Preparing for Back to School Season By Rachel, Wife, Mother, Domestic Engineer • August 29, 2018
The words “back to school” give me so many mixed emotions. Having 5 of us in the house with 5 different schedules … well, let’s just say that it can be dizzying at times. This past year in particular was bananas because my 3 kids were at 3 different schools and each has his or her own hobbies outside of school. My brain hurts thinking about it sometimes.
Juggling all of that is a lot, and throwing in the challenge of managing a chronic illness like relapsing MS takes it to a whole new level of stress. But there are ways to make the whole process a little easier.
After many years of managing my household, I’ve learned some great tips and ideas that may help you too:
- Get ahead of the game. At the end of the school year we go through all of our kids’ school items and toss what isn’t usable and take inventory of what we still have. Doing this is helpful when the beginning of the next school year comes around because we already have a list of what we don’t have to buy. This also helps when it comes to being savvy with shopping because if I have an idea of what the kids may need, I can pick stuff up when it’s a good price or on sale. It’s a great way to save a few pennies as well as avoid the exhaustion of an all-day shopping trip at the end of the summer when the stores are overcrowded.
2. Train the kids to be responsible. Having my kids learn responsibility has been a good thing for all of us. I like to give them duties around the house to help them mature and prepare for life, as well as assist us in managing everything that comes with school, and giving me a hand when I need it. I have a little area where I hang file folders and each person in the house gets their own space (us parents too). We keep important papers in those folders, that way they aren’t misplaced and are easily accessible. The children have been taught that if there is an assignment or something that needs attention, give it to us immediately. No one likes a last-minute surprise report. I learned that the hard way, which is why I initiated this system to begin with.
Another thing that helps the kids to be responsible is having them pack their own lunches and snacks. We’ve created these expectations for them and it’s been a huge help for everyone.
3. Update your calendar. Relapsing MS or not, everyone can use some help remembering important dates! I like to stick with the program by keeping up-to-date calendars on my phone, in my pocketbook, and on a hanging wall calendar. As soon as I become aware of a commitment, I make a note of it in one of those places and then update them often so that they all match. I figure writing down essential commitments in 3 different places not only helps me remember, but I also have a better chance of not missing something! Still, it can happen. We’re all human.
4. Make lists. To make sure we don’t run out of something we need, I like to keep a list of grocery items that we like to have in the house at all times. Then I can get them from the store as I need to. This list includes healthy snacks like apples, carrots, nuts, and bananas.
Doing all of these things has helped me stay as organized as possible and minimized the tough days for us. We can all attest that life hands us some wild ones. My oldest child is in high school … it’s taken me that long to figure out some of this back to school stuff! I’m always looking for other ways to help simplify life and I hope that reading this was helpful for you!
How do you prepare when it’s time for the kids to go back to school? I’d love to hear your tips!
- LIVING WITH RELAPSING MS
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