Inside: Tackle back-to-school prep without the stress with these tips for busy working moms and dads. Guest post by Cora Gold.
It’s that time again! The back-to-school season can be the busiest time for moms, especially those with multiple children and a job outside the home. Lions and tigers and supply lists, oh my!
Here are ways to take control of your task list and master the necessary preparations for sending your kids back to class. Let’s make getting everything done *that* much easier this time around!
Getting organized is essential to back-to-school preparation. There are many ways you can begin organizing early to ensure you have the smoothest transition possible for school schedules.
Idea 1: Picking out outfits in the morning takes much more time than necessary. Closet organizers and labels with days of the week can be game changers. By picking out clothes beforehand, kids can grab what they need and go.
Idea 2: Placing school papers you need to sign in a designated area can also keep you from forgetting to sign them or misplacing them. The documents will keep rolling in, especially if you have kids in elementary school, so let’s create a space for them all year.
Idea 3: The good old paper and pen option works here too! Update chore charts to accommodate decreased downtime kids will have after summer ends. You can also print school calendars and hang them on your fridge or copy them onto your own for easy reference.
Kids thrive off of structure and routine. Creating a schedule your family can adhere to before and after school can make your lives much more manageable.
We can keep it simple too, like having a set time you eat breakfast, make dinner, and put the kids to bed. Putting a stake in the ground for some key times of the day can decrease anxiety for everyone and create a sense of stability.
Now let’s add in the activities. Fun! But you and I both know that overscheduling can be exhausting, for you and the kids! While you’re putting activities up on the calendar, also ensure you plan adequate downtime – at least one day where you don’t make any plans – to restore your mental health because busy lives can take a toll.
Shopping online should be your new best friend if you aren’t already very well acquainted!
Reason 1: You get everything out of the way in one fell swoop and will likely save money. You won’t have to worry about rising gas prices if you don’t have to drive to the mall and visit multiple locations to get everything you need.
Reason 2: Children often get pickier as they get older. Shopping online gives them more freedom to choose their clothes without you following them around for hours while they browse through stores. It can save you so much time if you are a mom to teenagers and they are sure to find precisely the styles they are looking for by doing a simple search.
Reason 3: School supplies are pricier than ever and shopping online allows you to price-check other options without driving across town. Save time and money and you’ll feel WAY more on your game.
Over the summer your kids may have been eating you out of house and home, but the school year brings about different grocery-related challenges to prep for.
For example, even if your child didn’t eat breakfast very often in the summer, it’s likely they’ll need it during the school year once they are back on routine. A healthy breakfast will improve your kid’s concentration and increase their energy levels to ensure they’re at the top of their game for school.
You’ll also be planning for school lunches and easy-to-travel-with snacks, and I know you don’t want to be running out to the store every day.
So get your kids in on the planning here. What do they plan to pack for their lunches? What are they planning to eat for breakfast in the morning? You don’t have to conceptualize, plan, and execute this all on your own. Getting their input can make the grocery store stock up WAY easier.
Creating a family meal plan is a game-changer for busy moms and dads. It may seem tedious to write everything down, but it’s worth every second. This can help you take control of your evenings when school starts again.
To make this happen, pick a day of the week to plan your family meals and organize who is cooking when. And by “cooking” we mean coming up with the idea for what we eat, getting the ingredients on the grocery list, and following through with cooking the meal. When roles and responsibilities are clear in your house, meal prep goes way smoother!
Cooking not your jam? Check out meal planning and delivery services that you can utilize if you prefer to go that route. No shame in the outsource game!
Checking things off the supply list can be so overwhelming that you forget to check in with your kids. Been there!
But we know there is a lot going on in their little heads. Do they have any goals for the upcoming year? Are they feeling anxiety about a new building or hallway? Are they going to have any friends in their classrooms?
Sit your child down, talk with them about starting their new school year, and see what’s up. They may have everything they need physically, but they might need a little pep talk from mom or dad, or a little extra 1:1 time to ease the nerves — that time can do wonders for the soul (yours and theirs!)
Simultaneously working and taking care of children is a lot, you know that! But some hacks and planning can preparing for back-to-school easier right now, and down the road as things get even busier. Do what you can ahead of time, call in your family to collaborate together, and find the strategies that work for YOU to make going back to school a whole lot easier!
Cora Gold is the Editor-in-Chief of Revivalist magazine and a passionate writer. She loves exploring life, family and inspiration through writing and collaborating with others who share her interests. Follow Cora on Facebook and Pinterest.