The first thing I did before writing this article is call in my mom to give me some of her best tips. I had always seen her as a very organized mom and even though I was an only child, she managed to kill it when it came to preparation for school and having a nice routine for both of us.
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With back to school season being back, our prayers go out to all the moms out there who are trying to juggle their lives and their kids'. So maybe take a minute with your morning cup of coffee and look at these time management tips for moms during the school year. You might find a tip here or there that will make your morning, and nights, a little easier.
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Time management tips for parents:
1. Organize the house
This is a spring cleaning type of situation where you want to go through everything and adapt it to the school year necessitates. Before school starts, organize their closet, buy anything that might be missing. Even organize your own closet and make a list of the things you need. Rearrange the house and adapt it in order to fit the school year routine.
2. School supplies & homework area
Shop for their school supplies in advance and create a desk/homework area for them with all the school supplies organized and prepared to get them excited and motivated to have a routine and study, especially if they're going to be studying online.
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3. Get familiar with their schedule
Know their schedule in advance and plan their after school sports or activities at home so you can prepare and schedule your week accordingly. That way you won't panic the first couple of weeks if your schedule and their's are overlapping.
4. Fix your sleep pattern
Fix your sleep a week advance. Try to get yourself in the habit of sleeping and waking up early so you don't suffer the first couple of days. Try to fix their sleeping pattern as well, if it was turbulent during the summer.
5. Prepare. Prepare. Prepare!
This will save you so much time, effort and last minute 'running around's. Iron and lay out their outfits and yours too, the night before. That way you decrease the amount of thinking and things you have to get done in the morning.
Prepare their school bags the night before as well, you can even leave it next to the door so they grab it and go. Plan and retrace your morning steps. Have everything in it's practical place so you don't have to look for it. Keep the shoes by the door, the keys next to the door, have your handbag packed and ready with everything inside it, no wallet on the couch or makeup bag by the sink.
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6. Wake up before them
This is a tip I've seen over and over again. Set the alarm and get up like 15-30 min before them, or however long it takes to get ready. Focus on your morning routine, get dressed, make their breakfast and prep their lunchbox, so you're done and you can focus on the them when they're up.
Also, try to create a routine for them as well. In the morning and evening make a mini to do list for them and have them check it off the fridge or tell you when they've finished a task, like brushing their teeth, having breakfast or packing their homework. That way they get used to the habit of school and also learn skills like being independent.
7. Plan the week's food menu
I know it sounds hectic, but it is actually the opposite of that, it will save so much time during the weekdays! Planning the week's dinner and their lunchbox menu in advance will allow you to shop for everything at once, so you don't have to stop everyday and think about what you want to cook, what you need to prepare and buy.
You can even meal prep their lunchbox in the weekend, and have everything ready for finishing touches or just cooking small things on the spot. You can also prepare their breakfast from the night before to save time in the morning. In the evenings you can cook and prepare next day's dinner so you have more time in the evening to spend time with them or have time for yourself.
If you don't want to meal prep their food, just organize everything ready to just cook in morning before they wake up. And if you don't have time to make breakfast from scratch, make sure you have fruits, veggies and cereals at the ready...
8. Your schedule, calendar and to do list
Have a to do list and fill in your calendar, it will change your life. It allows the mess and chaos in your head, of things you need to get done, to be jotted down in one place, organized with the exact date and time. That way you won't have to worry about forgetting something. You also can make a shared family calendar on an app, so everyone can track what's happening to the other person and the kids.
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9. Working hours
Knowing their schedule in advance can help you adapt your work schedule and working hours according to their's. You can make sure you're home when they are and of course never forget you can get help or schedule their after school activities in the few hours you're still going to be at work.
10. Some 'me' time
Of course a lot of moms like to finish all their chores and errands before the kids get home so they're free for them in the evening, to help them with their homework or spend quality time with them. However, try to always make sure you fit a slot in your schedule for yourself and yourself only! Take that time to take a deep breath, give yourself a pat on the back, and have your alone time without any distractions or stress.
Main Image Credits: Instagram @gparrish