Summer has come to an end and, for most families, that means school is back in session. With school comes the daily struggle of early morning wake-ups, the mad dash to prepare breakfast and having backpacks and lunches ready all while getting to school before that first bell rings. It’s not an adjustment for just the kiddos! Moms and Dads find themselves scrambling to get showered, dressed and out the door on time too! If anything this summer’s blockbuster hit Bad Moms taught us, it’s that we need to face what could be the Back To School Blues with a bit of humor and humility. We’ve put together some tips to help you ease back into the school year without the burden of mom guilt that may have nagged us in the past.
Manage your Expectations
First and foremost, don't let the apprehensions of the upcoming school year make you feel anxious or weighed down. Whether it’s the “letting go” of sending your baby to kindergarten or the emotions surrounding the trials and tribulations your older kids may face in junior high or high school, try to remind yourself that they (and you) will get through it. There may be tears and rough days but what doesn't kill us only makes us stronger! One of the hardest parts of parenting is accepting what’s out of our control and letting our kids make their own decisions and, at times, their own mistakes. Show them the support, love and CONFIDENCE you have in them. These are part of their building blocks to success.
Ease into Things
While we would all like to flip a switch and effortlessly transition back into school time without a hitch, it's just not that easy. Nothing is tougher than going cold turkey so make the transition a bit smoother by easing into this whole school thing. Get back into your weekday “school” night routine by setting the morning alarms a little earlier and taking it easy on the kids for the first few weeks. Remember, kids, both young and old, thrive on routine. Help make them (and you) feel more comfortable by setting up a solid and reliable daily program that will help reduce your anxiety and theirs as the school year kicks off.
Find Power in Numbers
They say it takes a village to raise a child and this could not be more true when it comes to the management of busy school schedules. Whether it be your partner, parents, in-laws or friends, asking for a helping hand can alleviate that spiraling out of control feeling that can come with the craziness of back to school season. Divvy up the roles and responsibilities (i.e. one takes homework and backpack prep while the other manages laundry and lunches). This can eliminate one parent getting overwhelmed. Partner with another parent at your kid’s school for carpool pick-up/drop off or for sports practice to give you (and them) a night off. Whatever your support system may be, taking advantage of a shared calendar like Google Calendar or Cozi can really help everyone stay on the same page. Block out the school schedule (holidays, games, meetings, major tests, etc.) on the calendar to allow you all to support each other! Bottom line, if someone in your life is willing to help, take it!
Long summer days usually end with casual outdoor grilling, guilt-free vacation splurges and weekly meal delivery (who doesn't love pizza?!) Now that you’re back to the grind of the school night weekly routine, it can be hard to get inspired in the kitchen. Set yourself up for success by meal planning. Not only does this save time and money at the grocery store, it also makes weeknight dinners a breeze and ensures you’re feeding your family some good, healthy brain food. Not familiar with meal planning? Not a problem. Click here for a helpful guide.
Stay Connected to the Outdoors
Just because school is back in session doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy the outdoors. In fact, it’s almost more important to make sure the whole family gets some quality vitamin D and fresh air now that the kids are behind desks and indoors for most of the day. Set up some nightly post-dinner walks around the neighborhood before homework and bedtime. And grilling isn't just for summer! Meal plan an outdoor meal a couple times a week while the weather is still nice!
Don’t Forget to Have One-on-One Time with Your Kids
School can cause all members of the family to be pulled in multiple directions. No matter the age of your kids, carve out that one-on-one time and stay involved on what’s going on in their world. Apprehensions about that jungle they call Junior High or High School? This is a great opportunity to be looped in on what’s really happening in those school halls. A mom that we all love and respect here at Nook said if you can do one thing with your kids, ask them the following three questions everyday:
What is something you learned today?
How were you kind today?
Were you brave today?
You might just be surprised at what you learn!