Surviving school when your kids are in different stages in their lives!
I was having a lot of anxiety about M going to school while I was on mat-leave. It’s a lot of extra work, well worth it yes but A LOT to take on all at once. The trick is to stay uber-organized like, I’m talking about, OCD territory here! How do I get a four+ year old and an eight month old out the door by 7:30? Well, here are a few tricks on how to stay organized while keeping your sanity.
1. Have rules, a schedule and don’t break the cycle!
- Children need structure!
2. Make lunch the night before
- M and I make her lunch every night before going to bed. This seems to be working really well. She knows what is in her lunch for the next day and has time to make any objections.
- I also pack T’s bag, breakfast, lunch and snacks along with bottles to be ready for the next day…cause you know you always end up going out somewhere after you drop the other kid off at school and I need to be ready!
3. Pick out their clothes for the next day and put it in a bin in their room (let them pick out a fun bin)
- This way there is no guessing what is going to be worn for the day (down to every detail including accessories etc.) and she can help choose what she wants to wear before bed.
4. Pack their backpack
- Anything needed to be sent to and from school is dealt with and her bag is hung right beside her jacket and shoes.
5. Set their alarm clock
- Yes, you heard me, she has an alarm clock and it’s set for 6:45 am.
- Every morning when it goes off she gets up, turns off the alarm and gets dressed with what is in her clothes bin, then heads to the washroom.
6. Keep their regular bedtime routine
- With the exception of this being a little bit earlier….we keep the routine the same and she doesn’t even notice the difference.
7. Set out their toothbrush and paste
- M is really good with brushing her teeth and we use an electric toothbrush, so it speeds up the whole process.
- This also gives her some responsibility, which she craves.
- While M is brushing I’ve already started her breakfast and probably feeding T by this time.
- I actually pack her breakfast in a Tupperware. She NEVER finishes it and this way we can take the rest of it “to-go” if needed.
9. Get ready to go and get out of the house!
Everyone is probably thinking, ya, this all makes sense, but could it all work for you? Probably not. Me? Yep, it works we don’t even need to tell each other what needs to be done it just happens cohesively. I get up 15 min before M to get dressed and get T up. The only part that is starting to drop is my nursing T. I’m finding harder and harder to even have time to pump for him, so my supply is starting to drop. I think I’ve done a good job so if it’s my time that it’s over I understand. Plus, at this point, I’m giving him whatever I’ve got, and that’s better than nothing. Lets be real, the little bugger BITES now, and it just isn’t fun. This is really working well for us, plus Mommy and Daddy still make time for playing ball and M’s swimming lessons that start in a few weeks too! The trick to this working is practice, and make it FUN!