I don’t know about anyone else but it feels like July didn’t happen this year! The summers always go super fast but it seems this one has been the fastest yet. It’s already the beginning of August and this means we need to start thinking of back to school. This is a really frustrating time for me and I understand a lot of parents are in the same boat.
First I just want to say that the school my children attend will NOT give us a school supply list. They tell us to give them money as well as pick up various other supplies PLUS supply the obvious of backpacks, shoes, lunch kits etc. They don’t give us a break down of what our money is going towards and we don’t keep the excess at the end of the year so we don’t have any of the pencils or crayons to get through summer or to carry over to the next year.
If you buy in bulk then it costs less and therefore I can have all our supplies for a fraction of what the school wants me to pay. There are tons of ways to save money for the school year and I know there’s no need for me to spend that much for my kids.Then there’s the fact that they aren’t giving us a choice of whether we shop ourselves or not. Last year I emailed the school and received a reply in which I took as unprofessionally written and felt it was fairly rude and impersonal. These are my children and I feel that as parents we reserve the right to know where our money goes when it comes to the education they may or may not be providing to our children.
Is this something the schools in your area do as well? What are your thoughts if this is the case?
I find myself on a rant.
And side tracked…oh look a squirrel!
I will choose to focus on something I can do this month that will help my kids (and myself) as we prepare for another school year. I’d like to promise that this will help create a stress-free back to school routine but in all honesty there will always be days when things just won’t go smoothly at all, no matter what you do. So I will share a few of my morning hacks that help our household get from the bed to the door on school days 🙂
Pack Lunches The Night Before
This is a simple enough task right? Unless you’re already tired from a long day or you don’t get home from work until midnight or you simply forget. This is a game changer though. My mom always got us to make our lunches in the evening before bed so I just grew up thinking this was the only way to do it. I feel blessed to kind of be one step ahead of myself on this one. I’m not going to lie, I sometimes feel like I can just get it all done in the morning but when I start thinking of all the scenarios, I realize I just don’t want to have to drive to the school the next day to take the lunches that should have been the night before but weren’t because I just didn’t feel like it.
Have Breakfast Planned Out
I’m not saying you have to have it made and dished up (although in some cases you probably could), I’m just saying if you have younger ones that you are in charge of serving then this is a time saver. I give my a couple of choices that they ca choose from for the morning and then I’m not scrambling around trying to think of things while they argue over what they want or don’t want. An example in our house would be: A pumpkin muffin and a banana, oatmeal with an apple, or a cinnamon bun with some milk. If each one picks something different then I can have them all kind of sitting out and ready to go.
Have Everything By The Door Before Bed
If you have a “launch pad” of sorts, this works out beautifully. Shoes, coats, back packs and anything else that needs to go in the morning is together by the door and waiting. Except the lunches. I throw the lunch kits into the back packs while the kids are eating or getting dressed in the mornings. I know I could have them be responsible for this step as well, but like I said earlier, I don’t want to have to make a tip to the school if I don’t have to haha!
Plan Outfits The Night Before
I’m a huge supporter of this one. There just seems to be too much time wasted on this decision if it’s not thought of ahead of time. Especially with my 7 year old. She sometimes comes out wearing 4 different outfits layered on top of each other and I’m not always awake enough to catch on to this. My 9 year old needs constant reminders to put on clean underwear and so if everything he needs is sitting out and ready to go then it’s easier for him to remember. My youngest will be going to Pre-K this year but I still did this for him last year. I always tried to get him ready to go when the other did so he could get used to it (and me as well). Hopefully this year it goes as well as the “practice” year.
Get Enough Sleep
I know, this is over said, over heard, over rated, blah blah blah. It’s the cold hard truth though. Sleep is probably the most important thing you can do for yourself and for your family. This helps so we have a clear head in the morning and the energy to war off those arguing kids and last minute curve balls that are just part of a busy mom’s everyday life. Getting enough sleep also aids in keeping the anxiety down and it has helped with my focus for meditation which has lessened my PTSD symptoms incredibly! I know we’re all busy and after the kids go to bed at night it’s the perfect time for playing catch up with cleaning, having time with the spouse, reading or whatever else keeps you up at night. I can’t stress it enough though, sleep is good 😀
Wake Up 30 Minutes Earlier
This is one that I really struggle with. I have my alarm set to go off when my husband gets up so as long as I have a decent sleep without nightmares, or the kids getting up a zillion times (probably a slight exaggeration on that), then it works out great! I have a few minutes in the morning to myself. I can enjoy a half cup of hot coffee, a little silence, and maybe (fingers crossed) a few minutes to plan out my day in my beloved planner. You can also use this time to shower or write in a journal or do your devotions. However you choose to spend it, I guarantee it will change your day for the better. It’s so much better to wake up to this than to a houseful of kids fighting over cereal or the sound of the milk jug hitting the floor or a number of other horrible situations that I can tell you all about 😀
And One Last Thing
Give yourself some grace! We’re all going to have those days that one of the kids go to school with their shirt on backwards, or inside out 😉 Sometimes they will be wearing shorts when they should be wearing pants, their socks might be full of holes, or they may even be yesterdays dirty socks (it happens!) but we are all trying our best! Please try to have patience with yourself, show yourself some love and forgiveness. And try to remember that the mother who just dropped off her kids lunch wearing her pajamas with the messy hair and only one shoe is also trying her best!!! Let’s not pass judgement on others because, trust me, they’re being hard enough on themselves.
I’d love to hear some of your morning hacks! We can all help each other out and pass on our tried and true secrets 🙂
Hope you enjoy the rest of your summer and Happy August!