And no, I’m not talking about Christmas! (PS, this Staples commercial has been making me laugh for years) School is returning and so goes the lazy days of summer. But before you feel the stress starting to creep up, check out this list of simple solutions to getting back into the swing of things!
DO WHAT YOU CAN THE NIGHT BEFORE: I talk about this concept with all of my clients, whether it’s a family, an older couple, a single man or a college student. It’s a universal truth: morning is no time to be a hero. Pack lunches, have backpacks packed and at the ready, have outfits out and ready to go, do breakfast prep (or at least know what is going to be for breakfast) and allow yourself a few extra minutes in case of a crisis.
HOMEWORK STATION: Designate an area for homework, even if it’s a shared space (like the dining room table or the kitchen island bar). Even if it a multi-purpose space, use a caddy for pencils, pens, markers, glue, etc. that can be brought out when it’s time. This keeps distractions (“But I need a red marker!) to a minimum.
PREPARE FOR PAPER OVERLOAD: I’m convinced that schools single-handily kill more trees than anyone else. Spend the first couple of weeks of the new school year sorting through the papers DAILY (yep, you heard me). Decide on the spot whether you need to: 1. Keep the paper, 2. Take action, 3. Read it later or 4. File it. Set up a system that works for you, whether it’s a file for each child or a file for each kind of follow-up. When things slow down this is a task you can do weekly.
BE KIND TO YOURSELF (and the kids): Getting back into the swing of things will take a few weeks, even if you are a seasoned parent. If you find yourself reaching for an extra cup of coffee (or wine!) or taking a lot of deep breaths, be patient and realize that you’ll all be back in the routine soon (and that next summer is only a few months away!).