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Happy back to school, mommy friends! I realize not everyone is heading back quite yet, some get to wait until after Labor Day. However, we are in full swing here in my house.

Last week when I dropped my boys off on their first day of school in this new school year, it got me thinking- what does the new school year mean for us moms? For me personally, I thrive on routine. I realize that’s not the way everyone feels. Some parents really love the no schedule feel of the summer months. But the fact remains, that when a new school year begins, you can bet that you’ll have more of a routine. When you have more of a routine, what does that mean? It means that you can put together more of a predictable plan. Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom, or a working mom, this can be true for both because you just have a better idea of what to expect.

During the summer when there’s not as much of a set schedule, I didn’t do as well with my nutrition, I didn’t plan meals as well as I like to, and I let my personal priorities go out the window a little bit. If you’re identifying with that, then give me a virtual high-5!

Have you as a mom put your life on pause? Maybe it’s just been during the summer… or maybe it’s been on pause for a long time. Has it been on pause since you became a mom? What I mean by that is it is so easy for us when we become moms, to automatically put ourselves last. We put ourselves at the very bottom of the list. I’ve really been thinking about this a lot lately because I think it’s something that so many moms struggle with. If you are struggling with that, then I’m here to ask you: What are you going to do to push play on your life?

With this new school year, you’ve got a new, predictable routine. It’s a whole lot easier to look at your week, or even your month and see what’s happening. With a more predictable routine comes a new chance for you to get more regimented in your meal planning. I really try to plan all of my meals for the week on Sunday. The truth is, I don’t get my meal planning done in the way that I would like to every week. However, when I do get it done for the whole week, I feel AMAZING! I love waking up in the morning and knowing what the plan is for dinner that night. I’ve got beef stew in the crock pot right now! Being on target with meal planning and nutrition helps us set the whole family up for success.

With the new school year also comes a chance to set goals for yourself. It’s an opportunity for us to set some time aside and think about what our goals are as a mom. Think about things like: What would I like to do better? What would I like to achieve? What would make me feel really good about myself when I lay my head down every night? That could take many forms. It could be getting in a devotional and prayer time every single day. It could be working out, or eating right, or getting that long overdue to-do list done, there are a lot of different things that could be on our list of goals for this year. I think the new school year symbolizes a new beginning and it’s a great time to set those new goals for yourself.

14102558_550503641814373_8445549558024451090_n copyThe other thing that the increased routine of the new school year provides, is an opportunity to identify some time in each day that’s just for you. Often, we as moms are not very good at that because we believe that we need to be constantly pouring into other people or tasks. I’m here to tell you from experience because I used to put myself on the back burner. Honestly, I wasn’t even on the list. And all that got me was feeling like crap. I didn’t eat well. I wasn’t working out. I wasn’t fueling my mind with positivity. I wasn’t praying every day. I was literally just going through the motions and existing. My life was on pause when I first became a mom. Then I got tired of that and decided that it was not the way I wanted to live my life and it was not the mom or the wife that I wanted my family to be exposed to.

I had to stand up and make a change, and that involved figuring out how to get myself on the priority list while taking care of the people I love the most in this life. It’s a real struggle. I believe that with my whole heart, and I don’t think we talk about it enough sometimes. It’s easiest sometimes for us moms to play the martyr and put ourselves last on the list. But, y’all, I gotta tell you, I don’t think that’s the way God intended it. I truly believe that He intends us to live our life to the fullest first as a woman and a child of God, THEN as a wife and a mother. Sometimes it’s so easy to get it backwards.

I did that for so many years, and that’s why I’m so passionate about sharing some of the things I’ve done and some of the ideas I have to keep you all from making those same mistakes. If you’re in that cycle, there is a way to break out of it. When I started taking care of myself and really finding ways to fuel my soul, I started to feel more energetic and more alive and then guess what happened? I became a better wife and a better mom. Because I was happier, because I had more energy, because I was ready to face whatever each new day brought. But if you keep putting yourself on the bottom of the list, eventually you are going to lose yourself. I lost myself for a while, and I didn’t like it. I wasn’t ever going to be the blessing that God created me to be for my family, if I had lost myself for good.

Push play on your life. If you push play on your life, everyone else’s life will fall into place. You are honoring your commitment to your family by taking care of yourself first. So as your kids head back to school this year, really think about how this year is going to be different. How can you make time for you? Where do you fit in this new schedule? How are you going to fuel your body, mind and spirit? It is ok for you to spend time on yourself. It is ok for you to figure out how you’re going to live up to your true potential and then create a plan to take you there.

This new school year has the power to be a turning point for you and your family, but something has got to change. You’ve got to move yourself up on that priority list. It’s time to get over the guilt. Our time is now while our babies are growing, not after they’re grown. What are you going to do to push play on your life?

Y’all have a blessed day!