Ready or not, it’s already time to send the kids back to school. That means big box store jaunts for supplies, shopping for new clothes – especially that uber-important first day outfit – and the tear-inducing return to a frenzied morning schedule.
We get it, it’s a stressful time. So, here are some tips to make the transition a bit smoother while looking after yourself in the process.
Keep it Simple
Organization and education experts say the key to keeping sane is to simplify.
- Resist the temptation to overschedule yourself and the kids. It’s OK to say no.
- Adjust sleep routines a week before school starts to ease into earlier bedtimes.
- Order must-haves online and save a trip to the store.
- Use a pre-made checklist so you don’t forget any back-to-school prep.
- Take “me” time.
Organization is key
There are as many kid/homework/schedule organizational systems as there are children in school. Find one that works for you and stick to it.
- Try this cute DIY printable checklist for the kids’ morning routine.
- Plan and set out outfits a week at a time, so kids can dress themselves in the morning. Try an outfit of the day sorter.
- Create a drop-off point for backpacks, books and assignments.
- Set up a parent “in-box” so your kids have a place to put papers you need to review and sign.
- Instead of keeping every art project and paper the kids bring home, take pictures with your smartphone and order a school year photobook.
- Stock your pantry and fridge with portioned snack and lunch items. Then let the kids decide what they want for lunch – and pack it themselves!
- Pack gear, equipment and safety wear for extracurricular activities in a plastic tub at the start of the week. Keep the tub in the trunk of your vehicle.
App it up
Keeping every appointment and homework assignment in your head is a challenge (unless you’re a human computer). Consider using a few apps to make everything from schedules to meal planning much easier.
- Consider specialty family apps like Cozi Family Organizer, OurHome, Hub Family Organizer or Chore Monster.
- Cozi doubles as a meal planner, or look at MealBoard, Paprika or BigOven.
- Keep track of school assignments and gamify homework with EduTech, myHomework or The Homework App.
- Have young drivers in the family? Link them up on Life 360 to keep track of where they are – and how fast they’re driving.
Make it fun
- Turn back to school into a pleasure, not a punishment. Make a special meal or do a memorable activity to celebrate a new year to learn and grow.
- Read a favorite book the night before.
- Decorate a potato chip canister and create a school year time capsule, complete with hand prints, pictures and a list of hopes and goals. Follow this tutorial, complete with printables.
- Let the kids choose a Scentsy Buddy Clip for their backpack. In August, almost everything Scentsy is 10% off. Each Buddy Clip comes pre-scented in a kid-friendly fragrance.
- Host a show-and-tell dinner after the first day. Ask the kids to describe their new teacher and new friends they met and their hopes for the new school year.
Mom’s survival kit
Let’s face it, if parents are miserable, so is everyone else. Put together a few simple, affordable luxury items to pamper yourself. Then you’ll have something left to give to everyone else.
- One word: chocolate. Splurge a little on the good stuff just for you.
- Put the kids to bed a little early and curl up in a soft chair with a lap blanket, a cup of herbal tea and that book you’ve been meaning to read.
- Rely on your friends! Schedule a group yoga class or spa day with a couple of other stressed out parents.
- Slip into the bathroom, maybe even lock the door, for a quiet bath and a few minutes of serenity. Add a Scentsy Bath Bomb in Sea Salt and Avocado to make the moment special.
- Get a tube of hand cream in your favorite fragrance for moisture on the move.
- When you are the M-uber, shuttling kids to practices and plays, take your favorite fragrance on the go with Scentsy Go and Scentsy Pods. Just Breathe is extra relaxing.
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