Q&A with Alyson Hempsey from The Honest Peach, Life Coach for Moms, and Tips for Heading Back to School
Heading back to school can be a stressful transition for children and parents. What are some tools moms can use to help make things go smoothly?
The best thing moms can do is make sure they are taking care of their own needs during the transition. I know - it sounds backwards! But our children look to us for how to respond in situations. If we’re flustered, burnt out, and running around like crazy people - our kids are going to pick up on that energy and feel it too. Focusing on whatever helps you stay emotionally regulated is going to help the entire family ease back into school. Move your body, communicate with your partner, make sure you’re eating healthy meals, prioritize sleep, see a friend for coffee. Moms set the tone for the entire family, that’s why my passion is prioritizing and helping them!
How can moms set realistic expectations for the back-to-school period, considering their own needs as well as those of their children?
A lot of moms get caught in black and white thinking, such as: “I can either take care of myself and the wheels will fall off with the kids/house, or I can take care of the kids/house and my well-being will go to crap.” There really is a balance, it’s just rare that it’s an even 50/50 split. I teach moms how to effectively incorporate small habits into their routine that add up over time. Taking care of your needs doesn’t have to mean an entire day at the spa (though that is always encouraged!) Sometimes taking care of you can mean prioritizing date night once a month or setting aside 20 minutes once a week to meditate and journal (something I call SOULtime).
What are some effective ways moms can establish consistent daily routines that balance school commitments, extracurricular activities, and family time?Also, how can moms seamlessly integrate self-care practices into their routines to maintain their own well-being?
In my programs, we use a tool called the “M.O.M” schedule (MOM stands for “more of me” ;) It’s a process where my moms use a fancy excel sheet to list out all of the “non-negotiables” during their week (think: kids’ nap times, wake up times, work, school, standing appointments etc). Then, we apply a few strategies to see where they aren’t spending their time efficiently (hello scrolling at night!), what we can automate (diaper subscriptions, grocery pickup) and how we can lessen the burden on mom (“Is it possible your partner could pick up the kids on Tuesdays instead of you, so you can have a few minutes of alone time?”) Sometimes just seeing a bird’s eye view your entire week can be helpful in managing inefficiencies.
Honestly, I don’t think it's realistic to assume we can “seamlessly” integrate anything into our routine as moms! It’s important to temper our expectations so we don’t feel disappointed if we’re not doing everything “perfectly.” Changing anything is hard, whether that’s our mindset or simple habit. Expect some discomfort!
How can moms encourage open conversations with their children about the upcoming school year, addressing any concerns or anxieties they might have?
This is really dependent on the age of the child. The one thing that works regardless of their age? Spending quality, individual (if possible) time with your kiddos. Get down on their level; be fully invested in whatever “play” you’re doing. Having a secure, supportive attachment with their caregiver instills confidence in children. If you have an older child, direct conversation works, but I’d encourage you to leave the questions open-ended, such as: “How are you feeling about going to a new school?” instead of “Are you nervous about going to a new school?”
Balancing work, household responsibilities, and school-related activities can be overwhelming. What time management techniques can you recommend for moms to navigate this busy period?
In addition to the M.O.M. schedule above (available in the Mamahood Membership!), I LOVE using timers. Timers help get me out of analysis paralysis. For example, the thought of cleaning a really dirty kitchen feels daunting. But, if I say, “I will set a timer for 20 minutes and do as much as I can.” it feels more manageable and gets my butt moving. I use timers to get myself ready, to clean, to relax - literally for everything!
With school routines taking center stage, moms might miss out on social interactions. How can they maintain and nurture their social connections during this time?
Again, small changes! Instead of planning a big “mom’s night out” (these can require significant effort), plan to meet a friend for coffee that's nearby your kids’ school after dropoff. Kill two birds with one stone by going on a walk with a friend every Tuesday, so you fill your exercise cup AND your socialization cup.
The Mamahood Membership I offer is a great way to have a “virtual village.” It’s a group of supportive, like-minded mamas who want to “do the work” and prioritize themselves in motherhood. It’s like getting brunch with your friends, and having a life coach in your back pocket!
As a mom, what do you like most about the Meems website and how we can help stock your kids back-to-school wardrobe easily? (our curated collections, momcierge service, Meemsize guidance, free returns with labels in each order?)
The Momcierge Service is GENIUS. As a neurodivergent mama with a neurodivergent kiddo, I think it’s awesome you mention supporting kids with sensory issues! It’s hard for me to shop for my toddler online because I usually have to feel the fabric to make sure it won’t irritate her, so this is an amazing bonus.
The start of a new school year is a milestone for both moms and their children. How can moms acknowledge and celebrate these moments to foster a positive and uplifting atmosphere?
Follow your kid’s lead. If they seem like they are anxious, maybe open up and tell a story about how you felt nervous going into a certain grade and what you did to cope. Normalize and validate their feelings instead of immediately trying to fix or change them. Most of the time, they just want to feel heard. (Doesn’t everyone?!)
Where can we follow you to get all your tips??
I recently launched The Mamahood Membership on the app Circle, so lately I’ve been spending most of my time there! The Mamahood offers community, unlimited access to all my Resources, live coaching from me, amazing guest speakers and more! It’s such a beautiful, supportive space. A mom recently said it was “like a mom facebook group but without the drama” - I love that! You can read more about it and sign up here!
I also love connecting with moms through Instagram, you can find me @thehonestpeach!
Questions? Shoot me an email email@example.com
Christine Russell Janis writes about life as a mom of four children, living abroad, and travel on her life & style website ashadeofrose.com. You can also follow on social media @a.shade.of.rose.in.paris.