Parents, where has Summer vacation gone? It seems like yesterday that I was picking up my son at school belting out “School’s Out For Summer” while playing my magnificent air guitar and now I’m running around, trying to make sure I find indoor shoes, tennis balls and washable markers for those laundry days.
I’m sending my child off to grade 1 and the memories from his very first day ever are flooding back. It was a constant rush, lots of tears and forgetting where I placed my car keys for the first month. That first week can be especially tough when getting back into routine and trying to figure out the flow of getting to school on time, work on time and sometimes even just waking up on time.
Don’t worry though, I’ve got you covered with a few ways you can survive Back to School like a Rockstar!
1. Get Organized
It can be impossible to get through the first week or two without some kind of plan. I’m not saying you need to have everything step by step. It’s hard enough trying to keep a house clean, kids fed and well-rested some days. Just work on a written schedule for what is going on daily in your life. Whether you use a fridge calendar, desk planner, your phones scheduling system or a chalkboard wall in the kitchen get that schedule on lock down. This is more for kindergarten parents for sure, schedule when pick up and drop off is, plan what needs to be done in between including work shifts, running errands and extracurricular activities. I personally love using my Passion Planner as it has great spots for your personal to-do list (this is where I input my wine and pie snack times) and a work to-do list. I can also input focus on what needs to be done for the week like reading homework or dress up days – which I always forget!!!
2. Recipe Up!
I’m not saying meal prep is always the answer. I mean it will benefit your life in major ways, but not everyone has time to be in the kitchen for more than two hours. Get things prepared the night before if there is time or at least KNOW what you want to eat the next day. Find recipes that are easy and fun for both you and the kids, get them involved on choosing what to eat on which days too. This means breakfast, snacks for the day, and the other two meals parents sometimes combine as one. There are some fantastic resources out there for inspiration such as the LCBO Food and Wine magazine, our very own Catherine Surgue’s personal blog Catherine’s Cabinet, Stephanie Kay Nutrition and Pinterest (HELLO!!). With just these 4 spots alone, you can grab great meal ideas that won’t break your bank and will make you into the number one kitchen wizard.
3. Create Space
Find a place within your home just for you, although if Starbucks is your happy place I’m not complaining either. Pick somewhere you can have a coffee in peace, read or meditate. I have meditated in a Starbucks before, I’ve also meditated sitting on the washing machine downstairs while it’s busy upstairs in the kitchen. Taking time away to clear your brain is hard and finding a place where it can be done is so hard when there are littles around. It can be great to create a space within the kid’s rooms where they can enjoy reading, chilling out or hanging with friends. Calm spaces are a great way for the entire family to enjoy and survive the stressful first two weeks as you adjust back to routine.
4. Bin for the Win
If there is one thing that is constant, it’s the misplacement of coats, shoes, hats and backpacks. Your life will be much easier if you grab a decent size bin or two and put them at entrances of your home. Whenever everyone gets home they can dump everything into the bin, when it comes to leaving in the morning the kids can run straight for the bin and grab everything they need. Always having to grab for the shoe in the living room, or the hat in the kitchen can take you all night. Make it easier on yourself with the bin for the win!
5. Be Brave, Be Excited!
There may be some heavy emotions during the first week from both you and your children. It’s important to make sure that communication is key. It’s tough seeing your kids grow into these amazing beings and learn a few things without you. Also, you begin to wonder where the time has gone and if they will be ok with you being there. Always have something with you to wipe the tears away, try to be brave on the first day for them as they walk into school, and remember you are an amazing parent with an amazing kid.
School can be intimidating for the littles ones, and truth be told it can be intimidating for parents too. If there is a solid piece of advice I can give above it all, it would be to take everything one day at a time. Your kids will be exhausted, they will be cranky, and they will need lots of food (I know I would). However you choose to get your back to school, I really hope it’s smooth and exciting for both you and your family!
Join me on my wild journey through Instagram with #DoTheDaniel, and see how I try to handle life in the Ottawa Valley, running a business, being an amazing partner and being a yogi while raising this amazing child that has given me a new sense of purpose (and a few grey hairs!).
Back to School and Beyond!
Yoga + Movement Teacher
Photos taken by Ro and Kelly Cobus Photography