8 Back-to-School Tricks to Keep Mom Sane

back to schoolMy dread for September starts in early August, right around when the back-to-school ads start cropping up. It's not just that I'm already mourning the near end of summer, it's that I'm loathing the madness of getting the kids geared up. 

The trouble, I've realized, is that I'm typically in denial right up to bedtime on the Monday of Labor Day. And then, reality (and panic) hits. OMG, school! OMG, forms! OMG, supplies, clothes, backpacks! This year, though, I'm trying some new strategies to spare myself the back-to-school stress.

1. Start routines earlier -- This idea comes from a Facebook friend, who eases her child back into a routine two weeks ahead of school, including wake-up time and bedtime. She also has him do some pages from workbooks to get him in the homework flow. 

2. Forget about the clothes ... just forget -- Every year, some deluded part of me is convinced that the kids absolutely need their fall and winter wardrobes by the time they head back to school. Truth is, the weather's still summery for most of September, and there's no need to put that pressure on myself. So I've taken a no-clothes-shopping-until-October vow. And, really, would it be so awful if they wear their too-small clothes from last year for a few weeks? Nope.  

3. Order supplies the no-brainer way -- I'm lucky; my son's school doesn't require many supplies, and for my daughter, I can just order a box of the stuff teachers chose through our school's PTA. They do Staples' SchoolKidz program, fundraising in the process. If your school doesn't have this, suggest it for next year. Amazon recently started Amazon School Lists, a new way for teachers to create and share links with parents. 

4. Do a backpack swap -- I'm going to be organizing this with moms in the neighborhood. Kids inevitably want new backpacks at the start of the school year, even though their old ones are in perfectly good shape. Doing a swap seems like a win win. 

5. Organize the kids' mornings -- I'm stealing this idea from my friend Lyla, who wrote out a cute "Giselle's Morning List" and tacked it to her daughter's bedroom wall to help keep her on track in the a.m. Giselle knows that she won't get breakfast until she goes to the bathroom, gets dressed, and brushes her teeth.  

6. Make food prep a lot easier -- For the month of September, I'm planning to pick up a lot of prepared foods at the supermarket and take-out. It's not indulgence -- it's survival. Not having to rush home from work at the end of the day and deal with meal prep on top of everything else that's going on will make the month more manageable. 

More From The Stir: 6 Reasons Moms Can't Wait to Send Their Kids Back to School (PHOTOS)

7. Plan a little getaway -- Having an outing our family can look forward to at the start of the school year sure will make it easier to endure both the end of summer vacation and school insanity. I've planned a day trip to a farm for the second Sunday in September. On second thought, maybe I should plan a day trip to a spa? (In my dreams.)

8. Get some perspective -- Consider that soon, you will no longer hear "Mommy, I'm bored!" at 8 a.m. Which may be the very best sanity saver of all.  

What are your best tips for going to back to school?


Images via © iStock.com/Andrejs Zemdega; Ellen Seidman

back to school


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meaga... meagansmommy07

Dumb question but do most people make their kids brush their teeth BEFORE they eat breakfast? Ive always made my kids do that after breakfast because it just makes more sense to me,like ITs literally the last thing the kids do before walking out the door besides putting on shoes, but im starting to think Im one of the few,

the4m... the4mutts

Megansmommy- NOPE! You're not the only one. Im the same way.

babyb... babybelly25

Mine doesn't even get dressed before breakfast.. we wake up.. go potty.. have breakfast.. brush teeth THEN get dressed.. why worry about dripped egg yolk or tooth paste on those clean clothes?

meaga... meagansmommy07

Mine eat breakfast in the pajamas too. I learned that the first day of kindergarten for my oldest. She was dressed in HER first day of school outfit, looking all pretty and then she spilled a class of chocolate kill all over herself :/ ever since then we Wake up, go potty. Eat, get dressed, do hair, brush teeth, put on shoes(and snow gear if needed)and leave.

meaga... meagansmommy07

**Spilled a glass of chocolate milk lol...stupid phone

nonmember avatar krystian

I always hated hated brushing my teeth before breakfast, defeats the purpose.

And I highly dislike the fact of this five year old has to do a list of chores before eating....seems like the parent is using food as a reward.

RVTMommy RVTMommy

Lol since when is basic hygiene a chore? I could understand if it said "vacuum carpet, sweep kitchen, start laundry, eat breakfast" taken out of context just a bit....?

pizza... pizzamama0911

Meagansmommy.... tell us more of this "chocolate kill class" please. Lol. That made my night for sure.

nonmember avatar Mal

I started on august first. I get her up at 6 and we get ready like we will for school; wake up go potty eat breakfast, brush teeth and hair, get dressed and then at 8 we start doing kindergarten work books. She breaks for 25 minute lunch and recess and gets back to it til 2. Then she has a snack and can watch cartoons or play til dinner time. Then she has dinner and a bath and a story and goes to bed at 9. She starts kindergarten in September and I want to make sure she is prepared for things like 25 minute lunch and buttons and going potty with her uniform. This allows that to happen. Plus she loves it lol.

mlv97 mlv97

I wish someone would do this for easing kids into high school

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