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There is no denying it, we think things are hectic when our children are toddlers and then the school years start and it’s a whole different ball game. It is true. Each stage of parenting has its fair share of challenges and things to overcome, and often, as mums, we are left chasing our tails at the end of the day. As school is a good 12 years of your child’s life, it is important to get this stage of the parenting journey nailed down. So here are some of the best mum hacks for family life during the school years.
Make breakfast easy
Breakfast can be a stressful time in any household, so make things easy on yourself during the school week. Try and avoid cooking things and just use the toaster or cereals. These are healthy breakfast options and also saves you one time and washing up.
What you should do the night before
There are certain things that you should be doing the night before when it comes to the school years, Doing this ahead of the school day helps you to feel organised and takes away any added pressure. Here are some of the things you should be doing.
The packed lunch
One of the first things to consider is sorting out the packed lunch the night before. Things like sandwiches and cod pasta can be prepared and packaged away easily enough. Then all you have to do is construct the lunch box in the morning.
Discuss school work and books
It is also a good idea to discuss school work and what books need to be returned the night before. This will help you to pack up the school bag so that you can be organised ready for the school run.
Have a family calendar
One of the best hacks for any family is to have a family calendar or better still a family command centre. You can use a wall planner or simply keep one to yourself. What parents fail to realise is how busy this period of time can get. Alongside letters and dates for school, such as non-uniform days or trips, you also need to factor in what can happen weekly. Here are a few other ways a family planner could help.
Dedicated days for different things
It may be that you use your planner to have dedicated days for different things. For example, a primary school child may only get one or two pieces of homework per week. So you could delicate days to getting that done that would fit around other activities. You can also look at the planner so that you know what is upcoming for the school. Such as event days, keep letters together, and also when you may need to pay for certain things like school dinners, clubs, or trips.
PE and extracurricular activities
A family planner can also work really well so that you know where your child needs to be on certain days. There could be after-school clubs that they do so they require a later pick-up or extracurricular activities where you need to take them to places for sports or other things they could be doing. You might also want to keep track of days where there is PE at school or swimming practice. This helps to ensure that you have kits ready, things they need and helps you to stay on track.
Hacks for the school uniform
The school uniform can often be tricky. Many mums will admit that they have had to panic wash a uniform the night before they have realised it wasn’t clean. However, a few hacks can make the whole school uniform situation much easier. Here are some of the things that you could try.
Lay it out the night before
One of the first things you could do would be to lay it out for your child the night before. This will encourage them to get up and get dressed straight away. It also avoids the whole “where is” question as it will be there ready and waiting for them.
Five uniforms for five days
Another thing to consider would be five uniforms for five days. This may be a little bit costly to do, but it can save you time and worry if you are not the type of person to regularly keep on top of the washing pile.
Easily accessible for kids to sort themselves out
Also, it is worth making sure that you keep things easily accessible for your kids. Giving them access to help them to dress and organise themselves is teaching them valuable life skills and helps to save time for you.
Staggered times could be a game-changer
If there is more than one child in the house then it might be time to start looking at staggered times for different things. This could be a game-changer in terms of helping you to stick to a routine. Here are some of the things that you could try.
Get up times
If there is more than one child and only one bathroom in the house, then if everyone is up at the same time it could cause a lot of stress and frustration. So a great tip is to stagger the get-up times. The likelihood is that you will be up first, so get yourself ready for the day and use the quiet time. Then stagger the get-ups for everyone else so that there is ample time to use the bathroom and to sort themselves out.
Alarms and timers for different things
If you are struggling to stick to a routine then alarms and timers can be a great way to help you get back on track – These are easy to set up on the Amazon Echo with Alexa reminding you throughout the day.. You could set a daily alarm for when screen time is finished, for when you want your children to get up, go to bed, brush their teeth, etc. Timers can also help for doing school work for children who are less than willing to do it at home.
Stick to the same routine
Finally, make sure you stick to a routine where possible. This helps everyone to stay on track and feel calm in what can be a chaotic time.
Let’s hope these hacks help you through the school years.