Thanks to Kohl’s and Fitfluential for sponsoring this post.
It’s time for another post in the series I’m doing for the #MakeYourMove campaign! In case you missed any of the previous posts, be sure to check them out here:
- Get Ready To Make Your Move
- A Babywearing Workout
- 5 Food Prep Tips For Beginners
- Thai Chicken Salad
- A Stroller Workout
Today we’re switching gears from fitness and talking about back to school season. Although Squish is not in school yet, I know that these first few weeks can be super stressful for both parents and kids.
I reached out to some of my mom friends on Facebook and asked them to share the most stressful part of back to school season for them. I got a lot of great responses but immediately noticed some trends. Most of the responses fell into the following 4 categories:
- The morning rush
- New schedules and routines
So let’s take a closer look at each of those areas! Plus I’ll share some awesome products from Kohl’s that can help ease your stress!
The morning rush was by far the most common stressor. Packing lunches and snacks, getting everyone up, fed and dressed and getting out the door ON TIME with everything needed for the day can be a huge challenge.
Luckily, there are a few ways to make mornings less stressful:
- Pack lunches and snacks at night. Trying to worry about packing lunch in the morning on top of everything else is just an added stress. Get food ready at night and simply transfer from fridge to bag in the morning.
- Get a big bag. One that is big enough to hold everything you need – paperwork, computer, lunch, workout clothes, etc. Consider packing it up and putting it in the car the night before to save you a step in the morning.
- Write it down. To-do lists on your phone are great, but usually only you can see them. Especially if you have older kids, having a written list of everything they need for the day can transfer some of the responsibility to them to ensure they have what they need before they head out the door. Physically being able to cross things off the list can be helpful. Consider a dry erase board or a chalkboard that you can hang in the kitchen or near the door.
- Designate a space. Whether it’s in the kitchen, in a basket, on the floor next to the front door, find a spot in the house where you can store everything that needs to leave the house with you in the morning. Having a bookcase or shelf with a basket for each person could be very helpful.
Breakfast is another challenging area. Most parents were looking for quick, healthy breakfast options that can be prepared and eaten quickly without turning to junk food or a drive-thru.
Some breakfast tips to consider:
- Have favorites on hand. Breakfast may not always be the time to get kids to try new foods, especially if you’re in a hurry. Know what kids like and will eat most days and always have those on hand. Try new things on the weekends or slower days.
- Stock the freezer. I recently did a round-up for Parade with 9 Freezer-Friendly Breakfast Ideas.
- Do some food prep. If you’re not a fan of freezer breakfasts, there are still plenty of things that you can make ahead of time and store in the fridge or pantry for the week. It could be as simple as portioning some oats into baggies with mix-ins so all you have to do is dump it into a bowl, add milk and stick it in the microwave. You can also bake a batch of breakfast bars and portion into single servings.
Back to school means the end of summer schedules. It may mean earlier bedtimes and spending some time figuring out how to fit homework, sports and family time into a shorter period of time.
To help establish new routines:
- Focus on bedtime. Sleep is so important for kids and getting them into the habit of going to bed at an appropriate time for their new school schedule is crucial.
- Limit TV time. Prioritize homework first so it gets done, then use any remaining time for fun.
- Make family dinners a priority. Busy schedules mean less time to relax and enjoy each other’s company. Family dinners are a great opportunity to catch up, talk about the day, etc.
With school comes a lot of paperwork. There are forms for each new school and school year. If you have multiple kids that can mean double or triple the amount of forms for physicals, allergies, sports registration, etc.
To stay organized:
- Note the due dates. Whenever you get a form to fill out, make a note on your calendar of when it’s do.
- Don’t wait. Try not to let the forms pile up. Take a few minutes each time you get one to fill it out right them.
- File them. Have a designated tray or area to keep all the forms. Consider two trays- one for “to be completed” and one for “all done, ready to file”.
- Ask. Check backpacks to see if kids came home with any forms. Ask them every day if they got anything from their teachers to give to you. Ask the teacher/school yourself if you’re missing any forms.
- Start early. If you know your child has allergies that require special paperwork, start working on them as soon as possible. Don’t wait until the last minute when you’re more likely to be scrambling and forget something.
Now it’s your turn!
Share your best tip to help #makeyourmove towards a stress-free back to school season! Not a parent? How about a tip for a stress-free morning?
This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Kohl’s.