It’s Back to School time. Well some of our children have already gone back to school and in that case these tips will be even more helpful. Back to School is the perfect time to organize and prep to start the day off right. So here are my Back 2 School Tips to Stress Less and live more.
Back to school might bring some of us great joy and great sadness all at the same time. For those of use that hang with the children during the Summer there can be a little part of you that is more than excited to send them back to school. I know I’m a teacher and I still have a great appreciation for my son’s teachers. It takes a special type of person with lots of patience to calmly handle little hands all over them calling their name all the time. Breaking out in tears because their crayon broke. Really?
On the other hand, Summer is one of the few times I really feel like we do things as a family without a lot of stress. Trips to the beach and the zoo just seem less stressful.
But back to reality. Some mornings it’s hard enough for me to get up and get myself together. Let alone get the kids and myself together but having to get up at 5:30 am I’ve learned a couple of tricks along the way.
Back 2 School Tips to Stress Less
Start The Day Right
The tone set for a child starts with their parents. Ever notice when you wake up with a Snurtch everyone’s Snurtch shows up? So, this is one of those times you just have to fake it until you make it. You set the tone for Back to School. If you are excited your child will be excited.
I used to dread Back to School. Not because of the supply list or the shift in schedule but because I didn’t get to see my son off to school. It was the cause of a lot of sadness for me. Instead of wallowing in those feelings, I did something about it. I packed super special lunches for my mini me. He really loves mac and cheese but when he was little that was a bit too messy to send to school so viola Mac and Cheese Cups. To be honest, seeing how excited he was about lunch made me feel good.
Bulk Up on Snack Time
Buy snacks in bulk and separate ahead of time. Get the kids involved. Just make sure they put some chips in the bag and don’t eat it all prepping. My little one really likes Sweet Potato Chips so we buy a bunch and send them with him for lunch. I’ve also found that the Summer is the best time to purchase strawberries and other seasonal fruit. Rinse the fruit, pat it dry and store in individual portions in freezer bags. We freeze everything from carrots to blueberries.
Organization is Key
Just like you put all your fruit in one place in your fridge (i.e. the crisper tray), do the same with lunch and snacks. If you keep it in one particular place you’ll always know if you need more and your children can get their own snacks for their lunch bag. I use stacking baskets in our pantry but there are tons of options to choose from. To make sure your pantry is always stocked use a meal planner. I also have a template you can use just for school lunch.
Let the Lunch Box do the Talking
When I couldn’t make special lunches, I just added special notes. This is where those colored markers you have all around your house comes in handy. I use sharpies but you can use whatever you like. You can write these notes on sandwich bags of on napkins. If you have a minute or two you can print my Lunch Box Notes. Actually, print it right now. You can continue reading this while you wait for the printer to finish.
Make Breakfast Early…Really Early
I worked very far from home – making breakfast a day in advance was essential to making sure I ate a well rounded meal in the morning and wasn’t just grabbing a slice of bread. Quiche and chocolate zucchini bread are dishes that can be made ahead of time and/or frozen. And if all else fails you can throw some eggs in a jar. Not sure what that is? I’ve got you covered. Come hang out later on Facebook Live and I’ll show you.
Have a Back Up Plan
Pre made sandwiches, pasta, breakfast for lunch and eggs in a jar are all viable options if necessary. So make sure that you always have certain items in your freezer and pantry. I try to always keep pasta, tomato sauce and cheese on hand. If ever in a pickle, you can make bagel pizzas or mac and cheese.
These tips will help your day, week, month go a little more smoothly. Say bye bye to Back 2 School Stress, give your littles a kiss and send them on their way. It’s time to stress less and live more.