Most of us can’t wait for the long summer holidays at the end of the year. We save and plan and count down to the day we can leave for our much needed break. And by the time we are packed and in the car, we are so frazzled because the last few months of the school year are always so incredibly busy and can cause overwhelm.
Schools organise plays, there are assessments and exams, not only school exams but dance exams. There are end-of-year parties for dancing, mini rugby, your moms and tots group, your child’s music group. Pretty much everything needs an end of year party (and generally everything needs a small gift, just R50, wrapped with your child’s name on it). All the overwhelm!
If you are moving schools, everything needs to be organised and arranged. You need to buy stationery and uniforms before you leave for your break. Even if you aren’t changing schools, if your child is moving to Grade R or 1, you need to have everything prepared.
There are prize-giving’s booked for all the mornings you have urgent meetings on, which results in some crazy ninja organising skills.
Whether you work a 9-5, or from home or even not at all, everyone wants everything wrapped up before the holidays which puts a lot of pressure to get all the stuff done you have putting off all year.
It is not a fun time of year but we get through, because the prize at the end is so worth it. My life is crazy from the third term. Especially as the younger two get older and also have their own set of activities (think FOUR sets of prize-giving’s).
I had to get organised and put plans in place to make life less chaotic. Here is how I beat the year end overwhelm.
Write it all down
Get a calendar that has enough space to write a few things in. Put all the dates you know already in for the rest of the year (its less than four months). If you have more than one child, write down which event belongs to which child. If you have a work commitment, add it in. Even if it is a Monday at 11h15; if it is non-negotiable WRITE IT IN).
Learn to say NO a lot more
There are events like galas, dance exams, prize givings etc that we cannot miss. But there is a lot we can say no to with a clear conscience. Your child doesn’t need to attend every single Christmas party for every single thing they do. Pick the ones that mean the most to them or you, attend those.
Tag team it with your husband
Generally what our two schools did was schedule Cameron and Kiara’s prize giving on the same morning. Both of them would get prizes, so we tag team it. David goes to one, I go to the other and then the next year we swop. Swimming is my thing with Cameron, so I attend those events. David does dancing – if there is a clash of dates. I know we all want to be there for our kids, but rather have one parent there than none! (Grandparents, uncles and aunts work too.
Stock up on some cheap toys
There are so many Christmas parties, each requiring a gift. Pop into the Crazy Store now and grab a few small things you know your child will like and keep them for when you remember. Which, if you are me, is 6h30 as you are about to leave,
Ask for help
Working moms often feel the pressure the most at this time. They have to get stuff done. There are client events and meetings and looming deadlines. It is ok to ask for help! Get granny to do a few pickups or ask aftercare if they have a spot for a day or two.
I have had some crazy year ends that created a lot of anxiety. I am learning to do what I can, be there for what I can and for the rest? Well, I let it go because life is too short and you will just have to do it all again next year.
Do you have any sneaky tricks on how to manage the end of year overwhelm?
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