My boys start back to school tomorrow. I feel depressed just typing that. Since I’m a teacher, I started back last week. Our summer was over in the blink of an eye. As much as I love summer break though, it’s always nice to get back into a routine come August. I’ll be the first to admit that when school starts back, I feel like it’s all I can do to keep my head above water. Open houses, teacher meetings, new homework to understand, and exhausted children get the best of me. Am I the only one??
I know our summer break is just over two months long, but those two months of freedom really throw me for a loop. There’s just SO much to do and SO much change in the daily routine when school starts back. The teacher in me says, “A for August and A for anxiety.” No matter how many times I face this month as a mom and teacher, it’s always the most stressful month of the year for me. I learned this about myself a long time ago, so expecting the sudden onslaught of this anxiety has helped me tremendously.
I’ve also learned a few simple rules I put in place for myself to help keep the peace in our house and in my mind during this busy month.
Put everything else on the back burner. I don’t accomplish much outside of school and family during the start of the school year. We have a YMCA membership, but it’s a rarity that I make it to the gym during the month of August. That’s one thing I take off of my plate and don’t feel guilty about. I love reading, but that gets pushed to the side as well. Going out with my friends? Probably not going to happen. A new sport or activity for my kids? Nope, no way during this month. I only have so much room in my mind for busyness the month of August, so I really like to keep things simple at home.
Keep meals simple/order groceries. Most of the time, I like to meal plan and cook dinner during the week. That’s a difficult task for me when school starts back though. Costco has a ton of pre-made meals you just pop in the oven. Those meals and eating out are my best friends when we start back to school. I also order my groceries to save time. If you’ve never used a grocery ordering service, you need to. I order/pick up my groceries from Walmart 90% of the time, so this is a lifesaver come August. They even deliver to your house for a small fee, and that is fabulous! I know lots of other grocery stores offer this service as well, so check out the stores in your area.
Get organized. My organizational skills are ON POINT come August. I buy every cute teacher planner and personal planner I can get my hands on. I usually never touch them again come September because I do everything digitally, but I always put in a good effort in August. If you’re a pen and paper gal, there are literally hundreds of really cute personal calendars out there. Being a teacher, my mind works around our school schedule, so I buy academic calendars. I really like the Happy Planner, but my go to is Google Calendar on my iPhone. It keeps my whole life organized. This year I also got a Rocketbook to give me the best of both worlds — paper and digital!
Utilize Amazon. I’m fortunate in that my boys don’t really care what their school supplies look like, like lots of girls do. I loved “back to school shopping” when I was younger, but my boys don’t have that gene. This saves me lots of time and headache fighting crowds at the store. I drop in and get a few things at Walmart, but I buy lots on Amazon as well. There’s nothing like having supplies delivered to your door! Amazon is my BFF year round, but we’re extra tight in August. I even get a lot of the kids’ clothes from there!
Plan the night before. This is a year round rule for me. If I don’t make lunches, lay out clothes, sign papers, and check folders the night before, we will NEVER get out of the door on time. I know that about myself, so even when I can hardly hold my eyes open in the evenings, I make myself take care of business before my head hits the pillow. One of the best things I’ve started doing to help me in this, is buying pre-packaged lunch food. Snack size chips, cookies, and crackers are lifesavers! I even buy pre-made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. This makes everything so much easier and faster in the evenings.