So, you've established the back to school 'before' and 'after' routines for the kids, school things have all been marked, uniforms washed and pressed, shoes cleaned, school bags packed, you've dropped them off at school, you've put the kettle on and sighed a huge sigh of relief. They've gone back to school. Now what? You slowly collect your thoughts and think what the hell it was you were doing before the Christmas/Summer school break began. All that running to and from school, helping out at the school, going to the gym, going to the shops etc etc. Here's a few things to get you into the swing and get you over the shock that you've got that time to yourself again (if you're so lucky).
Keep on top of the washing
It'll only be a couple of days of the kids being back at school and you'll have a full basket of clothes again. I try to do a wash on Wednesday plus the weekend to keep on top of the school uniforms. I'm lucky my daughter has a uniform for every day but my son might need a shirt washed to see him out for the week. Also, if your child's uniforms are the kind that need ironing, after washing, give a good shake and hang straight away on a coat hanger. No ironing needed.
Make and freeze sandwiches and pack lunch boxes the night before
There are so many sandwich fillings that are suitable to freeze. Just think anything other than salad. Have them all in the freezer so that you can just go along with the lunchbox, grab the sandwich, fruit, snack, drink bottle, yoghurt etc and you're done. Its just a matter of your child popping it into their school bag. (Yeah right! I think I had to run lunch boxes up to school twice last year! One time the school bag was left in the driveway. Lucky I didn't run it over and lucky we live close.)
Establish YOUR daily routine early in the term
I have great intentions of doing my daily cleaning schedule, going to the gym, a bit of meditation etc all early in the term and all it takes is for someone to get sick (or myself to get sick) and the routine goes out the window. The earlier you get your routine working for you, the less chance you have of going off track. I've got plans of boot camps, study and still helping out at the school, plus keeping on top of the housework. Big plans. Fingers crossed they work out. If something pops up, deal with it and then get back on schedule.
Ensure the children stick to their routines
Its my daughter's fourth year of school and my son's second and one thing I've managed all this time is sticking with the daily routine. Fair enough, some days it works better than others but the framework is there. Its so important they stick to their afternoon/evening routine otherwise Mum/Dad don't get that evening time to themselves. I know during the school holidays my daughter has stalled and stalled when it came to bedtime, sometimes staying up until 10:30pm. This has nearly killed me, not being able to have any time out but during school term, it's bedtime as scheduled, over and out. Don't forget the rewards, be it a treat, a trip to the park on the weekend or pocket money.
Schedule in time for friends
I know a few Mums I'd love to catch up with during school term but before you know it, school is over for the term and you've got the kids hanging around. The school term here in Australia is for around 10 to 11 weeks (4 terms per year) so you should surely be able to have regular catch ups with friends. Girls, just remember that. You're all invited around for a cuppa!
Schedule in time for regular grooming
I know I have gone all year sometimes without a haircut since having the kids but I'm trying to keep on top of regular hair cuts, a pedicure, manicure or waxing. I've established a reward tin for me. I keep on top of my exercise routine and housework and I'll pay myself (haven't worked out the amount yet) and go have a massage or beauty treatment. Heaven knows I need it.
Don't forget to establish that good daily routine at home with your meals as well. I like to do a bit of exercise or housework until about 10:30am and then stop for a cuppa, a small snack and a read of a magazine. Then back to it until lunch time. I like to have a large container full of salad ingredients so its only one thing to take out of the fridge. Change the salad dressing or add a fruit like apple or oranges with tinned fish or beans and you've got a nice healthy lunch. After lunch I get dinner prepped and the children's afternoon tea organised before its time to go and get the little rascals.
I hope you all remember to take care of yourselves, not just the children, in this back to school madness.