How to Juggle Back to School To-Do’s + Save Your Sanity!
It’s the busiest time of the year for moms with school-aged children. Now that classes are just around the corner, you’re consumed with shopping for school supplies, new clothes, new shoes, and healthy treats for your child’s lunchbox.
During this season, even the most organized of households can become chaotic. However, with an organized strategy and a handful of stress management tactics, you’ll be able to tackle the back-to-school craziness like a pro with your peace of mind and sanity intact!
Read the tips below to learn how you can slay the stress monster that’s trying to devour your household once and for all!
Plan weekly meals
In the age of extracurricular activities, parent-teacher meetings, and carpools, sometimes a three-course meal is the last thing on your mind and the drive-thru at McDonald’s becomes your savior. If you’re feeling mom guilt at the lack of nutritional value the kids are getting, though, consider this alternative: set aside a day when you prepare food for the entire upcoming week. Chop vegetables in advance, organize ingredients, cook whatever can be cooked beforehand, and become best friends with your Tupperware. You’ll shave off 10-30 minutes off your dinner prep and be able to easily heat up meals for the family.
Get the family involved with chores
These days, many households boast parents who may both hold down jobs of their own, and so when it comes to chores, there’s no reason why the entire family can’t be involved. Divvy up tasks on a dry-erase board that everyone can see and let children volunteer for the chore they’d like to champion that week. Chores can be things such as: taking out the trash, vacuuming the rooms, walking the dog, washing the dishes, mowing the lawn, etc. Then at the end of the week, let children pick a new chore.
Prepare the night before
Mornings are already hectic without having to turn your house upside down looking for your child’s backpack, permission slip, lunchbox, or hair ribbon. So instead, use the quiet evening hours when your children are asleep to plan and prepare for the day ahead. If they’re old enough, you can even involve your children in the preparations before their bedtime: double-checking homework, packing the backpack, ironing and laying out clothes for the next day, and preparing lunch. These advance preparations make for more seamless and stress-free morning’s.
Set expectations, times, and deadlines
Children often thrive when they have a routine in place. Set specific times for your children by which you expect them to wake up, bathe, get dressed, eat breakfast, and leave the house for school. This not only reduces morning bathroom wars between siblings but it equips your children with a sense of responsibility and also an understanding of how the morning is supposed to go. You can also use this strategy for the afternoons and set a schedule for your child to adhere to: afternoon snack, play, homework, dinner, free time, and then bedtime.
Take care of yourself
As the saying goes, “if mama aint happy, aint nobody happy.” To your household, you’re supermom, but in order to take care of others, you have to take care of yourself. Otherwise, you’ll feel burnt out, stressed, and overwhelmed with responsibilities and to-do lists. Give yourself permission to pamper yourself or treat yourself to something nice like a salon date, mani-pedi, massage, or simply a coffee with friends. You’ll instantly feel rejuvenated and empowered to tackle on whatever comes your way.
Use essential oils
It’s true: you can use essential oils for stress relief. Try diffusing Grapefruit, Lavender, Lemon, Joyful Blend or Begamot into the air to help your household unwind. For personal stress relief, you can also massage these oils onto your shoulders, back, and feet or add them to warm bathwater before bathing. For calming purposes, try rubbing lavender or cedarwood onto your temples, neck, chest, and shoulders.