August is the month when our kids are going back to school or are venturing out on their first day of school. We focus so much on getting the kids ready for school, but what about us as the parents? Relax, we’ve got you covered. Here’s our 10 tips for staying sane this school year!
Go through what you already have.
Yep, go through it all–the kids clothes, the school supplies you have stashed away, the lunchboxes–everything. You might find that you don’t have as much to buy. Cha-ching! Extra coffee money! Those clothes that aren’t worn or are too small, donate them to your favorite charity. The school supplies? Use those for your homework caddy. Oh yes, we’re going there later.
Establish a routine.
A week or two before school starts, encourage your kids to start transitioning back to school hours. This would be a good time to introduce little ones to a nightly and morning routine. Practicing before the school year starts will help make those first few mornings less stressful. I’m a list person, so I love this idea. If your little one can’t read yet, pictures are the way to go.
Bonus tip: put a sticky note on the door with a list of things you need in the morning. This way, no one forgets what they need to take with them.
Don’t wait until the last minute.
I know, we’ve all heard this one before. Some of you may thrive on the last 10 minutes before something happens. The rest of us? Not so much. Maybe this tip should have been labeled, “Prep, prep, prep”. That’s basically what this is. Make lunches the night before. Cut up all your dinner items for the week on one day so dinner preparation is easy. Encourage the kids to pick their outfits for the week. Do as much as you can when you have the time.
Adopt a family calendar.
This has been a lifesaver in my house. I have a color coded calendar like this one. The colors help liven it up a bit for the kids and it helps keep everyone on track.
I also carry a personal planner, so when I need to schedule an appointment or setup a play date on the fly, I know what our availability is.
Create a command center.
I always chuckle at the words “command center”. I get an image of being the captain of a spaceship and telling my crew what they need to do. Essentially though, that’s what this is–a centralized place that gives everyone easy access to the important things in life.
Most command centers are centered around the family calendar. Then there’s a place for the meal plan (oh yeah, we’ll get to that), papers that need to be signed, mail, important papers such as birth certificates and medical records and whatever else you like to keep handy.
So here’s the start, we have five more tips to go. I promise we will get there! Let these soak in, start getting those wheels turning. And now relax, because YOU are on your way to a less stressful school year!