Seasonal Parenting

As I am typing this Winter Solstice is winding down and I am rejoicing, not in the pagan holiday sense, but in the “Hooray! Days will start getting longer again,” sense. I have been considering the “seasons” that our family goes through each year. Of course we tread through the normal calendar with everyone else, but there are some additional unique annual passages for us. I’m hoping that recognizing them will help me be more prepared with strategies to stay organized, happy, and healthy.

From mid-February through May we are in transition planning mode. We have our annual IEP meeting here. Last year’s was a doozy. This year we’ll have our first triennial review. This is also my husband’s busiest work time. We get ready for Summer and look even further ahead to the next school year. The up-side of this season is that our routines for the current school year are pretty well established and the house starts running like a well-oiled machine. Just in time for…

Summer! We start off exhausted from our school schedule and slide into “what shall we do with ourselves” territory. If Spring planning has gone well I am prepared with some structured activities (social skills groups, gymnastics, swimming) and some calendar fillers (visits to the park, the city, and play dates). This year will be different as my “littles” are growing up and are ready to try out a class of their own. I’m leaning toward gymnastics just to hopefully keep things simple.

Starting in August things really start to get busy, and they stay that way until we get back to February. In rapid succession we have my birthday, pear season (we have three pear trees that give a lot of fruit), school starts, my husband’s birthday, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, end of the year (more work), New Years, twins’ birthday, daughter’s birthday, and Valentine’s Day — whew. This year we also squeezed three trips into this part of the calendar, which may explain why I’m not done with our Christmas letter or decorating yet. During this part of the year it is all I can do to hold on, keep getting things done, and trust that things will eventually slow down…a little.

  • Each season has its own flavor, its own challenges, and its own benefits.
  • Recognizing small details like {can’t send the kids out to play while I make dinner because it’s already dark out} helps me know when to pull out tools like my busy boxes.
  • Knowing the busy season will end soon helps me hang on in the moment.
  • Keeping these seasons in mind should help me know when to pare back on external commitments.

These are just four of the reasons I’m trying to pay attention to our family’s seasons.

Does your family have your own private set of seasons? What do they look like?

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