Back to School Prep for Working Moms
Back to school time is upon us and moms around the world are rejoicing. All except moms working outside of the home. Back to school only adds to the chaos and kid-shuffling that is the working mother’s day. Getting yourself ready for work, getting your kids ready for school, breakfast, school drop-off, commute to the office, work, school pick-up, extracurriculars, homework, dinner, bath, bedtime, repeat. Sound familiar (and utterly exhausting)? Yup. But, don’t despair! Here are some things that you can do now to help give you a head start on the upcoming school year.
Start Back to School Shopping, NOW!
Start back to school shopping as soon as you can. Make it easy for yourself by picking up school supplies and clothing items while you are out and about. Make a checklist of things your kids will need and keep this handy as you are going for your weekly Target run. There are a ton of benefits for being an early-worm. For one, you will feel less stressed and frazzled those last few days of summer. You will also score the best deals on the best supplies. As you get closer to the start of school, supplies tend to get picked over and more expensive. You will also have the luxury of spacing out these purchases over several weeks which is easier on the budget.
There are so many meal-planning resources out there. Seriously, just go to Pinterest and search for “meal-planning” and you will get thousands of pins on everything from on budget meal-planning to vegan all-natural super-food meal-planning. So many meal-plans. It’s a good idea to plan out your meals for a few weeks in advance. This allows you to start stocking up on the non-perishable ingredients to help you avoid those last minute dashes to the store to pick up a missing ingredient. Freezer meals are also something that you MUST do. Research and plan out at least 7-10 freezer meals and take a day and get them ready. These are lifesavers on those days where you just can’t find the time to cook. You simply take them out of the freezer and put them in your crock pot or instant pot. Crisis averted!
Stock Up on Must-Have Items
Now is a good time to stock up on non-perishable supplies/foods so you can save yourself some trips to the store. Stock up on things like toilet paper, paper towel, bottled water, snacks, garbage bags, etc. There is nothing worse than running out of toilet paper and having to run to the store at 8 pm after you have been running around all day. Amazon is AMAZING for ordering these items from the comfort of your own home!
Another lifesaver is the Amazon Dash Button. These little things of beauty were sent from above. The Dash Button is a small wireless device about the size of a pack of gum that allows you to order common household supplies with the click of a button. You simply press the button and the device uses Wi-Fi to instantly order items you have pre-selected from Amazon. AH-MAZ-ING. So let’s say you have a Dash Button for your laundry detergent in your laundry room. When you are throwing in a load of laundry you notice you are running low, you click the button, and VOILA, in two days you have laundry detergent on your front porch. I don’t think Amazon could make life any easier for busy moms.
Organize Everything You Possibly Can
Spend some time organizing anything that you possibly can organize. Make sure that everything has its place and your family knows where that place is (funny, I know!). While I suggest organizing as much as you possibly can, there are some areas that are absolute musts. The first of these areas is your pantry. Having an uncluttered and organized pantry makes meal-planning and prep much easier. The next area that you will want to get to is your kid’s closets. Starting from kindergarten, your children can help get themselves ready. Spend some time before the school week preparing some outfits and each morning your kiddo can pick out which outfit they want to wear for that day. It’s a win-win, you save time and they feel more empowered. The last must-organize area is your landing zone. Your “landing zone’ is that space in your house where everyone seems to put their stuff (think shoes, backpacks, etc.) when they get home. If you don’t have an official landing zone, you should create one. If you have a quasi-landing zone, organize it and make it official. Having this space will hopefully eliminate unnecessary clutter throughout your home and prevent the missing shoe when you are late for work fiasco.
Re-evaluate Household Chores
The beginning of the school year is a great time to re-evaluate the household responsibilities. Sit down and write out every family member and list the chores that they are responsible for and when they are to be completed. If applicable, assign some additional chores to your family members. Check out this article from SportsMomSurvivalGuide.com that details what chores are appropriate for each age group. Giving your kids responsibilities not only takes some things off of your plate, but it helps develop their confidence and independence. However, you WILL find yourself saying to yourself “it is easier to do this myself so I will just keep doing it.” This is the trap that us moms fall into. In fact, I swear kids take longer to do their chores initially secretly hoping that you will cave and just do it for them. DO NOT FALL FOR IT. Sit down with your kid and set very clear expectations (when, how, what happens if they are not home, etc.). Once you discuss expectations show them how. Have them watch you do it once, do it together once, and then have them do it on their own. This may seem time-consuming (and annoying) but just stick with it. Your future self will thank you.
Develop a Family Schedule
Your schedule can be crazy as a working mom during the school year. It is a great idea to set aside some time to develop a formal family schedule. Figure out what will work best for your family. It could be an app, a fancy family command center, or a plain old calendar on your wall. You know what will work best for your family. Once you decide on a format, hold a family meeting and discuss all of your schedules and commitments. Make sure you gather all of the school schedules, sports calendars, and your work calendar. Talk through any conflict that you may have and discuss pick-up/drop-off responsibilities. If you have relatives that regularly help out, have them be a part of the meeting as well so you can coordinate their assistance at the same time. This is also a great time to discuss family vacations for the year. When do you plan on going? When does everyone have a break? etc. Once you are done commit to having a similar meeting each month to update the calendar and adjust as necessary. This 30-minute family meeting will save you hours of back and forth trying to coordinate your schedule. As a nice bonus, it helps create a sense of teamwork and support in the family which is never a bad thing.
What are your tips for back to school prep? What do you do to get you and your family ready? We’d love to hear, drop a comment below!
Become a Darling CEO Today!
Join today to get exclusive content and weekly tips delivered straight to your mailbox!