By now you’re read a plethora of back-to-school blogs that purport to have the
secret of life tricks and tips required for any mother and family facing the most wonderful season of all….
K, so it’s my most wonderful season of all. Just like the school season itself, summer’s end has become the monotonous routine of “all-kids, all-the-time”…which means they’re all pushing buttons…but without the earth-shattering kaboom.
I’m personally looking to get back at my training program at The Athletic Club, where I will also be training with my 17 year old son. I look forward to this time with giddy anticipation of re-bonding and showing him that challenges aren’t to be faced with your head in the sand or your ass on the couch.
Walk the walk.
How do I, mother to five, manage? Here are just a few of my favourite things to do:
Why? I love the Lunchblox system like no other. However, at the end of the day, washing eleventy-billion little containers with my Go, Go SpazzyHands made me want to poke my eyes out with dull spoons…using the handles…that were on fire.
What I use inside are the silicone muffin cups to hold and separate cheese from crackers, dips from veggies. Awesome.
2) Sharpie. One, black Sharpie. On occasion, I will use Mabel’s Labels…especially now that they have write-on-your-damn self labels, thus saving you eleventy-billion dollars (and available at Walmart, no less!)…but one Dollar Store Sharpie and I’m good to GO for all my labelling needs.
3) Colour code: Everyone gets a colour…from the Cozi calendar app to the physical calendar (I have three hard-copy calendars on my main floor at all times…) to the backpacks to the lunch bags and…on occasion and if on sale…coats.
YES. Believe me…when I’m nary but a ghost of my alert self in the morn’…colour coding when you’re chucking lunch boxes into lunch bags into backpacks…colour coding is the SCHIZZLE. True story. Stick with primary colours, or geometric patterns (a little harder, but way cooler)…same colour…same kid. The colour coding ends when they are regularly responsible for their own morning-assembly-line tasks.
4) Cozi. I’ve said it once, I’ll say it a bazillion times: This calendar app saves me and my three remaining brain cells. Yes, I pay for it. Yes, it costs me a whopping $4.99 per month. *grin* What do I get? The kicker of a benefit? My husband downloads the app on his smartphone and VOILA!!! He has insta-access to the entire family calendar as well. Helps him remember *for* me…or to plan his activities, or other activities for the kids, without double booking…and vice versa.
It has a shopping list (accessible by each of the other)…meal planner, to-do lists, a journal and a message centre.
5) Pre-make: if you can pre-make it, do it. I’ve pre-made pancakes to freeze and throw in the toaster for breakfasts during the week. I’ve pre-made lunches for the next day during the 15 minute snack-time right after school. I’ve pre-made extra muffins and banana breads by simply taking two rounds of baking instead of one. I mean…if I’mma sitting there surfin’ the net…why not throw another round of ’em in the oven??? I’ve even pre-made sandwiches and chucked them in the freezer. So. Much. Help!!
6) Pre-budget: (what the sweet hell does that mean???)
Kids have birthdays? Christmas/Yule/tidings of winter? Ask relatives for gift cards for new shoes, money to be used for pizza lunches, school photos or field trips. Saves you from the last minute “permission form thrusted in hand with $20 due tomorrow” event that inevitably occurs. Get your child to decorate an envelope to hold the moolah.
How does that help me??
Because, my friend, you already just book marked the money by pre-budgeting where it’s going to go.
7) Mark re-stock on the calendar: Seriously. Bathing suits come out in, what, January? The day those pieces of terror hit the shelves you KNOW Mindy’s lost her mittens. STOCK. UP. Not all at once…spread it out. But make sure you don’t miss the line by which the winter/summer stock crosses thresholds. Me? November. Snow suit prices are slashed, as are boots.
Knowing is half the battle.
Remembering is the other.
What are you most tried and true back to school tips and tricks? Feel free to share! I’m always looking for neater and cooler ways to not lose my remaining three brain cells! 🙂