Is it easier for moms when kids go back to school?
It should be, haha!
Did you notice how happy teachers become towards the end of the school year, looking forward to a nice summer? A break from schedules, homework, and hordes of unstoppable kids running around the hallways…Well, it could be a similar feeling for parents when kids go back to school!
Sure, we all look forward to engaging in activities with our children during their summer break. But kids (regardless of their age) are HARD to keep up with, especially when it comes to keeping them entertained for a long period of time. By August, most parents relish the thought of their children going back to their normal routine and a little more discipline.
So back to school should be a good time for parents, since you can take a break from being the entertainer the whole summer. A break from all the hiking, running, swimming, biking, visits to the aquarium, amusement and water parks, and a ton of other things…!
However, with the beginning of a new school year comes a list of specific activities to follow, on a daily/weekly basis.
Instead of going easier on you, mom – things could be a lot more chaotic than your summer if you’re not well organized. So here is a list of the main things you should keep in mind when kids go back to school.
1) Rearrange your schedule
Summer could be hectic, but it’s also a little more laid back when it comes to schedules and routines. Your kids might go to summer camp, but that doesn’t run the entire summer. The rest of the time you might be able to arrange some time off from work, have friends or family to take care of them during the time you’re working. The summer schedule is easier to set up.
Once your children have to go back to school, you will have to work with different drop off and pick up times. If they go to separate schools, it means more time spent running around.
It’s crucial that you sort out the details before the school year starts. Plan for before and after school care, babysitter, or even rearrange your work schedule to fit theirs.
Having all these details arranged before class begins will alleviate huge stress and won’t interfere with your professional responsibilities.
2) Take a moment before signing up for 10 extracurricular activities
New school year means new activities. Some children know exactly what they want to do and they are very communicative with their parents. Others are a little more introverted and they either don’t know what they want, or they’re too shy to express it.
This is when you might get creative and try to sign them up in a lot of different activities. More than they could probably handle – more than YOU could handle. Having children in different activities is a great way for them to express themselves discover a talent or find a great passion. Be careful though. If you overdo it, they might feel overwhelmed or discouraged very quickly.
Pay attention to your children and what they are interested in. Remember that each one is different, and with their individual personalities come individual likes and dislikes. Make sure you also allow for enough downtime in their schedule.
3) Dedicate time to your children from the very beginning of the school year: it will help you down the road
Help them with homework, identify if they need help with a particular subject, get tutoring if they need it – basically have a close look at the kids’ performance from the beginning of the year. It’s easier to handle difficulties as they appear, rather than later on in the year.
4) Single parents need to get on the same page!
Consider the relationship with your children’s father. If you get along well, you might be among the very few who actually do. More often, feelings of hurt and resentment between separated parents, or distrust in the other’s caretaking abilities, will cause havoc in their little ones’ schedule.
However, even in the best scenario, tensions will arise from holding onto opposing points of view regarding how to raise the children.
Sit down with the father and engage in calm, honest communication. Put your feelings aside (both of you!), and remember you need to create consistency in your children’s lives. Agree together on a bedtime, a suitable diet, what activities they should pursue etc. Don’t forget to discuss discipline and medical needs.
5) Prepare meals and snacks that will make your life easier
You don’t want to spend hours cooking after a day of work, chores and errands. Who would?! The point here is to keep your schedule hassle-free.
- Create a meal plan and stick to it.
- Do your groceries run once a week and make sure you stock up on essentials, so you don’t have to ‘run quickly to the store’ before your next planned trip. This can save you anywhere from five minutes to several hours over the week.
- Store your perishables appropriately, to make sure they don’t spoil before you use them.
- For healthy snacks, and to save some money while you’re at it, chop your own fruit or veggie sticks, that you can later dip in some yogurt or peanut butter. Your kids will love them!
- Try cooking in bulk. Allocate a few hours on the weekend to this task and cook (or prep as much as possible) the meals for the following week. Wouldn’t it be easy to simply pop a pan of cleaned and cut veggies in the oven for dinner after a long day?
6) Summer is over, but the fun stuff shouldn’t be!
Don’t let yourself fall prey to the blues once your normal routine is re-established. You just need to add an extra layer of clothing to go outside and enjoy the gorgeous fall colors. Besides, you can use leaves for a whole bunch of projects for your children. If leaves are not your thing, you can bake together, create decorations for the upcoming holidays, or… dare I say… clean your rooms? Kids will go crazy about this last one!
Nevertheless, there is no shortage of activities you can have fun with, even as the cold season settles in.
So here we are. Children are going back to school and we’re in for a few months of stress-free routines, with just a little preparation. Do you have any creative ways to handle the start of the new school year? (Share in the comment section below!)