It’s finally my favorite time of the year. No, not the holidays.
Back to school.
Even as a kid, I always loved going back to school. My family didn’t take a lot of vacations, so I spent summers reading as many books as I could, doing summer assignments, and doing my best to keep cool in the heat and humidity of Virginia summers.
Now, as a mom – I look forward to it even more. As a working mom, our day-to-day routine doesn’t change much in the summer since I’m not home with my kids, but the new school year brings a much-needed reset for all of us. There’s school supplies to buy, a new teacher, and the return to a regular routine. Abbie loves school, just like I did, and she’s been eager to head back (complete with a countdown).
While we look forward to it, going back to school brings back a few of the pain points I don’t worry about during the summer – packing lunches, being ready for after school activities, and getting out the door about 15 minutes earlier to deal with the extra traffic. It’s not always easy to get all that done, but I’ve got a few things I try to do to make things a bit easier to get out the door in the morning.
- Do as much as possible the night before. Pick out clothes. Pack lunches. Make sure bags are ready to go for after school activities (dance in our case). Shower at night. Put things you need to mail in your trunk. Basically, try to have as much ready to go for the morning as possible.
- Keep breakfast easy. I meal prep my breakfasts every week so they can be grab and go – and even eat it in the car. The girls get easy foods with breakfast – frozen pancakes, waffles, or (one of my new favorites for them) Danimals Smoothies. They’re nutritious, easy, and my girls love the taste – especially Ella, whose absolute favorite thing is strawberry flavor. If we’re in a rush, I know I can hand these to the girls with some toast and fruit as we head out the door. There’s no need to make a complicated breakfast – quick, nutritious and delicious is all you need.
- Review your planner. I’m a paper planner girl, and taking some time in the evening to map out the next day makes a big difference. I’m able to look at the calendar, factor in any evening activities and dinner plans, and make a to-do list for the day ahead. Having all of that in one place, ready for the next day, makes a big difference for me.
- Keep lunch packing simple. We follow a simple formula for lunches around here – sandwich, fruit, veggie, and a few extras. One thing that always gets eaten are Danimals Squeezables. I freeze them the night before to use as an ice pack, and they’re thawed by lunchtime so Abbie’s lunch stays fresh and she can enjoy her Squeezables in her short lunch period (they only get 20 minutes!).
All in all, I try not to stress about it. It takes practice to get your kids in a morning routine, and it’s never going to be perfect. There may be a few times you’re early or a few times you’re late. You may forget the dance bag and need to run home for it. Practice makes perfect with everything – including the back to school routine.
Any other tips you would add to mine? I’d love to hear them over on my Facebook page!