And just like that, the summer holidays are over! If after 6 weeks of flexi-working, days out, late bedtimes and no homework, you are struggling to get back into routine, you are not alone!
Give yourself a round of applause for managing to get them back to school in a clean, labelled (you did remember didn't you!) school uniform last week and use our list of top tips for staying on top of #mumadmin this term.
- Invest in a family calendar or planner and treat it as the holy grail of organisation! Put everything on the calendar from school events and activities, to birthday parties and work commitments.
- Use these first couple of weeks of school to get ahead of the game, print off term dates, club slips and any other information you might need to refer to. Pay for all the clubs your little one(s) has subscribed to and mark all forthcoming dates on the calendar. Each week as school newsletters appear, try to get into the habit of printing off important documents and adding dates to the central family calendar.
- Keep all school related documents in one central file so you know where everything is.
- Establish a morning routine for yourself and the kids. If it means you setting your alarm half an hour before the children to get yourself ready, then do that. Make sure children are clear of what will be expected of them every morning and at what time you have to leave the house – sometimes a pictogram for little ones is a simple way of illustrating what is expected of them; get dressed, eat breakfast, brush teeth, put shoes on, pick up book bag and packed lunch.
- Be as organised the night before as you can be - lay out their clothes or use a organiser that has large pockets to hold outfits for 5 days. Likewise make sure rucksacks are packed the evening before and have lunchboxes washed and laid out on the side ready to be filled in the morning. Depending on the age of your child, give them some responsibility and encourage them to take on a few easy jobs, like loading the dishwasher.
- Plan a weekly food shop online so that you have a well-stocked fridge for healthy breakfasts and lunchbox options without having a last minute morning scramble over what you have or haven't (more likely) got to include.
- If bedtime became much later than usual over the summer and you are struggling to get back into routine, try bringing it forward by 15 minutes each night until you are back at your normal time. The body will better adjust at a gradual rate and after a full week at school they'll be falling into bed (we hope!)
- Reinstate ‘bath, book, bed’… if like us your child has spent the summer bathing, ahem, a little more infrequently than normal reinstate a nightly bath. It’s a great excuse for lots of post bathtime snuggles (in a hooded towel of course) and a good way to get them back into the habit of daily reading.
- If you can, keep their school jackets, shoes and rucksacks in a designated place, at a height they can reach so that they are able to finish getting themselves ready and be waiting when you ask them to be (...!!!)
- Remember on a Monday morning, you are only ever 4 sleeps away from Friday!!