Editor's Note: Amy Rosso, founder of FIT4MOM Chapel Hill, shares these practical back-to-school tips for every parent.
We are officially in summer wind-down mode. Back-to-school time is certainly exciting, but it can also be hectic as schedules shift from laid-back summer days to routine school schedules. FIT4MOM Chapel Hill asked its community of moms to share their top back-to-school tips. Hopefully these life hacks keep your home running smoothly and your September sanity in tact!
Have your kids agree on clothes the night before. Set them out in advance. It can also help to set your own clothes out too – one less thing to think about in the morning!
Create the practice of "get ready before downstairs.” Clothes on, faces washed and hair and teeth must be brushed before heading downstairs.
Practice getting up and ready on time during the week leading up to school.
Make and pack all lunches (including yours!) for the next day while you are making dinner or cleaning up from dinner. "A Sunday well spent brings a week of content." Plan and prep your meals for the week (include snacks and lunches, too). Check out FIT4MOM’s Top 5 Meal Planning Tips or Crockpot Freezer Meals blog posts to become a meal prep pro.
Try a weekly meal swap with neighbor friends. Make double your dinner recipe on your night to provide, and enjoy a homecooked meal on your night to receive!
Find a shared calendar system that works for your family. Cozi or Google calendar are some suggested favorites. Update your family's calendar with afternoon and evening activities. Add your workouts to the schedule. Assume if it's not on the calendar, it won't get done.
Share the love. Talk with your partner about who will handle what tasks such as getting the kids ready for school, drop-off or bus stop pick up, making dinner, cleaning up from dinner, bath, bedtime, etc. This can also help the kids get quality time with both parents. If you handle both morning and evening routines (and everything between), perhaps your partner can handle kitchen clean up or bath/bedtime.
Use your precious kid-free hours wisely. Schedule your own doctor, dentist, personal appointments and workouts during time you have alone. Try online grocery shopping with express lane pick up to save you the time of completing this errand.
Create a "drop-zone" at your house by the garage door. Backpacks always get dropped here to be unpacked every night. Add a whiteboard to note important reminders ("sign permission slip!" or "soccer game at 7pm!"). Use the whiteboard for older kids to check off their chores (homework, dishwasher, make bed).
On busy school nights, skip the baths and jump in the shower. This can be a big time saver to wash multiple kids at once, plus you get a rinse too!
Best of luck for a smooth start to the school year!
Amy Rosso launched FIT4MOM Chapel Hill in 2015 and offers exercise programs for moms at any stage of motherhood and fitness. More importantly, it provides camaraderie and support. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram.