Remember those days when you had 1 or 2 kids and if you were at home, all you had on the agenda was music class, the park, and story time? Then, when your child started pre-school, you had to adjust to not crying and not vomiting at the front of the school knowing that it was just a few hours a day for a few hours a week. You managed to get home and do some chores before heading out to get your child to resume your at-home schedule. Then, at pre-k, they upped the ante and your baby was going every day, for a few hours a week, and you had to adjust to that.
Even though I primarily speak to parents who are stay-at-home with young ones because they are the ones who didn’t have to hustle to a work schedule quite yet like their working counterparts (juggling daycare and getting to work on time), all parents have to adjust when their kids start school.
Personally, I feel like I’m going to be living in a car for the next 2 years until both children get into elementary school together. For now, it’s shuffling between different drop-off and pick-up times plus throw in rushing to the extracurricular activities after school. I think my schedule became as intense as my 5-year-old when I turned 24.
Anywho, I’m not the expert here with parenting and managing time, so please step in if any seasoned parents out there have any suggestions. But, here are the pretty suggestions I found on the internet webs.
I keep hearing how amazing this is for saving time, money, and it might even help you lose weight *writing this as sitting in my car eating some nonorganic snack and not even feeling guilty*. Maybe it’s time to really try it out. I will have to give up my Sundays to cook and hopefully somehow, I’ll feel like I’ll be saving time at the end of the week. Check out the fool proof ways these amazing women have won the Olympic Gold Medal in the sport of meal prep.
Write Things Down, Somewhere
A pretty planner here with this super cute pen here or just some scraps of paper will do. Or, if you fancy using your smartphone’s calendar (you can set life-saving reminders), that’s even better (saves paper, saves trees). When your child/children start school, you will need to start writing things down somewhere. You can’t keep track of everything in the noggin. I’ve tried and I’ve forgotten when they didn’t have school. We love this Panda Planner because it’s a planner that also helps you feel good and motivated!
Wake Up Early-Er/Prep the Night Before
I am reluctant at suggesting waking up even earlier when you’re already not sleeping as much as you’d like. But, if you want to get anything done without rushing out the door with a missing left shoe or just to have some time to yourself before the day starts, you’ll have to get up earlier. If waking up early is out of the question, then prep the night before. Either way, you already know the name of the game here and it’s “how much can I do with just a few hours of sleep?” By the time your kids go to school, you’ve already become a master of juggling many things all at once, so this suggestion isn’t really a novel idea.
Look for Reinforcements
If this is an option, look for grandparents, aunts, uncles, or the friendly neighborhood mom who might be able to help you with the chauffeuring. From what I’ve seen at school, grandparents look really happy picking up the grandkids, so don’t be afraid to ask them. The other option if available is to coordinate with the person who did this you, which is your spouse/partner. If they have to get to work in the morning (like not graveyard shift), then see if they can drop off your child on the way to work. Or, if they do work at the crack of dawn, see if they can pick up the kids after school.
Consider Utilizing the School Bus
If it’s safe, if it’s provided, so many kids use the bus stop. Do you use the bus stop? I haven’t gotten there personally, but I’m afraid so I can’t really encourage anyone to use the bus if I can’t even do it myself. But, just another option to help you with time you’d spend driving to and from if it’s a provided service. Here’s a great article on how to keep your kids safe at the bus stop.
Believe It’ll All Work Out
A huge part of being a parent is to learn by doing. That first day of preschool, you will probably be sick and pass out. But your children are stronger and more resilient than you think. You, too, will become stronger and more efficient after getting the hang of preschool. Having your little ones start elementary is just one more new thing to learn and the next steps will be junior high, high school, high school, college, etc. Everyone is afraid, everyone struggles, and everyone literally doesn’t know what they’re doing. That’s when you seek help and advice of seasoned parents. You also have to believe that it’ll all work out somehow even if you feel like you’ll be trapped in a car for the rest of your life. Some of the best advice seasoned parents (parents with kids who are like 15-45) have told us is that this time will go so quickly. Quicker than when they were newborns. You’ll learn to enjoy it and you’ll learn to roll with the punches. Commiserate with these people and not the ones without kids, they’ll just make you feel worse for venting. Before you know it, you’ll be at college graduation and be wondering how you didn’t fuse to your car seat and if anything, your kids will really love you for all of it.