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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Taking the Crazy Out of the School Year

We need to have a chat. I feel like I never got the memo to how to stay on top of things during the school year and how to not have the exasperation with none of the benefits of running a 5K just to get the kids on the bus each morning. The whirlwind of the signing of papers and packing of lunches and "healthy" snacks and the location of cleats and clean uniforms and 4:30 dinners and oh shit we are late. Again. I often feel like I'm drowning before Halloween even hits. But this year I am determined to have my head above water and not drive myself to a one way road of insanity, dragging my children behind me. This year will be different. And not just telling myself it will but by actually doing things to make it better. 

So this is what I'm doing and honestly, most of you probably are already doing these things and holding out on me because it probably is just common sense and you have figured out how to not to turn into school momzilla. But my oldest is in 4th grade this year and I've just now realized that my lack of organization is making our lives more challenging than it really has to be. It doesn't have to be that hard. And if you are the same boat as me, come aboard sister, this year our boat stays afloat. We got this.

Taking the Crazy Out of the School Year Tips:

  • Have your kids physically lay out their clothes the night before. Socks, shoes, the whole freakin number. I know this one is a part of School 101. But the drama that can unfold when there's not a pair of matching socks in the house and the battles over having nothing to wear 7 minutes before the bus is pulling up is likely to produce tears. For everyone. I have lived to tell the tale. Save the drama for your momma the night before school instead of the morning. That is School 102.

  • Freeze your PB & J. Or your sun butter and jelly. Or just a piece of bread if that is what your child is into. This is probably the best tip ever but for some reason I had never done it until the end of last year when I thought that there has got to be a better way baby. I mean, they sell uncrustables right? Why can't I do the same thing? Well I can and you can too. The only real trick to it is to put peanut butter (or whatever alternative you fancy) on both sides of the bread and then put jelly in the middle and then smack that together (I use a sandwich cutter to take off the crusts; pottery barn kids has some fun ones) put it in a baggie (or a happy green alternative) and then when you've made a whole loaf's worth put them all in the bread bag or a large baggie and put them all in the freezer. Boom. Mom of the year. I only had one child complain that she (shocker it is the oldest girl) prefers a fresh sandwich which is completely fine because she is old enough to make her own. The other three completely dig it. Success in my book.

Eat your heart out uncrustables.

  • Have a shelf in your life that is dedicated to your kids making their own lunches. Again you might already do this and forgot to tell me about it but it is so brilliantly simple I don't know why I'm just discovering it. Better late than never. When everything is in an assembly line, the kids even the kindergartners can pack their lunch in record time. I can see when we are running low on something so it's easy to restock unlike when everything was in our pantry and the kids would just leave empty boxes stranded in there so I had no idea when we were out of something until the next morning's lunch packing/grunting. I now have a shelf dedicated in our basement and a drawer in the fridge to it now so I overlook the process to ensure they are eating more than oreos but they are the ones rocking down the line. They are helping me and I'm actually smiling through something that I used to dread.

I thought I was on fire. And then I made the mistake of going on Pinterest.
We are going to stick with our frozen sandwiches, thanks anyway Goofy.

  • Touch paper only once. It is easy to become a school paper hoarder. And it is natural to put things aside for whenever you will have more time to look over them. That time is never ever going to happen. You will have no time for these papers as long as you have a child that still rides the bus. So follow this mantra: touch it once and then take care of it. Papers signed. Done. Money that needs to be turned back in. Done. Plug the PTA meeting into your calendar. Done. Fundraisers. Done. Say yes or recycle it and move on. Don't worry, more paper will be headed your way tomorrow so hold on to only to the best ever art projects and remember that you are doing yourself and your child a tremendous favor by learning to let the rest go.

Looks like somebody had a productive day of Kindergarten.

  • Say yes to only what you and your child are into and then let go of guilt. Pick and choose and know it is okay to not be everywhere and everything all of the time. My 2nd grader actually told me that he would prefer that I not come in and read to his class this year. Did it feel like he was ripping my heart out of my chest? YES. Does that mean I can have more time for hot yoga? HELL YES. They are your world. I know. But it is okay to have a moment to focus on you too. You being over scheduled and overwhelmed will not be doing your child's psyche any favors. A more calm, more present you on the other hand, absolutely will. 

So let's do all that we can to start this year off with a little less insanity so that those moments between work and school are spent on the important things with the important people. After all, they happen to be growing up a little too fast. And this. Above all else, just please remember this:

You really are. 

Good luck rockstar mommas.
Cheers to us...

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