The first week of school has come and gone and I'm sitting here on Saturday morning writing this blog post. I don't know about you but I feel a bit like I've been lost on a desserted island for a week. At the beginning of the week I thought I could accomplish all these wonderful things since my child went back to school but its been quite the opposite! I guess in my mind I completely forgot what getting back to the routine was all about ( insert eye roll here). But this weekend I'm determined. to get caught up and organized and share with you the tips that I use to do just that.
1. The Communication Center
Even with all of the technology out there we still use the big calendar in our mud room. I fill it in every month with all of the upcoming events so that its easy to take a quick glance to make sure before we leave that we've got everything we need. Plus we put all of our events on there so we can all see at a glance who is where. We have a stainless fridge that isn't magnetic so we have this magnetic board up in the room as well so forms and paper schedules can go up there for a quick reminder and grab. I got this great adhesive, whiteboard calendar at Winners and the magnetic board at Walmart.
2. Meal Planning
Meal planning for me is a huge help. I touched on it a little in my last blog post but I want to go into more detail here on how I do it and how it can save you money and even stress in the long run. I try really hard to include our family in the process. I do my groceries on Monday's usually so on Sunday night at the end of dinner I sit down with my pen and paper and get a few ideas from our crew on what they would like to eat this coming week. That way I'm not burdened with coming up with 7 meals, plus they get something that they're craving as well. I then take those meals and match them up to the activities the coming week. On days that I work or we have soccer carpool I try to plan things that can cook while we are gone or that I can prep in the morning. That way when we get home from soccer we can sit down to a nice meal together or know that I don't have to do tons of prep after a long day of work. I know that prepping dinner can sound daunting before work and school and I'm far from being perfect about it, but it usually only takes about 15-20 mins to do and let me tell you, after a long day of work its so nice to come home to only cooking and not prep and tons of dishes. So then you can just pour that glass of wine, turn on some tunes, get into your comfy clothes and cook your family up a nice meal without all the stress! I love meal planning for a couple of reasons, one, no buddy constantly asks me 'whats for dinner' because its right there on the list. I can have the others members start prepping or cooking if time becomes an issue, and lastly it saves money! I will start to share my meal plans on Instagram so you can get some inspiration.
My son is now 13 years old and he is officially in charge of his own laundry. Yes you read this right. I am raising a good husband for his future wife people! I was inspired by a friend who did this with her boys. Its very important that if we are raising children to be equal that we raise them no matter the gender to do everything equally. It really takes the pressure off. Teens no matter how busy they are can throw in their laundry. Its' not a hurculean task. I have to say that it is a challenge for us parents at first because there will be times in the dead of winter that they come ready for school in shorts because they didn't do their wash, but you have to remember that this is about learning responsibility and time management so don't give in. Don't forget to teach them how to use the laundry facilities first, I know that that sounds obvious, but sometimes we forget our teens don't know everything even though they try to make it out like they do, lol.
Each day of the week I choose one chore to do. One day bathrooms, one day vacuum etc etc. That way the house is never really terrible. What we try to do to if we get behind is team up for an hour on the weekend and each take a task and quickly get it done. We crank the tunes and get to work. This works well for our family, it always has. Even when Hayden was small we had him doing some chores. Its teamwork to make the dream work, cheesy I know but true.
5. Family time
With school and sports ramping back up again its even more important to make family time a priority. The craziness of the week can be enough to poop you right out and make everyone grumpy come the weekend. So Sunday is our family adventure time. We make it a priority to do something fun one day a week together. Sunday I usually plan a fancier type dinner and dessert and we sit down together and have a lovely meal. Then we will all sit down and watch TV with no digital media and relax together as a family. Try to do your own family adventure day. Yours may be a different day of the week, but make sure you sit down and laugh and just hang out with each other, its really important, you'd be surprised how much your teen opens up when you're having a great time.
Well hopefully you've got some great ideas to survive September that can take you through the next 10 months of the school year. Its always a battle to stay on track, but little changes can add up to make a big difference in the long run.