A timely guest post from our friends over at 2WhyzMummaz, about the transition back to school, and all those little things we can do to make our lives - aswell as the kids' lives - a little smoother!
Is it just me or did those school holidays go super fast?
I feel like I am already chasing my tail trying to get the biggest kid ready for Pre-Primary on Wednesday. We are meeting full time school with a mixture of regret, excitement, wonder and pure fear, but we are determined to start the year right.
Our biggest school challenge is to BE. ON. TIME! Well actually, this is my biggest LIFE challenge, but I am committed to change and structure to get the job done!
In an effort to do this, I have devised a plan. Sure: we all start the school year with hopes, dreams and a healthy creative lunch. But maybe by writing it all down, I will be more accountable and, in turn, actually follow through.
So here we are: 2WhyzMummaz Top Tips For Making Back To School COOL!
1. Sleep and the Bedtime Routine
Most kids drag their heels at bedtime. Most parents can’t get through the routine fast enough. But there must be some happy medium in which it is calm and enjoyable for everyone, right?!
For us, the bedtime routine starts not long after dinner. We eat around 5.30pm, then the kids play either outside or in their rooms for about 30 mins. This allows them to either burn off some extra energy, or have some wind down time on their own.
By about 6.30, they are in the bath. I’m an oily mumma myself, so I love adding a few drops of doTERRA’s Lavender essential oil to their bubbly baths to help us all relax and unwind.
I have also made up a jar of Lavender and Cedarwood mixed with Coconut oil to use as our nighty moisturizer. I have found that my kids (5yo & 2yo) respond really well to a wee massage before bed. The act of touch whilst talking about bed really seems to get them settled.
Now we know that sleep is crucial for happy kiddlets. Anyone who has ever met an overtired 2 year old can tell you that! So getting the kids back to regular bedtimes and getting a decent night’s sleep, is E-bloody-ssential for the back to school routine!
I would suggest getting them back to a decent bedtime at least 4 or 5 days before school goes back. Most professionals recommend a minimum of 10 hours sleep for 6-12 year olds, so that means they should be in bed no later than 8pm. This can be tough, but persistence has been my key, so it may be yours too.
My kids sit on the couch and read a book with Daddy by about 7.15pm, (while I frantically put toys away!), then I tuck them into bed with a ‘Nigh Night’ and off I go.
Well, that’s if my 2.5 year old lets me.
Most nights I have to hang out by the door until she falls asleep, but that is a whole other blog post!
2. School Dinners. AKA: Lunch
I am very lucky in that my kid’s school has no restrictions and he is a good eater.
Oliver (5) loves most things I put in his lunchbox. But God help me if I make him ANYTHING other than an egg sandwich!
As kids get older, communication seems to be the key to most things. I have found that by getting Oliver involved, even if it is just asking him if he wants an egg sandwich or an egg roll, tends to minimise any possible food meltdowns.
I usually make lunches in that golden hour of silence before I go to bed, but Ollie always looks through it before he puts in in the lunch bag.
You know... in case it’s not an egg sandwich.
I have found it best not to try new things for a school lunch either. No point adding in green beans if you know they only like soft carrots, know what I mean?
3. Morning Madness
Time, charts and gentle reminders.
Repeat after me: Time, charts and gentle reminders.
These are the keys to a smooth, yell-free morning.
Myself, and those Mummaz around me, have found that by getting up at least half an hour before your kids, and getting yourself dressed and ready, can cut the stress levels in half. Then you are not frantically doing 5 things at once whilst trying to put mascara on.
I’m an Urban Hippy, so I wake up, tell myself I am amazing and that I will have an amazing day, then get myself ready. Starting your day with a positive thought can do wonders for your overall mental health, so I suggest give it a try for a week and see what happens. Just for fun.
I also put an energizing blend of Wild Orange and Peppermint in our diffuser to keep us happy and motivated.
I like to turn up some funky tunes just before wake up call, and hope they come through dancing. If not, I wake them by 7 with a smooch and a cuddle.
I am not a morning person, so I would hate it if someone was all over me in the morning. Once they are awake, I let them have breakfast and wake up a little before I make any demands for getting ready. But by 7.20, it is on like Donkey Kong!
Last year, there was a morning that Oliver got to school, then realised he didn’t have any shoes on. That will not happen again!
This year it is teeth, dressed, bag, and shoes THEN play.
I don’t let them watch TV or Ipad’s in the morning, it just annoys me when they ignore me. So I allow them to play with Lego or outside for a little, before getting in the car.
Oliver has his own sticker chart that he follows, so he knows what is coming up. I find I can then simply direct him back to the chart, rather than keep asking him what he has or hasn’t done. This relieves me of the pressure, and gives him some responsibility, which kids surprisingly love.
So Mummaz, you don’t need to do it all. Get them involved!
4. Keep School Stuff Together
“Where is your bag?”
“Why don’t you have your socks on?”
“Yes you need to wear both shoes!”
“What do you mean you can’t find your library bag?”
Sound familiar? *Night*Mare*! So I get all the school stuff out, together on the table, the night before. All Oliver has to do is pack it up and find his shoes, which he takes off at the front door the when he gets home.
Sure, I could leave everything exactly where he left it all, but why would I make my life harder? He doesn’t care if he goes to school with mismatched socks on, but I do.
So I put it all out, undies and all, and he does the rest. Less stress for me in the morning!
5. Is It Working?
Do yourself a favour people, do some self-assessment.
What happened last year?
Did everyone get to school on time and happy?
Or did you rock up a shambled mess and cry after every school bell?
Your mornings can be easy, but you have to make it so. If you get easily stressed in the mornings, identify that stress, and make the change.
Michael Jackson wisely said he was starting with the man in the mirror, and so should you.
Lead by example, and you will marvel at the difference.
Peace Mummaz ✌
AKA: Michelle Bell - doTERRA wife and mum of 2, with a passion for family, life, and wine.
doTERRA mummaz questioning the typical approach to pregnancy, birth & parenting through holistic care, mumma hacks & oily love ✌
We hope you enjoyed the read from our friends over at 2WhyzMummaz and are feeling a little more prepared and inspired. YOU'VE GOT THIS! Here's a bonus summary of all their top tips, just incase you need a refresher!
Have a great day - and best of wishes for the back to school days!
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