December 2016 Lifestyle Letter

In September 2016, Mimi Darley Dutton wrote an essay for Draper Lifestyle about back-to-school being the “most wonderful time of the year.” And though I am more of a summer-time free spirit and don’t love the structure of school as much as the next mom, I do agree that the back-to-school busy reminds me greatly of the original “most wonderful time of the year” busy.

Which means I’m awash in lists! To-do lists, to-buy lists, goal lists–for my kids, and for me, as I find myself the sudden recipient of seven free hours each day. If there’s any silver-lining in summer’s abrupt end, this is it. Because the free time is pretty wonderful after a few months of feeling like a personal chef and camp counselor.

The funny thing is, I always plan to be ambitious in what I’ll do with the free time–and most of what I’ll do still revolves around the four children I’ve recently been freed from. Running errands for them, getting dinner simmering on the stove for them, making a more concerted effort to work while they’re in class so I don’t have to work after school. And these things are great–I love being their mom and I love taking care of them–and indeed attention to these particular to-do’s makes our lives run much more smoothly. But I wonder why, as parents, we rarely view our own needs with the dedicated to-do list completion that we accomplish for our children. Self-care simply isn’t a priority. We feel guilty for it, and for thinking of ourselves. To be clear, I do think selflessness is a love of the most noble and beautiful kind, but I hope we can all agree that sometimes it’s ok to do what we want to do, when we want to do it, and that we can call ourselves better parents because of it. For, to misquote Jane Austen, “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that”…if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.

Here’s where Draper Lifestyle comes in. Let us help with everything that fills your back-to-school lists, including something for you. Just for fun.

In this issue, we feature back to school looks for our little ones… We also feature a few new looks for us grown ups to try out. We showcase the Mayor’s Youth Council, who take care of many of the events and people in our community… Then likewise showcase a way to take care of (and pamper!) yourself, in a day trip to local spa, Spavia. Finally, and maybe best of all, our last page features a family recipe for banana bread. Really, honestly, it’s the perfect after school snack. So go ahead, I give you permission: make it for your kids… But then you be sure to enjoy a big, huge slice for yourself.

Happy September, friends!

Brooke Benton, Editor