Summertime is so free and relaxing. We grill every other night, have watermelon and other kinds of fruit everyday, take advantage of the lake, kiddie pools in the backyard, and play in the sprinklers. Most days are schedule free aside from swim lessons and occasional play dates.
Now it’s August. Cue my preparation anxiety to head back to work, to send the kids back to school/daycare, resume the day-to-day schedules, and squeeze in appointments. Add in hustling home after work, eating dinner, having playtime/downtime, giving baths, going to bed- and cramming all of that into about three hours! All of which increases my need to be as organized as possible.
So, this time I’m anticipating the chaos before it begins. To lessen my anxiety and feel more confident, I am doing four things to be more prepared.
- Making a list of every single thing my kids will need. Simple right? Nope, I am that person who keeps everything in my brain until it explodes and then I forget everything! Which leads to procrastination and thus, being unprepared. Do we need to fill up on Tylenol since the germs are about to run rampant again? Sick days are coming. Do we have enough extra clothes and underwear ready to send to school? Are jackets out and ready for when the temperature suddenly drops? Seems a long way off, but I am so tired of rummaging through the house like a crazy woman when all of sudden it’s October and the temps are chilly. I’m also planning on bringing medicine and extra clothes to work in case I need to drop anything off during the day. AND, my son is starting Kindergarten, so he actually has a supply list this year! (Crazy, right? Where is the time going?)
- Running my personal errands now. I always put myself last on the list when it comes to what I may need for work. “Oh, I can get supplies/clothes later. I don’t need it right now.” If I’ve learned anything being a working mom, completing simple errands during business hours can be challenging. So whatever supplies I need, whatever dry cleaning I need to drop off, now is the time.
- Preparing a menu for weekly meals. I am so over figuring out what we’ll eat for dinner while I’m still at work! Making a schedule for meals and leftovers will take out a huge chunk of the after work hustle. In addition, I am determined to use my crockpot at least two days a week so I won’t have to prepare anything after work. I’ve also made a separate list of crockpot recipes to rotate throughout the month. If you have any yummy suggestions, let me know!
- Writing down my professional and personal goals. Each school year, I aim to be more productive and increase rapport with my assigned schools. In addition, I am looking forward to establishing a stable routine while traveling to and from schools, by planning days for evaluations and days for report writing. Although schedules always change, it will help me to have a weekly structure to follow. On the personal side, I aim to leave work at work and be present at home.
Our days have been slow and unstructured, and now are about to be fast and furious. As a working mother, I have responsibilities to produce and contribute professionally, while still being “on-call” personally for any emergencies/conflicts that may happen during the day with my kids. Organization is pretty much the only thing I have control over.
Share with me below how you are transitioning with your kids going back to school soon; whether you work from home or outside the home, I’d love to know how you best prepare for your family.