Back-to-school is an exciting time of year for the whole family, signifying a fresh start for your kids and the opportunity to watch them grow and thrive in whole new ways. But even with the excitement, it can be a stressful time too. Before you know it, the evenings are cooling down, and you’re left wondering which backpack to buy, if their indoor shoes need to be replaced, and how you’re going to manage getting dinner on the table once hockey and dance pick back up.
With a little planning, there’s lots you can do – not just for your kids– but for yourself – to help beat back to school stress and leave you looking and feeling your best as you drop your kids off on that exciting first day.
Try out some of these sanity savers and be the most mellow mom on the block.
1. Establish a morning routine
Kids thrive on routine, especially after coming off of a more relaxed summer schedule. Spend some time mapping out what they’re responsible for when it comes to getting themselves ready. Night-time routines to ready themselves for the next day are just as important for morning success. Ensuring library books are back in bags, homework is done and clothes are picked out for tomorrow can all lead to an easier, breezier morning.
2. The Lunchtime Lowdown
Don’t wait until the morning of to decide what to make for three different kids. Keep a running list of stuff they’ll actually eat, set up an assembly line and get the kids going on making their own lunches. Not only will it cross that to-do off your list, but it may even encourage them to try new foods once they’re in on the action of preparing them.
3. Give Yourself a Five Minute Face
You swore you’d never be that mom who drops her kids off in Crocs and PJ’s – and you shouldn’t! Carve out a few minutes for yourself and put some pep in your step before you’ve even had your coffee. Even your skin tone and cover imperfections with a quick application of Andalou’s Brightening BB Cream and wake up your eyes with Pacifica’s Highlighting Creams and a coat of mascara. Even if your socks secretly don’t match (we won’t tell!), you’ll still be smiling confidently at drop-off.
4. Plan Ahead
Plan, plan, plan, whether it’s your meals for the week, or your after-school activities. Kids can help come up with dinner ideas and posting their extra-curricular activities where everyone can see the schedule is a great way to stay organized.
5. Fuel Up
Once the final bell rings, very few of us are home free. If you’re rushing off to an after school activity straight from school, make sure the kids (and you!) are well-fueled with a nutritious snack that will hold them off until dinner (and avoid a hunger-infused meltdown the minute you get home). Look for snacks with a balance of carbohydrate such as fruit or a grain-based food along with protein and/or fat like these low sugar, nut-free Simply Protein Kids Bars. And don’t forget your water bottle!
6. Nama-stay True to Yourself
Yes, back to school is all about the kids, but it’s also about you. Celebrate yourself and the great job you’re doing as a parent by ensuring that ‘me time’ isn’t the last thing on your priority list. You don’t have to plan a ‘moms gone wild’ night out to do so. Even if it means enjoying a good book while waiting for your kid’s piano lesson to finish or buying that yoga mat you’ve been eyeing and sneaking a yoga class in at the studio next to karate, make sure that sometimes, it’s about you.
7. Soak Up the Summer
It’s not over yet. Before you know it, they really will be back to school. But not just yet – so get outside, enjoy the sunshine, and take a moment to appreciate the wonder of summer in their eyes before we do it all over again.
Sheri Helman is a mom of two great kids, living a sassy, suburban life with her husband of almost ten years just north of Toronto. At home, Sheri is constantly striving to make great choices for her family – whether that means deciding what to make for dinner (and how to come up with new recipes her kids will actually eat!) or which environmentally friendly products will get the job done when it comes to cleaning, bathing and everything in between. Catch up with Sheri on her blog: www.babefromtheburbs.com