Real you with kids

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

Falling in love with fall means being able to accept-right now-that change is on its way. Once you've done that, you're a step forward. Fear immobilizes and overwhelms us. And especially if you have a child in transition-changing schools, moving from middle school to high school, private to public, half-day to full-day-you are stressed and fearful. I know I am. We're making a big change this year, and it's not going to be, as they say, a walk in the park. So here's what I've decided to do to alleviate the dread and try to fall in love with fall.

1. Get moving. Instead of denying this is happening, I'm trying to embrace the upcoming reality of school and get organized. Calendars. Checks. Shopping. Supply sales. I'm there. Repeat after me: This is fun. I can handle this. (No snarky internal comments about working vs. at-home moms, here.)

2. Figure out your family vision for this school year. If it helps, make a vision board. Just like with business, a vision for your family is critical and now is the time to make sure everybody is marching toward the same goals. What's important? Dinner time together three evenings a week? The kids helping or doing their own laundry? What's the schedule, as best as you can see it now? When are there quiet times; together times? What does this look like? Have a family meeting and define your vision!

3. Acknowledge feelings. This one's a tough one for me. I'm all about chin up, keep moving and buck up, Buster. But it's important to allow your kids the time and space to grieve-especially if they are leaving friends behind by changing schools. Sure, technology allows constant, instant connection, but there's still a loss here, and it's real. I need to keep reminding myself of this, too.

4. Remember YOU. Here I go again, but I can't say it enough. If you aren't happy, your kids aren't happy. A happy mom is the surest, truest path to fulfilled kids. You are their role model, their rock and their fearless leader. Be happy first. If you aren't, get help. From a friend, from your church, a co-worker or a counselor. If you feel depressed and truly overwhelmed, this is more than just common anxiety. Take care of you.

5. And the fifth reason to fall in love with fall. It's right around the corner. And so are Buckeye games, ripe Buckeyes from the tree, apples to pick, multi-colored trees to admire, snuggly fires and more memories with your kids.

Kaira Rouda is a mother of four, author and entrepreneur. Sign up for her tip of the week and get your copy of Kaira's new eBook: Turn your Passion into Profit! To learn more, visit, follow her on Twitter, friend her on Facebook and connect on LinkedIn.