I asked a simple question on Twitter: How do you, as a mom, make back-to-school season easier on yourself? Of course, I got great answers from my Twitter friends. Here I’ve compiled four of my favorite tips, and given my own “takeaway” from each one: how I plan to incorporate their advice or insight into my own back-to-school experience.
DawnPapandrea “I treated myself to a labelmaker — I have to put my son’s name on every pencil, crayon, etc.”
Takeaway: Be kind to yourself. For example, let’s say you have to fill out a form in triplicate and you have three kids: that adds up to filling out the same form with nearly the same information NINE TIMES. If the form is on plain white paper, try filling out the parts that are the same for all three children, make three copies, fill out the parts that are unique to each child and then make two more copies of each. Maybe this won’t work for you because all your school’s forms are on half-sheets of green card stock. (been there). Is there some other way you can be kind to yourself by taking a shortcut? I like Dawn’s tip because it’s such an easy and relatively inexpensive way she can make the job of getting kids ready for back-to-school a little easier.
Peacegardenmama “I do back-to-school shopping separately for each child.”
Takeaway: Think outside the box. Roxane is a fellow mom of five so I know she knows what she’s talking about, and I love how creative, yet simple, her solution is. But four of my kids need school supplies this year, and with my tolerance for big-box stores running low, four separate shopping trips sounds like three trips too many. But Roxane’s tip is inspiring me to think outside the box a little. What if I shopped online for back-to-school supplies? Each child and I could sit down together one at a time, go over his list, and make our selections. That way I wouldn’t even have to set foot in Target and find myself walking through the housewares department “just to see what’s on sale”. On the other hand, I really enjoy looking at school supplies…it’s just that I don’t like trying to follow four divergent lists at the same time while my kids scatter throughout the store. So what if I made a “back to school” shopping date with myself? I could go pick out a few notebooks, pens and pencils just for the experience, then do the rest online. I’m going to think this one over and encourage you to do the same.
paisleyduke “My mom used to let me take my little brother clothes shopping. He was much more cooperative for me than for her.”
Takeaway: Delegate. Why does it always have to be Mom doing all the back-to-school shopping and prepping? Is there an aunt, uncle, grandma, or big sibling in the picture who’d be happy to take a chunk of the work (and might even think it’s fun?) Dads can do back-to-school shopping, take kids in for their shots or vision exams, and even—gasp—fill out paperwork. I think this year I’ll come up with some concrete ways other people in my life can help me out, and then–here’s the tricky part–actually ask for help.
mommyknows “Don’t wait until the day before school to get back to bedtime and morning routines. We always start a week early.”
Takeaway: Ease in gently. It’s too jarring to go from easy-breezy laid-back summer mornings to rushed back-to-school routines in a day or two. Instead, I plan on making the transition gradually by getting the kids up a little bit earlier every night over the next two weeks (I figure that will lead to earlier bedtimes more naturally and work better than trying to bump up their bedtimes first) and finding places to go earlier and earlier so we can practice getting out of the house on time. And I’ve mostly cleared my schedule so I won’t have many expectations of myself at all that first week. After all, back to school is hard work…for me.
What’s your best happy-mom back-to-school tip?
About this Post
It’s back-to-school time, and this year Sprite and TwitterMoms have partnered with bloggers like me to share back-to-school tips and tricks, advice, stories and more! Visit Sprite’s back-to-school channel on TwitterMoms to get helpful ideas, learn how to survive the back to school rush, seek out advice from other TwitterMoms and join the conversation. You can learn more about donating your My Coke Rewards Points to support your local school, how to enter for a chance to win some Back to School cash, check out recipes, or even play some fun games. Here’s to a successful and stress-free back to school season from Sprite and TwitterMoms!