OK, I’m going to say it…the beginning of the school year is coming. I know, I know, if you’re anything like me you’d rather stick pencils in your eyeballs than acknowledge this fact! The lazy days of summer are just too precious, and I don’t want to think about sending my babies back to school and myself back to the classroom any sooner than I have to.
But here’s the thing, our lives are BUSY when school starts. I have a type A, can’t say no to anything personality disorder, plus three kids, a husband and a business that’s in peak season. We are stretched thin. Unfortunately, being stretched thin doesn’t cut it as an excuse when my daughter needs new shoes.
Here are some ways that I am trying to stay organized and prepared as we transition into the school year. These are not rocket science ideas people, but just a few ways I’m hoping to stay on top of things so I don’t start the year overwhelmed.
I’m usually the mom that realizes my kid needs a bigger size in soccer cleats about 30 minutes before the first practice, ”Sorry honey, any chance they’ll play barefoot soccer tonight?” This year our soccer cleats, school supplies, lunch boxes, water bottles…all the things — it’s bought! Checking it off my list now so I’m not scrambling come August 16. We just don’t have the time to be last minute. We have too many kids for last minute.
Start a Routine at the Beginning
Yep, this seems like a no brainer. Everyone starts the new school year fresh and with all new routines for after school time, dinner time, reading time and bed time! Why is it that my August is always so crazy? As a teacher, I feel like I’m in survival mode in August just as I am in May. It’s tough to get back into the groove and with that comes the lack of routine because we’re just skirting by. That’s not happening this year. We will have a back-to-school routine in our house, and we will stick to it. We have too many kids for no routine.
We are busy (see above) and sometimes our schedules change from week to week depending on what activities, business events, school events, etc. we have going on. I’m done using busyness as an excuse for not having a schedule. I am doing a better job of planning family dinners, making sure we sync our calendars and communicating to everyone in the family what the heck is going on each night! We’ve been using the Cozi App for the last few months, and I think it will serve us well as we enter back to school time. It syncs up on my husband’s phone so there’s no excuse for him not to “know” what’s going on. Each family member’s activities and responsibilities are color coded. There is an upgraded version that has even more features, but the free version has served us well so far. We have too many kids for no schedule.
Are you sensing a theme here? No, it’s not that we have too many kids, although sometimes I wonder… No, the theme is that I need to take charge of the things that cause stress and problems in our routines, organization and schedule. I’m not a genius in this area, in fact I’m the furthest from it, but I do know when I plan ahead (ugh, forced to acknowledge that it’s actually coming) I am a much better mom/wife/teacher/business owner.
Easier said than done, right? I mess up all the time. The difference this year is that when I get off track I’m not throwing in the towel. I’m going to hop right back on the wagon! If we plan ahead now, we can enjoy the last weeks of summer without feeling the underlying doom of what’s coming…hopefully…maybe.