This may seem a bit premature for some of you (back to school?!? In July?!?) but my oldest son is on a modified year-round school schedule (two weeks off after each grading period and seven weeks off in summer) and starts 2nd grade on July 22nd.
My baby is starting second grade!! Eeeeeek!!
Back-to-school time is HERE for us and I realized that I—work-at-home mom and home manager—need to get myself ready!
For me, summer has been a mixed bag. Yes, we got to take a road trip to my home state of Florida at the start of summer and, yes, my older son has kept the younger one occupied during the day so I could log some billable hours, but…we’ve been doing the “stay up late and wake up late” routine but when the boys are up late, I can’t get “real work” done (I need total peace and quiet to write) and my mornings when they’re sleeping in are not very productive. I’ve been lax on housework and meal planning (don’t ask me how many pizza boxes were in the recycle bin this week) and I’m low on energy because of the wacky sleep schedule. Plus, I’ve had to postpone my usual meetings because it’s hard to get child care for both boys.
I’m ready to get back into the school routine.
This year will be unique because on August 5, my younger son will begin preschool so I will have nine hours a week to be foot loose and kid-free. I’ll keep the fancy.
So I need to be ready.
Here are a few tools I assembled to help ME prepare! The idea is to keep things running smoothly and to set yourself up for a wonderful school year. For yourself AND the kids!
Cookbooks and meal planning tools.
Pull out your favorite cookbooks, grab a shopping list and map out your meals for the week (I do pizza, taco soup and pasta almost every week). Mine have to be quick, easy, and kid-friendly (and when I say kid, I mean picky-eater-kid).
New office supplies.
Why should the kids be the only ones who get fresh folders, markers and composition books?? Get some cute folders for filing all of the papers that will soon be coming in from school and treat yourself to some pretty pens and highlighters. Have a day planner handy, too, for writing down PTA meeting times and coffee dates. Remember to schedule in “me time,” too!
I advise my Mary Kay customers to have an everyday makeup look accessible to grab even if they only have five minutes to spend on their face in the morning. All you need is one or two neutral eye colors, a soft blush, mascara and gloss. I highly recommend the Mary Kay 3-in-1 cleanser, too, because it cleanses, exfoliates and freshens in one step. My other favorite multi-tasking product is the Mary Kay Moisture Renewing Gel Mask. It feels almost like aloe and you can use it as a quick mask or wear it overnight if your skin is dry, inflamed or stressed.
Designate a “mom zone” or “home management zone.”
This is the place to keep paperwork, calendars, to-do lists and things like greeting cards, wrapping supplies and bills all in one spot that is yours alone.
As you can see above, I am spoiled—I have a studio/office/craft room (nearly) all to myself but you can use a small desk, a corner of your laundry room or even a closet. For example…
Below is is my “drop and grab zone” between the front door and the garage where I can drop my keys or grab library books on the way in or out, plus a spot for reminders and papers.
Take a moment to tweak your inspiration board, too, so that the things that inspire you or make you smile are where you can see them regularly.
If you work from home, you may want to reorganize your desk or set up new filing systems–whatever it takes to be efficient and productive.
If you’re a home school mom, now is the time to get your desk and teaching area(s) ready.
There are some fun ideas for work-at-home and home school moms on my Back To School Pinterest board.
And you can’t go back to school without books!
I have found a good many of these at Goodwill.
Two of my favorites: “Simple Abundance” by Sarah Ban Breathnach and “Organized Simplicity” by Tsh Oxenreider.
For those with a business: “Love is the Killer Ap” by Tim Sanders, “Good to Great” by Jim Collins and “The Power of Uniqueness” by Arthur F. Miller, Jr.
And for personal development: “By Happy Without Being Perfect” by Alice D. Domar, Ph.D, “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Families” by Stephen R. Covey and “Take Time For Your Life” by Cheryl Richardson.
You may also need a new tote bag to carry your books in or maybe a pretty new purse for fall. You get a backpack for the kids, why not treat yourself??
Have some fun before the race to Winter Break begins and set yourself up for a wonderful new school year.
Remember to visit my Back To School Pinterest board board for more ideas, inspiring images and links!