7 Small Changes That Will Make Your Back-to-School Routine Easier

@SBphoto via Twenty20

By Laura Lambert

Forget the kids — the people who really need to master the back-to-school routine are moms.

Get up earlier than everyone else
You don’t have to be a member of the 5 a.m. club (though it wouldn’t hurt). The best way to ensure a smooth morning is to have a few minutes to yourself — even just 20 minutes to sip your coffee, get your bearings, and remember to sign those permission slips.

Don’t check email first thing
Yes, it can feel like you’re getting a jumpstart, but smartphones (and the news that they invariably bring) can easily derail your entire day — all before 7 a.m. Even for the busiest working mother, most things can wait until after drop-off. (And in a true emergency, people know to text).

Lay out everyone’s clothes the night before
Yours, too, mom! The rule is, no changes — unless the weather decides to take a turn.

Cook on Sunday, not every day
The school lunch blues are a real thing, but unless you’re doing hot lunches, there’s not really a way around feeding your children every school day. Enter: batch cooking. Cooking for the week on the weekend might feel like one more long, involved, elaborate thing on your to-do list, but, truly, it will save you countless time on the back-end, says Amanda Cofer, MPH. The trick is to stay inspired — and motivated — with ideas and tips from a like-minded community. One of our favorites is wellness program Noom, which offers 24/7 support!

Stock the car
Even if you’ve planned everything down to the last minute, you never know where the after-school schedule will take you. Be sure the glove compartment, center console or trunk is stocked with a few just-in-case items: granola bars or healthy snacks to stave off the hangries, water, children’s Tylenol or Ibuprofen and a change of clothes. You never know.

Start the back-to-school routine in the summer
This advice is bound to make some people roll their eyes, but only because it’s true. If you’re already accustomed to the a.m. and p.m. schedule by mid-August, you can better handle the to-be-expected bumps that come with the back-to-school season. Carpool fell through? No problem. Last-minute parent meeting? On it.

Cut everyone some slack
For anyone with perfectionist tendencies, the back-to-school season can be a real trigger. It can help to think back to the person you were in late May of the previous year, throwing random leftovers in a lunch box and sending kids out the door (late!) with uncombed hair. In the grand scheme of things, the stakes are pretty low. It’s okay to get a tardy slip every once in a while. Kids forget homework — it happens. We’re all doing the best we can.




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