Monday Mom challenge: Make the most of the last weeks of school

Mar 15, 2010 at 12:15 p.m. ET

As the weeks of the school year wind down, you likely are making plans for and looking forward to summer vacation. But there's also this: do you have things you want to do before school is out and before kids a more underfoot for a couple months? Are there things you were looking forward to doing during the hours the kids were in school but just haven't? Now is the time to schedule your final weeks of the school year - for you.

Woman reading book

Each start of a school year, more than a few ambitious moms have thought of how they will best take advantage of the hours her children are in school. Whether it's getting a jump on home organization, working on some personal projects or outings to local places that aren't particularly kid-friendly (or you just want to enjoy them kid-free), the school hours can feel like a vast unlimited amount of time to "get things done." In reality, however, time has a way of filling up. Did you do all those things you planned?

Consult your calendar

First things first, look at the family calendar. The end of the school year often includes extra events and maybe a new season of sports for your kids. There are school conferences, celebrations, fundraisers, and the like to fill up any free time that may exist in the schedule. There are practices and games, and likely plenty of other thing to run you ragged. Within that, however, find even an hour or two each week of the rest of the school year, and block it off. If you can squeeze out an entire day, even better.

Make firm plans

Now that you have identified what you still have free in these last school weeks, make firm plans. Call your girlfriends to schedule lunch and visit to that new gallery, get the supplies you need to clean out the linen closet, and put that book you wanted to read on the top of the pile. Put those plans on the calendar.

If your plans are more ambitious - if they involve more than one slot of available time, strategize and prioritize so you can make the most of the time you have.

Are you a mommy pushed to the limit? Get tips here on how to re-charge and de-stress your life.

Follow through

It's easy to make plans - but can be hard to follow through. But now that you've identified how you want to spend these last weeks of the school year and made plans, you definitely need to follow-through. For many moms, the hours her children are in school are the only solo hours she has. Making best use of those hours to regroup and recharge - as an individual and as a mommy - are important for family and personal balance.

The last weeks of the school year are here, and summer will be here before you know it. Make the most of your time during the waning academic year.

More of our Monday Mom challenge series: