As you enter the shops and see the isles filled with exercise books, pens and pencils; pass the shoe stores and notice that black and white shoes have taken over much of the floor space – you realise that back to school is fast approaching.
Apart from the cost of purchasing school supplies, there is a sudden realisation that madness is fast approaching – before, during and after school activities, homework expectations, uniforms to be constantly cleaned and pressed, and making sure there is enough food to prepare and pack!
My eldest is 21 years old and my youngest is 9. I have had many years of getting it wrong, getting it right, and most years it is a bit of both! Here I share my top 18 tips to support you being better prepared and be more productive this upcoming year.
- Plan and prepare to avoid chaos. This includes weekly schedules, lists and weekly meal and shopping plan. Create a flexible routine that works for your family – from waking to bedtime.
- Have a central calendar in the house that all family members have access to with events written on it that are coming up.
- At least a couple of times a week make double the evening meal and freeze half for those nights when you run out of the time or enthusiasm to cook.
- Make time to bake each week.
- Make lunches and get uniforms ready the night before. We all think we will get it done in the morning, but sometimes it is just such a rush and adds so much pressure when trying to get you and your children ready and out the door!
- Have bags packed and checked ready to go the night before (including the hat).
- I think it’s never too early to give children some responsibility –tasks that you know they can complete for their age and abilities.
- Give children checklists – good for parents too!
- It is the perfect time to have conversations with your children when driving around with your kids in the car. They can’t get out or walk away!
- Take weekly time out for you to de-stress and reward yourself.
- Get proper sleep so you have the energy each day needs and avoid getting run down and common illnesses.
- Eat well to feel good and keep up. Feed your kids well to keep them healthy and calm.
- Remember to breathe – sometimes we just need to stop, take a couple of deep breathes and then proceed.
- Keep at least one day free on a weekend to relax and have fun with your family.
- Be kind to yourself.
- Ask for help when you need it!
- 30, 30, 30 and 30 every day! 30 minutes for quiet time for you, 30 minutes listening to your children with enthusiastic interest, 30 minutes for your partner and 30 minutes making sure you have cleared your day and are prepared for tomorrow.
- Get up each morning with a grateful affirmative attitude and a desire to meet all challenges with a smile.
As parents, we are constantly creating, re-inventing and re-shaping whilst keeping up with all the demands and challenges of each day. Creating routines and being organised will keep everyone on the same page and help you make sure you go to bed each night feeling a sense of peace and achievement – well most days!
What can you do differently this year to make your school and work weeks run smoothly?