It’s hard to believe the kids are back at school again. It only felt like yesterday they were done and the summer holidays began – it wasn’t even that long ago they started the 2014- 2015 school year and here we are again – another year beginning.
As a parent, when I look at my children and think about routines I realize how fast a year really does go by. I often ask myself if it’s the fact that I’m getting older but when I speak with other parents they feel just like I do.
And you know what the school year can entail – after school, early morning, and/or weekend sports and activities. As a parent you can find ourselves rushing home from work and trying to figure out what to make for supper (wishing it was more healthy & nutritious); you may have brought work home with you; you may have to rush around driving your kids to their activities – never mind when you have more than one child whose activity are at separate ends of the city. After the activities you rush home again, everyone gets ready for bed and you still need to attack your own work – and don’t forget the lunches still need to be made.
Does this sound like your household?
Do you feel stressed already just thinking about what’s ahead?
As a parent here are 5 tips I want to share with you that really helps and works for our family – it keeps us organized.
- Take a calendar and fill in each day’s supper: In our family everyone picks a day (to keep from arguing over who has what day, we write the days of the week down on pieces of paper, fold them up, mix them up on the table – or in a bowl – and pick one) each person fills out the calendar with what they want for supper on their chosen day (veggies and/or salad are also added to meals). Now imagine coming home from work already knowing what supper is going to be –stress free.
- Have your kids decide what they want for lunch each week: Two days prior to grocery shopping, I have the kids tell me what they want for lunch the following week – this helps me in purchasing what they like and keeps them from telling me there is nothing in the house for their school lunches. They know they need to include two fruits (fruit roll-ups and other pre-packaged `fruit` snacks do not count as fruit as these are just fancy candy bars) and one cut up veggie as part of their choices. BTW – talking about pre-packages snacks, if you think granola and cereal bars are health, take a look at their sugar content!
- Prepare and pack lunch in the evening: Time frame – one hour before the kids go to bed, they help pack their lunches; dry goods and non-refrigerated fruit goes right into their lunch bags while refrigerated items get prepared, placed into containers, and put on a shelf together. In the morning it’s just grab, pack, and go. Remember if lunch prep works better to do as supper is being made, then pick that time.
- Share driving duties: Is there a family that lives close to you whose child participates in the same activities as your children? Perhaps you can take turns driving the kids and/or picking them up (from their activities).
- Take work with you: It’s always wonderful to watch your kids participating during their practices, but if you really need to get some work done, then use this time to do it (you won’t be the only one – and at least you’re not wasting time checking you phone and all your social media sites). Imagine being able to go home that evening totally focused on the kids and being able to relax. Why? Because you were able to do your work and finished it during your kids activity practice. This sounds wonderful doesn’t it!
Remember these 5 tips serves only as a guideline and there is always room for tweaking in areas that would better suit your household – your family.
I suggest you try these tips for at least three months as this typically is the time frame it takes for things to become routine (one change takes 30-days alone).
Next Monday I am going to give tips on how to make and take important “ME” time – this me time is time dedicating to you. ©