Back to school can be a busy time for kids and parents alike—class lists, new clothes, and school supplies for them, and a big change of schedule, a greater workload, and more logistics for you.
That's why it's more important than ever to prioritize "me" time. From a new hair color to nourishing hair care, the suggestions in Madison Reed's survival guide will help you focus on taking care of yourself while you're taking care of the student (or students) in your life.
If your kids are in elementary school, your top priority is to get them ready to go for the new school year. Here are a few ways to get everyone on track, including you:
Avoid a last-minute scramble by shopping for basic school supplies in bulk a few months ahead of time. This way you can avoid the marked-up “Back to School” prices from retailers in August.
Plan your morning schedule a week or so prior to school, and agree to it, so that your child will be less rebellious on the night before school starts.
Your kids might be feeling anxious before school starts, so take them on an end of summer trip to their favorite place (ice cream bar, playground, beach) a few days before they begin.
Since it’s the beginning of a new season, it’s the perfect time to switch up your look. This is the time to hit refresh, and maybe cover up some of those grays. Try a new permanent or semi-permanent hair color. You can go darker for the fall, or accentuate your features with highlights or lowlights. A fresh bold cut can also make you feel like a new woman.
Middle school kids go through a lot of changes. Here are a few ways to support them while taking care of yourself:
Create a safe and comfortable environment for your child to share their thoughts with you—social dynamics are very fluid (and sometime tumultuous) during these years. Suggest they start a journal to practice self-reflection.
Meet with all of your kid’s teachers so you can acquaint yourself with each of their processes, understand the demands on your child’s time, and help with any schoolwork.
Keep your child involved with sports, music or other extracurricular activities. This way, they’ll be creating long-lasting friendships and disciplines that will be good for their emotional and physical health.
Boost Your Energy
Being a proactive mom is tough. Your time and energy has been spent with your kids all summer, and you’re gearing up for the school year, so now is the perfect time to make room for some much-needed personal activities. This could mean a morning jog before work, a brand new exercise class (maybe barre or pilates), some yoga and meditation, and energy-boosting smoothies to refuel yourself. And since the kids have a strict bedtime, you can catch up on the sleep you need to maintain your energy and health. Give your hair a boost as well, with a hair care routine that includes a nourishing shampoo and conditioner.
For high school kids, it’s prime time for peer influence and friendships. Here are ways to prep your kids and pamper yourself:
Boundaries are important at this stage, as peer pressure will influence your child in both negative and positive ways. Establish a curfew, and talk them about any challenges they’re facing on an ongoing basis. Keep in mind that when they inevitably push those boundaries, they’re often just making sure that they are there.
Make time spent with them high quality—a strong bond is important. There will be a lot of ups and downs during high school, so a strong parent figure is exactly what he or she will need in order to flourish.
Give them some room to breathe. This is a time for their self-discovery, and they will get that by either having some alone time, or time with their friends.
Pamper Yourself More
With a little more time on your hands, this is a chance for you to pamper yourself. Go for a manicure & pedicure, massage, or facial. Or if you don’t feel like going out, create your own face mask with natural ingredients like egg whites, avocado, mud, or papaya. To pamper your hair, try a DIY hair mask to heal sun damage and pump moisture back into the ends.
College kids are already pretty independent. You can still help them out, though:
Be available to give emotional support with any troubles. Since this is a time they’ll be working hard for their careers, talk to them on the phone (or visit) to give them advice or unconditional love.
Pay attention to them. Just because they’re in college doesn’t mean they don’t need attention and love from their parents. Check in once in a while to see how they’re doing (but try not to be too upset if they don’t need your help).
Appreciate their independence. At this point, your kids will be taking care of themselves fully, and will likely be cooking, cleaning, and doing laundry on their own. They’ll start to appreciate you even more, and that is truly exciting!
Above all, remember to take care of yourself, because you deserve it! Get personalized recommendations by building your Hair Profile or calling the Color Crew, our team of certified colorists. They love listening to your hair history and tailoring suggestions to your hair and preferences. Live Life Brilliantly!