It’s school time y’all!! My word, all the mommas said amen. ….Well, we will say amen once we get past the stress of preparing for the launch of the school year. The finale of summer brings with it all sorts of to-do’s: school clothes, school supplies, new routines, carpools, schedules, school lunches and meet the teachers. Not to mention...we’re all a little nervous, aren’t we? What if our kids don’t like their new teacher? What if there is a bully in the class? What if the other kids aren’t kind? What if our kid isn’t ready?
On the other hand….we won’t all be going crazy with the constant togetherness. Yea, you read that right. I’m calling it: there IS such a thing as too much family togetherness. We all need to feel a sense of healthy independence and purpose. Whether we homeschool, public school, private school or follow a less orthodox option for education...we all need to be back in our age appropriate grooves.
At this point there is nothing I can do to help you with all your kids’ school stuff….well except to tell you this: For the love, do not fool yourself into believing that it will be fun or sentimental to take your kids along to buy school supplies. It will be a disaster and you will find yourself in the fetal position between the wide and college ruled notebooks on Aisle 2.
I, however, can help you with your first day of school.
We may not think about it until the morning of, but we all think about it. What does the mom wear and how cute does one get for the first day of school drop off? It maybe the only day that some of us have to get out of our cars to take our kids into class and it will possibly be the first chance you’ve had to meet the other parents. Plus, you have to plan for the tears. (Whether they be of joy or sadness, they run your mascara the same.)
Let’s break down the basic anatomy of this mommas first day of school outfit together. (Me, guys...it's me)
Hygiene: You’ll notice this momma is clean to the smell and sight. But what you don’t know is that she didn’t have time to shower this morning, the mere idea of it is outrageous. She had to make a first day of school breakfast, get all the kids dressed, calm nerves and find that second shoe that went missing. In the arena of hygiene, fake it ‘till you make it, mommas. Dry shampoo, fresh deodorant, brushed teeth and perhaps even a feminine towelette. In an ideal world, we’re all taking showers the night before, but in the real world we were too tired.
Controversy: Cover them goodies. No one wants to see a mom, no matter how hot she is, with her booty or boobies hanging out. Also, we’re a divided nation on the topic of “Tights as Pants.” Just don’t, save it for the pick up line or Target run.
Functionality: This one is vital, an absolute must. If you can’t bend over to velcro a shoe, twist around to grab the younger sibling running for it, wrap your arms around your kiddo for that one last hug, and walk down the hall at a brisk pace because you are just barely gonna make it on time: then you have the wrong outfit. Choose accordingly.
Comfort: Whether you want to be comfortable because every other part of you will be feeling a little heartbroken, or you want to feel comfortable because first thing you are doing after drop off is grabbing a latte and going to the movie theater for the first time in five years, you need this.
Style: Even though this may be the last priority on the first morning of school, this is the thing that will make you FEEL confident for your big day. What is an outfit that you feel great in? Wear that. Do you love your bell sleeve cotton blouse? Add a pair of jeans and sandals and you are ready to go! Do you love a graphic tree with big leather earrings, distressed jeans and booties (my personal flava), that’s what you should aim for! Keep it casual and comfortable. Trust me when I say, don’t over-think it like I did on our first first day (duplicate firsts on purpose). Many a parent will have bags under their eyes and baseball caps on their heads, you don’t need to be dressed for prom here. Keep it simple, keep it casual, keep it authentic to your personal style.
And now….I share my very favorite school year hacks. These tips WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE. Money back guaranteed.
-Lay out clothes the night before. This is everything. It’s everything. Lay out every sock, belt, shoe….all of it. I’m building some pegboards like this one to make that process cute and functional in the kids’ rooms.
-Get up at least 30 minutes before your kids. I know this one doesn’t sound fun but trust me, getting in that coffee or a quick shower in peace will be just what you need to get through the blur of chaos coming for you when the children wake.
-Make weeks worth of lunches in one afternoon. That’s right, I make a couple of weeks worth of lunches in about an hour. I buy in bulk and divide up portions of chips/trail mix/various sides myself at home (keeps the cost down). Then I make an assembly line of bread and make a ton of sandwiches. I do mustard on one side and mayo on the other (cause I don’t want my kids being picky), a slice of cheese, and three slices of turkey/ham. Then I put either half or an entire sandwich in a baggie (depending on how much my kids eat), squish all the air out and lay them in the freezer. Once they have frozen, I stand them up in single file lines to save freezer space. The next morning I grab all the pre-portioned things that I want with their lunch that day and a frozen sandwich and I throw them in their lunch boxes. If we have it I add a piece of fresh fruit. The sandwich thaws in their lunch box during the morning and then you don’t have to worry about putting an ice pack in their bag!
-Make ahead breakfast. This one clears up so much morning stress and also gives everyone healthy options for breakfast. I do a similar assembly line as with the sandwiches, but I make breakfast burritos. Other healthy options: crock pot oatmeal, hard boiled eggs, smoothies (super easy to buy fruit and in bulk and keep frozen in individual portions), and breakfast casseroles.
-Set alarms! Besides setting your own wake up alarm, set one for when you need to get your kiddos up. You would be amazed at how many times I forgot to wake our son up until 10 minutes before it was time to leave. (Winning!)
-Develop your morning routine and keep it. We are shower at night, get dressed before you can eat, eat, brush teeth, and get in the car people. But that’s just us.
And now....LET THE CELEBRATING BEGIN!! Or....urr I mean the sentimentality.
You got this mommas. And seriously, no matter how you feel after drop off, grab a latte from your local coffee shop. You deserve it!