Back to school can be such a headache. And while we are being honest, certain aspects of the school year are like a constant migraine. The kids are busy, parents are busy and things like homework and dinner are unavoidable and just add to the mundane chaos.
I refuse to submit to the crazy and do everything in my power to make it a little easier on everyone, these are the 5 things that help me out every September and throughout the school year.
This is a lifesaver. Get a shower caddy with a handle in the college bound section of superstore like Target, put cool cups in it to hold writing utensils. Or I found a utensil caddy in the Summer clearance section, already has compartments, cheap and cool, yay! Load it up with supplies…from the dollar store. Everything I bought cost $1 or less and it’s all there. Consider your kids specific needs for homework supplies and shop accordingly. The homework bucket should only be used for homework, not craft projects, not for fun and the supplies don’t leave the kitchen. Just homework and put it away so you never run lose anything.
*tip: things like markers or crayons that they need to use together can go in a cup that can be removed and put back. Pencils, they only need one at a time, no extra cup required. And you are kidding yourself if you think keeping the markers in the cardboard box is going to last...they box has an expiration date on it as soon as you start opening and closing it everyday, do yourself a favor and deal with a container now not when the box is falling apart.
DO IT ONCE A WEEK:
Some chores are repetitious: groceries, laundry, etc. but having a schedule that works for you is key to making it easy. For instance: grocery shop once a week, same day every week. Prepare a list of 5/6 meals for the week after you assess what you have in the pantry, no trips to the grocery store after work or on your lunch break will make the everyday a little easier. Same goes for changing sheets, etc., pick a day and stick with that day every single week.
DO IT NOW!
Your kid hands you a form, needs a check for class trip, gets a birthday party invite, etc. take care of it right now. To avoid a barrage of forms and papers coming at you all day, ask the kids to hand them all to you when they get home and start their homework. They do their homework, you do your's. Hand it right back to them when they are finished and packing up their bookbags. No piles of papers and no missing deadlines. If the form requires you to know a date, etc. put on the calendar right away. Not 5 minutes from now...5 minutes from now someone will be crying, your mother will call and the dog will need to go out.
KIDS CAN HELP
Your children are not helpless….give them a job or 5 jobs. My kids have
household chores: walking the dog, emptying the dishwasher, setting the table,
etc. But they also do things for themselves to learn responsibility and that also lightens my load….like
making their own lunch for the next day. When the complete their homework, they pack their lunch and
put it in the fridge for the morning. Bookbags are packed when they complete their homework. They layout their clothes for the next day each night and
they make their beds every morning. No scrambling looking for books, socks, papers or snacks when you are walking out the door. Calm mornings give you the hope of a calm day, a crazy morning pretty much cements a crazy day and the headache to match.
A MONTH AT A GLANCE
Put a dry erase calendar in plain site in your kitchen, the hub of every house…the version that shows a month at a time is best. Everyone can see when they have what, no one has to sync a device or get online, no opening a cabinet or flipping pages in a planner. Best of all no one can say “I didn’t know you had drinks with the girls tonight? I was going to Jimmy’s to watch the game.” Uhh sorry boss, check the calendar….I’m going out for a cocktail, don’t let the kids stay up all night.
Good luck moms and dads...may the force be with you.