They’re Back to School – Now What?

I’ve partnered with Fidelity & MEFA in support of the U.Fund Dreams Tour. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

It’s an odd time of year, isn’t it? For us, and probably you too, school is now well underway. We’re worried about colds and other viruses already. We are filling out paperwork for emergency contacts, health records, school pictures, and after school programs. There are book orders coming home once a month, and there are soccer practices or games once a week. I am somewhat learning the best timing of aligning my daycare, preschool, and elementary school drop-offs and pick-ups.

There’s surviving, and then there’s thriving. I’m working on that one.

It’s always a strange push and pull, isn’t it? You still want to baby your kids as much as possible, as long as they will let you. Scarlet will sometimes still sneak into our beds in the middle of the night. It’s not often enough to be annoying, but it’s uncommon enough not to notice and appreciate it. We both know that one day she will stop doing this. She will be too big or too mature, or she will go to someone else for comfort. As much as I love these little kid days, and I want to keep my kids close, there’s a funny push also – to enjoy, appreciate, and support their independence. So basically it’s just parenting!

It’s as crazy as ever, and always will be.

And now that Scarlet and Des are back to school, and firmly immersed in back-to-school play dates, classes, and activities, and weekend soccer games too, I find myself with a lot more time than I had during the summer. Before school started, we spent time as a family planning the back to school routine – and getting the kids, the car, the schedules, the shopping, and the home organizing settled, but there’s actually a whole other layer to the back-to-school process. And that’s what happens AFTER they’re finally back in school. It’s like a whole new world has opened up, which includes them, but also includes me:

Here Are Five Things I’m Doing Now That The Kids Are in School:

1 – Working! Like mad. I’m a work-at-home mom, and there’s nothing stay-at-home about it. The problem is that while it can be the best of both worlds, it’s also the worst of both worlds. I’m the parent that does most school stuff, and I have to be pulled away from work if anything goes wrong – like a sick day. What am I working on? The blog, of course. And my photography business is busiest between October and December for fall foliage and holiday shoots. Not only that, I do large data entry jobs a few times a year too and one is coming. Of course I miss the kids so much, but we’re in good places.

2 – Volunteering. There are so many ways to do this, even when I feel like there’s nothing I can do. I generally donate a photo session or two to the schools for raffles. I will attend school events for both kids, and help publicize them as much as I can. I can go to Des’s preschool as the parent of the day, which is a special way to get involved, help the school, and be with Des!

3 – Exercise. It always, always makes me feel better, and should be a priority.

4 – Planning travel. Since we take a family trip in the winter, and one in the summer, we’re constantly thinking of fun things to do, and most importantly – how to save for travel. It isn’t cheap, but we consider it an important fact of life.

5 – Planning futures. On a related note to travel, it isn’t always easy or affordable to think about your future, and the future of your kids, but honestly? It’s never too early. Never at all. You can read below for more info, especially if you’re local!

*Bonus. Sometimes, but not often, I will see an occasional movie or take a nap while the kids are in school!!

The U. Fund Dreams Tour:

There were various events around Boston this summer and fall, where you could get information on different options available to families. The U. Fund Dreams Tour is all about making college planning & savings knowledge accessible to parents in various stages of the planning process. We still have fairly young children, but so many years have passed, and I have always wished for more resources to rely on for information throughout this process. No matter how old your child is, or children are, saving for their educational financial futures is a big undertaking. Are you ready to find out more? I know I am!

U. Fund Dreams Tour

These 16 Boston-area events took place between May and October of 2016 and they were GOOD. The events all had a large “Dreams Tent” filled with engaging discovery activities for kids to have fun with and connect. There were discovery activities intended to help parents better understand the challenges of saving for college, and they were also there to be fun and interactive for the kids. There was the U. Fund Dreams Tour at Wachusett Mountain KidsFest on September 24th and 25th, and the U. Fund Dreams Tour @ Boo at the Zoo at the Stone Zoo on October 23rd. We had a lot of fun!

I’ll share my recaps and photos soon!

The U. Fund Dreams Tour is a fun and interactive chance to connect. It aims to bring awareness to the importance of saving for college, to offer viable solutions, and to help you on this journey of helping your children achieve their dreams.

U. Fund Dreams Tour

MEFA’S UFund, the Massachusetts 529 college-investing plan, is a tax-advantaged college savings plan professionally managed by Fidelity. MEFA is a non-profit state authority that works to make higher education more accessible and affordable.

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