Back to School Sanity Savers


School is back in session and all the activities are about to be in full swing. Our children are getting used to a new routine and moms are about to embark upon one of the craziest times of the year. Fortunately, we don’t have to feel completely stressed and overwhelmed.

Here are a few tips to help save some sanity as we approach this fun, albeit busy, season:

1. Set realistic expectations.

Life is going to happen and it will be OK. We all need some grace during the fall craziness. Let’s start by understanding that we can only do the best we can do, and it’s OK if things aren’t perfect.

2. Plan, plan, and plan some more!

With that being said, it is good to have a plan:

  • Use a master calendar to write down dates as soon as they arrive from school, sports, or any other activities.
  • Stick to a simple morning, afternoon, and/or evening routine. This is helpful for adults and children!
  • Prepare the night (or day) before by laying out clothes, packing lunches and backpacks, and gathering anything that may be forgotten the next day.
  • Don’t wait to get things done. If a task takes fewer than five minutes, go ahead and do it now.
  • Set aside a day to plan out the week ahead. Taking just a few minutes to look at the week ahead can save so much time later.
  • Carefully consider your schedule before adding any additional activities. Leave some space for downtime.

3. Simplify meal planning, prep, and clean up. 

  • Try a meal planning service like E-Meals or Plan To Eat to simplify meal planning and grocery lists.
  • Shop online and pick up your groceries with Food City Go Cart, Kroger Clicklist, or Walmart Curbside pickup.
  • Have ingredients delivered to your door with Hello Fresh, Blue Apron, or Home Chef. Order snacks and household items from Amazon Prime Pantry.
  • Order pre-prepared meals locally from Goodness to Go or Clean Eatz or pick up a meal kit from the grocery store. Try Kroger Prep + Pared or Fresh Market Little Big Meals.
  • Do some easy prep work while putting away groceries. Take chicken out of packages and place in bags for the fridge or freezer. Wash and prepare fruit for snacking. Cut veggies into snack-sized pieces that children can grab.
  • Take advantage of slow cookers and pressure cookers (and use a liner bag to ease clean up).
  • Prepare freezer breakfasts and dinners or double a favorite recipe and freeze one container for a busy week.
  • On the busiest nights, enjoy a restaurant where kids can eat free.
  • Stick to a menu rotation: Slow Cooker Monday, Taco Tuesday, Kids Eat Free Wednesday, leftovers on Thursday, pizza on Friday, etc.
  • Find some favorite lunch ideas or let kids eat a few times a week in the school cafeteria (or maybe five!).
  • Be flexible with “supper” time. There may be sport nights when kids need to eat dinner early (think 4pm or 4:30pm) and have snacks later in the evening.

4. Utilize bins, bags, and baskets. Keeping everything contained can be a huge sanity saver!

  • Keep a separate bag packed for dance, baseball, Scouts, or whatever activities your family is involved in. Make sure they are updated and readily accessible (or keep them in the car) so you never arrive unprepared.
  • Keep a bag or bin in the car with activities for younger kids; include coloring books, markers or crayons, portable games, small toys, etc.
  • Keep folding chairs and a towel or blanket in the car for outdoor activities or a spontaneous picnic or sporting event.
  • Have a bin, basket, or hanging file for papers that come home from school.
  • Assign each family member a basket to conveniently store all the things that end up on the table, counter, or in an unknown location.

5. Don’t neglect self-care. You have to take care of yourself so you can take care of your family.

  • Drink plenty of water (and let’s be realistic — caffeine!)
  • Plan workouts so you can still make time for exercise. Shower and get ready at the gym to save time. For extra busy days, find a few online workouts that you love. 
  • Enjoy some great audiobooks or podcasts while you work on all the other tasks.
  • Set aside a few minutes of quiet time each day. Use this time to read, pray, stretch, write in a gratitude journal, etc.
  • Never underestimate the power of DRY SHAMPOO!
  • Embrace a five-minute makeup routine.
  • Find an easy outfit you love and can throw on to feel put together in minutes.

6. Don’t compare!

Finally, don’t compare yourself or your family to anyone else’s. You know your children and your situation better than anyone, so do what works for you. Take a deep breath and enjoy the fall! 

How do you save your sanity during these hectic months? I would love to try some of your tips!


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