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Family Matters

Back to School

August 28th, 2014

By Tammi Roy  

Sing it with me everyone - it's the most wonderful time of the year!

This year the term Back-to-School has a different meaning for me:  all three of my girls are in school all day. Repeat: all day.

If you're wondering if I've been somewhat excited for September 2014, you are totally right! Don't get me wrong, I love and will miss my small people each day, yet I haven't had an entire day to myself in pretty much 10 years - so if I drive off smiling a little that first morning {and possibly each morning after}, you can't blame me.

Yet, I'm not new to the school routine, and I know that getting kids ready in the mornings can leave a person frazzled. What happens in that hour before they're off, sets the tone for the entire day. For everyone.

Tearing apart the closet looking for a jacket or mitts and screaming that you're going to be late - can leave you shaking even at lunchtime.

The secret is to prepare the night before, so that the morning process is as effortless as possible. You've heard of this trick before, right? Well, take it to heart and consider it law - since it really does make back to school and the entire year - much smoother.

Here's my 'the night before school' routine:

  • make lunches and have the bags ready to grab and go for morning. And if you're making sandwiches, make a couple days worth so you aren't making them again tomorrow. Why not save a step!?

  • Set out clothes! There's nothing like a 7am fight over a pair of pants to make everyone grouchy for the rest of the day. Decide on tomorrows clothes together and set them out the night before so that it's a no-brainer come morning.

  • Sign forms when they come home and immediately put them in the backpack to be sent back - that way, you won't forget. Don't leave it until morning, you won't want to do it then. No matter how much you think you will.

  • The night before, look at tomorrow's schedule. Swimming at school the next day? Toss that towel, bathing suit and brush in that bag right now. This way if you have to do a quick load of laundry, you have the time.

  • Check the weather. Need to send an umbrella tomorrow? Find it now and have it ready by the door so you aren't left running around the backyard in the rain, at 8am looking for it.

Truth - It only took a matter of days for the kids to learn that each morning we have a solid routine. Get up, get dressed, do hair, eat breakfast, brush teeth, grab the lunch out of the fridge, put in the backpack that is ready to go by the door - and leave. In that order.

Sure, some days the unexpected happens and life will try to throw a curveball into your morning. Yet, if everything else is ready and waiting, you have time to wipe up that spilled milk and broken bowl.

Remember though, don't cry over that spilled milk. After all - it's the most wonderful time of the year!

Tammi is the mom of three girls (twins plus one) and is passionate about photography, food and travel (with luck, all at once). Her thoughts on parenthood and all the chaos in between can be found on her popular parenting blog, My Organized Chaos. While she has been widely recognized as a leading Canadian woman in social media, she is an ordinary mom often found pacing the kitchen wondering what to cook for dinner.

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