After the lazy days of summer, the reality of the back to school grind can be quite a shock to the system. There are suddenly more demands on your time, energy and stamina, demands that just aren’t felt in the summer months when life seems just a little bit easier.
And perhaps part of that is just our mindset. Maybe we approach summer differently and take a more relaxed approach to life because…hey, it’s summer. The weather is warm, the sun is out and the days seem to last forever. Or maybe it’s because we want to capture some of that feeling from the summers of our youth when we didn’t have the pressures of families, careers and relationships.
But sooner rather than later, the days start getting shorter, cooler weather starts to creep in and we have to transition back to normal life. This year, ease into the school year feeling calm and dare we say — balanced, with these tips that we have collected over the years as moms and professional organizers.
6 Ways to Get Ahead of the Back to School Grind
Create the Calendar
Don’t let the school calendar get lost in a pile of papers on your counter. Once you receive paperwork for the school year, take a few moments to input all of the important school dates into the calendar on your phone/computer or on the paper calendar, if that works best for you. Now there is no way to forget the big stuff and you can schedule family plans, play dates and even some “me time” around the big dates.
Get the Help You Need
The start of school can seem like a minefield with half days, orientations, appointments, new commitments and holidays. Get ahead of it by plotting your calendar ahead of time and securing the help you need to balance it all should you not have full-time childcare assistance.
Back in the Groove
Summer days are often days without structure so ease into the back-to-school schedule by setting an alarm for a week or so from the first day of school. That way, getting up early for school won’t be such a shock to the system and you can hopefully all experience a little less trauma on the first day of school.
Schedule Fun for All
Just like kids, every Beyond Mom needs to see her friends too. Get your “me time,” with no babysitters required and while your kids are happily occupied, by setting up regular standing dates to get together with friends and their children after school. Or establish a babysitting co-op with local friends to get a little alone time each week.
Clear the Clutter
Children grow quickly so outsized clothing can often stay in rotation longer than it should. Take some time to get rid of clothing that no longer fits and consider donating it if your friends and family no longer have a need for it. The same goes for toys and games that are still hanging around and cluttering up the playroom. Take a quick sweep of your play spaces to get rid of anything that isn’t being used anymore.
Set the Stage
If you have regular childcare help during the school year, set them up for success with a detailed document that outlines the new routines, classes and schedules. This should help ease your stress and give your caregiver a reference point should questions pop up.
About the Authors: Michelle Hale and Annie Draddy
Michelle and Annie are co-founders of Henry & Higby, a professional organizing company in New York City. They believe that life should be as simple as possible and that the process of getting organized can help. Visit them on Facebook, Instagram or on their website.