Summer is very quickly making its way towards the end, and soon we will be surprised with the varying shifts that are about to take place. For some of us, it’s simply adjusting to the new traffic shift with school being back in session. We don’t have kids, and we aren’t headed back to school, but man the rush of traffic is all too real. Or maybe your a grandparent, and now your schedule changes because the little’s are headed back to school, and you are needing to plan out your routine, to make sure you take care of all of your business before you head to a warmer climate. Things are somewhat trivial for some of us. But for others, this can be one of the hardest times of the year. Think about what all needs to take place before school begins:
- Changing the kiddos sleeping schedule, so they aren’t dragging getting to school on time
- Getting the school lists from teachers and making sure kiddos have everything they need and then some
- Planning out lunches, hot or cold, so the kiddos are fed during the day
- Scheduling all of the conferences and sport practices that are about to flood your evenings
- Planning out your time of departure for drop-off and pick-up, or maybe you do carpools; communicating so everyone is on the same page
- Setting up or shifting daycare for those who aren’t in school, or who need care while you are at work
- Scheduling workouts, meal prep, and YOU time
- Shifting your sleep schedule, so you have time to do all of this in a day
The list goes on and on….
For all the moms and dads of the world; we have got some ideas for you <3
This is all HARD WORK. It takes some time, patience, and grace, but with the right mindset and helpful tips/tools, you are going to rock this back to school season. Let me start by saying, when all of this is happening, you will naturally put yourself to the back burner. It’s in our nature. We serve others before ourselves. We have SO MUCH going on, how in the world do you fit in exercise and healthy meals for the kiddos? How do we do it all? The truth is, you can’t. This is meant to be done together, as a team. The more on your team, the better balance you will find in your life. In order for this to be successful, we are going to have to understand that we can’t do it all alone. It’s going to take an army and some solid teamwork to make this the best year yet. We have to start by delegating. How does that work, Jen? Well, let me tell you, it’s not easy. And it’s different for everyone. But things to consider delegating to other family members:
Captain of the pre-bed routine – This person will most likely be your oldest kiddo, and will help with getting the crew ready for bed with the usual routine; brushing teeth, setting out clothes for the next day, making sure backpack is fully stocked, and homework is finished in their bag. They are going to be a big part of this process, and
Captain of the Morning Food Train – This person will most likely be the one who really likes to be hands on, and likes to work alone. BUT if you have a team for this, it will go much faster! They will be in charge of making sure each kiddo has their lunch box fully packed and ready to roll.
Meal Wheel – Let’s make this easy, instead of them picking each week something they want right off the bat, have each kiddo and parent pick their top 10 meals they love, and pick from those, at least until the craziness of a new schedule dies down, then you can get more creative, and have your kids pick some new ones with you!
Wardrobe – Set a time where everyone can come together and try things on, trade and put things in a bag that no longer fit anyone in the household. It’s cleaning and getting ready for clothes shopping all in one!
Morning Checklist – Have each kiddo create their own morning checklist, so they know what needs to happen, and can get it all done. Maybe there is an incentive sometimes for all checked boxes?! Get this bad boy laminated, or if they need to add things to it, leave some space at the bottom.
I am sure there are so many other things that parents do out there to get participation and help from their loved ones. What ideas do you have? Feel free to share with the rest of us! <3
What if you’re really stuck in a rut with what to shop for? Not only for your kids, but for you? Snacks are always plentiful, but instead of the typical Fruit by the Foot, or Little Debbie’s, what about trying something different?
Here are a couple ideas that might spark your interest:
- Carrot sticks and hummus
- Fresh berries – blueberries, strawberries, blackberries
- Mixed nuts and seeds
- Unbuttered popcorn – Boom Chica Pop Popcorn anyone?
- Low-sodium jerky – look for jerky without any additives
- DIY trailmix #1 – almonds, dried fruits, popcorn, pretzels, peanuts
- DIY trailmix #2 – popcorn, banana chips, almonds, cashews, dried cranberries, dark chocolate chips
- Apple slices and peanut butter
- Banana and peanut butter
- Baked carrot chips
- Baked apple crisps
- Baked sweet potato chips
- Apples, oranges, something easy on the go!
Also, take a look at these fun ideas! On the Go
Okay, not all of us are parents and have all of this to worry about, BUT what about the pre-bed routine, the healthy snacks, the YOU time? Those are all important for us too right? While we may not have the same type of schedule as a parent, you may have just as many responsibilities that you have to change when the school year comes around. Or maybe you just think it’s time for a change, because you’re finding yourself less and less happy and more complacent with where you are at. Each of us are different, and what works for some, doesn’t always work for others. The biggest thing to consider here, is what parts of your routine are you happy with, and which parts are not serving your purpose? Which parts need to change? How can we do that? What can I do? Here are some ideas to get you started; think bigger picture here:
- Be your biggest inspiration; Instead of looking outward, look within
- Live Life on Your Terms; Say yes, but also remember you can say no
- Practice Gratitude; Maybe start a journal? Write down what you are grateful for, remind yourself daily
- Reduce Screen Time; This is a huge misunderstood reality. It effects us more than we will ever know
- Enjoy Nature; Get outside!
- Find your Stressors; Don’t avoid them
- Talk with Someone; Professional counsel
- Exercise; Does it give you a good release? Make time for it, if it does
- Simplify; What in your life is unnecessary, and can be changed or eliminated?
- Presence; Be where you can be. Don’t wear yourself too thin
Some of these can be extremely difficult. Know you don’t have to do all of these at once. Start with one or two, get consistent, and move forward once you have mastered them. Some of them go hand in hand, and some become a residual effect of others.
Give yourself some grace. Know you are not perfect. Know you are human, and it’s in our nature to have “whoopsies” moments. Progress is the goal, not perfection. You are your biggest critic. Approach your world with a steady hand and a big heart, not just for others, but most importantly for yourself. You have it in you. Take charge!