Wait, school starts WHEN?! What the heck happened to summer? August went quicker than dollar flip-flops at Old Navy! The best thing we can do is surrender to it, because resistance is futile! So now that your two-sentence freak out is over, let’s get right to it! How do we get back into the back-to- school routine and shift towards that ever so elusive balance to kick-start our fall schedules? Before we all run to Pinterest and feel inadequate about ourselves, I offer up some Back-to-School Balancing Basics we all can manage!
Don’t over-think it: I don’t know about you, but it takes every ounce of my being not to flip out about this time of year. That being said, and to take my own advice, this is a waste of energy. We all know this day was coming (probably some of us had it circled on the calendar in obnoxious red sharpie), so be cool! Do not panic! Media doesn’t help much with back-to-school sales and tax-free week and all that and of course FOMO (fear of missing out)! That’s a real thing! Here’s a tip, fall clothes will go on clearance about the end of September or early October, and these are things kids can wear in the winter (long sleeves, etc). Because it still is a little warm through September, try not to cave into the back-to-school FOMO clothes shopping runs! Get what you really need to start things off, and then go back here and there and fill in as you go!
Step away from Pinterest! Ok, we have all seen the Pinterest sites with the bento lunch boxes (ninja turtle sandwiches and hello kitty fruit). I don’t know anybody that got time for that! And kudos to those that can be a badass with the bento, however, do not feel that you must. Keep this part simple; there are some super cute lunch box ideas that are effortless and will keep your Pinterest anxiety at a minimum. Check out 500 free printable lunchbox notes here: http://kidsactivitiesblog.com/57305/500-free-printable-lunchbox-notes
Be both scheduled and spontaneous: Now this may sound like a paradox, and yes, yes it is. However, it’s important for our children to see that we have schedules to be honored and also there are times when we need to pliable and have fun when the moment calls for it. Life should not be scripted and as moments present themselves it is important to be spontaneous, this teaches children that life is precious and to enjoy the little things. Take advantage of a beautiful sunset with a trip to the park or that one last ice cream run before they all close for the season.
Just as it is important to honor spontaneity, horning the back-to-school schedule is imperative as well. Try to introduce the new routine (bedtime business for back to school) a little earlier each night. This way it can make the transition not as shocking for kids.
Organized, smorganized! As much as I am resistant to the over organization movement, I do think that pre-planning as a parent is essential! Ever try making lunches, picking out clothes, getting ready for work and trying to get out the door on time? Yeah, we’ve all been there. The hard truth is, it is a fact that if you pre-plan, it just makes things easier, plan and simple. Bam, there it is. The best tip here is to do your best the night before to get everything organized, so you’re not running around like you’re on the stock market floor at 7:00 am to be out the door by 8:00 am. Take out clothes (the kids AND your own), make lunches and don’t forget yours! Have the kids help with this as well, if they are old enough to help make lunches, this can be a great way to spend some family time.
Stay Calm and go with the flow: There is no wrong back-to-school routine, ok maybe there are few out there, but as long as you keep yourself centered, calm and stay focused! Additionally, our kids start to get a little anxious about this time of year, just like we do. Don’t’ forget to address that. There are some great back-to-school books that help ease kids anxieties about the “big day”. Here is a link to some great back-to-school book suggestions!! Check this out! I love “Stand Tall, Molly Lou Lemon” and “ Wemberly Worried” see the rest here: http://ayearofmanyfirsts.blogspot.com/2013/08/back-to-school-read-alouds.html
Do not forget to take the time for yourself to remember to eat healthy foods that make you feel good and remember to move your body every day, whatever way you love to do it! Dance party’s welcome! Also, give yourself a break. You will have great days and you will have days that you wish you could push the redo button. As long as you are doing what is best for you and your family, then it can’t be wrong.
Back-to-school is game time! Time to get focused, stay centered and be the best at your game as you can be! Lean on your support systems and remember, the hectic pace of this time of year will fade and soon we will be all talking about the holidays. Enjoy every chaotic moment during this wonderful time of year!
Here are some of my fav YouTube mom channels that are a must!!!
What’s Up Moms: (check them out on Facebook too!) https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMfXv2enRXepxG92VoxfrEg
Marie Forleo (awesome tips for business and balance)
Learn, Love, Live with Coach Kenna
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