer on your phone every 2 hours to move your body? Nothing wild. Five jumping jacks. Doing down dog for 20 seconds. What would it look like to set a timer on your phone to move your body every 2 hours? This is going to be part of that recharge of filling you back up. I also tell families, if at all possible, not to overbook this first month of a transition, like looking at weekend plans and nighttime plans and things like that. We're all going to be a little fried and so having as much downtime, have a Friday movie night, just zone out and be a little bit more, right? You've got this and we've got you. Remember, you are worth taking care of. Not just so that you can adequately take care of somebody else, but because you are worth taking care of. Tomorrow we're going to dive into what to expect and how to support them with drop off and at pickup. Truly like, what do those routines look like and what to expect through them.
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