Now that you’ve survived Tax-Free weekend and Facts and Fees Day at school, you’ve already begun to set the stage for success for your kiddos. With new digs and fresh supplies, it’s now time to get ready for the beginning of the school year!
In late August, we return to hair-pulling mornings with numerous attempts to get the kids out of bed, mind-blowing frustration at the whereabouts of a single shoe as we race out the door, and never-ending stress of how to juggle a decent dinner while playing Uber Mom for dance, sports, and work! The yearly insanity is something many moms experience, and I am one of them. Finally though, after years of struggling myself, I’ve found five things that have helped me to conquer the back-to-school chaos and I’d like to share them with you. When you’re losing sight of normalcy just remember, sanity starts with P-E-A-C-E!
5 tips to conquer back-to-school chaos
1. Plan – Plan ahead. It is an age-old suggestion, but it is truly legitimate! Never did I plan ahead for meals, schedules, or clothing choices. The biggest gift you can give yourself is to take 15-30 minutes on Saturday or Sunday morning to PLAN meals for next week, what you and the kids will wear, who needs to go where and when, and how they’ll get there. With a meal plan in place for the week, you won’t be stuck staring at an empty fridge while everyone is asking you what’s for dinner.
2. Expect – Expect the unexpected. In my mind, that’s where I would experience frustration often. After all of my planning, inevitably issues will still crop up. Practice will run late, traffic is at a standstill, or the youngest one gets sick. When unexpected obstacles pop up, you need to breathe deep, think about how to rearrange, and know that you are in control. When we get upset, we stop breathing deeply, which doesn’t help our minds make the best choices. Some things are out of our control, but our reaction to things are totally in our control. Expect that life isn’t perfect, even with planning, but we can deal with the imperfections when we give ourselves the chance.
3. Arrange – Arrange your morning and evening schedules realistically, yet consistently. Kids love to know what’s coming, and they only love surprises when it’s their birthday. Seriously, kids react positively to routine when they know what to expect in general. Allowing yourself, and them, enough time to eat, shower, and relax for a minute in the morning sets everyone up for a positive day. Allowing time to power down, review homework, and prepare for the next day helps your mind relax for a better nights’ sleep.
4. Coach – Coach your family to assist and communicate! For me, this was the most difficult one, and I still struggle with it. As moms, we feel as though everything is our responsibility. However, our kid’s coaches never have a problem telling them their role in the game plan, and we shouldn’t have a problem telling them their role in our home life game plan. When we teach our kids about their responsibilities to their families, they grow into responsible adults. Hold them accountable for their role in planning, expecting, arranging, and communicating issues so they understand the important roles they play in their families success and happiness.
5. Enjoy – Enjoy scheduled downtime and being together in the craziness. With all the technology, sports, and stress, we often forget that being stuck in traffic can be fun with the kids if we allow it. Nighttime routines should include sitting down, even for five minutes, with your kids to enjoy talking about the day. You’d be shocked at how much your family will share when given the opportunity. Enjoy, savor, and cherish every second of that time. Understand that this craziness and chaos won’t last forever, so even in the madness, enjoy life.
Looking at this acronym, you’re probably thinking “This chick is unreal.” Ten years ago, I would have thought that too. Until I started coaching myself, and began realizing that I was in control, the chaos of back-to-school, and honestly the entire school year, stressed me out every time. Implement just one of these tips this week, before school gets here! Show yourself grace when you don’t uphold all theses tips. We are superwomen, but even superwomen forget their cape occasionally. This August, begin new habits for yourself and your family and notice the sense of calm, instead of chaos, that comes with it throughout the school year.