We blinked and the summer ended. September is already well under way and we can barely remember those two glorious months we spent with the kids. Being back at school means we’re back to the wake ups, the lunch packing, the sock finding and the general carnage as we rush out the door.
It’s going to take a little while for us all to get back into our routine and feel like we have schedule thing down. In the meantime, here are 5 tips to get help ease your way back into the new “new”.
Don’t sweat the small stuff
Look, we get it. Bento box lunches and cool little-shaped cheeses are fun and adorable but, if you’re anything like us, they stress you O-U-T. Once, I tried to make kebabs once for my daughter, and after I pricked myself with the tip of the wooden skewer, I vowed ‘Never again.” The minute I stopped trying to make the lunches look pretty, and realized they just needed to be transported in order to be eaten, I swear, I heard angels sing. If you love bento-ing, by all means. If you love cutting strawberries into flowers and cheddar into dinosaurs, go nuts (but not literally, because, allergies). But, if you’re like me and you don’t particularly get the joy of a well-cultivated lunch bag, don’t bother. Just don’t.
Have your kids tell you what to put in their lunch
Aside from the obvious benefit of not having to come up with what to put in their lunches every day, empowering your kids to tell you what they want means they are way more likely to eat it. I could pack what I want my kids to eat every single day, and 90% of it will come home if it’s not what they want. That whole ‘kids won’t starve themselves’ idea is bunk. How many of us can say we’ve had lunches come home totally uneaten? *raises hands* Ask them what they want. Better yet, have them help you prepare their lunches each day! It takes out the guesswork and the boomerang food.
Do everything possible the night before
I know, this sounds like super obvious advice, and I’d be lying if I said I’m particularly great at doing it myself. But every time I insist clothes be laid out the night before, bags ready by the front door, and ensure lunch is prepped and in the fridge, I thank myself. It’s enough work dragging kids out of bed and getting some semblance of breakfast into their bellies every morning. Having to find underwear in the mountain of laundry is just about the last thing you want to have to do.
Wait until tomorrow to watch the next episode of whatever Netflix show you’re currently bingeing on
Speaking of getting everything ready, might I recommend not doing what I know we’ve been doing all summer, and watching just one more show before calling it a night. With summer, you may have fallen prey to binge-watching more than you care to admit. Now though? If I do that and have to deal with all of the other things I need to do get myself and the family ready for our day, I need every bit of energy I can get. Sorry Scandal, but momma has gotta be on her game.
Attend parent council meetings
This won’t make these first few weeks easier. But what it will do is make you feel more involved in your child’s school, help you know the principal and find out what is going in the school that might affect the classroom. The best way to feel in control and in the know is to be an active part of the school family, in whatever capacity you can. Council meetings are usually once a month, which is a small commitment of time to make sure you know what your child is doing everyday and the issues that could affect them.
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