Top Tips for Surviving August with the Kids
September is only a few short weeks away. If that Depresses you Stresses you Terrifies the living daylights out of you or All of the above,
then you need to read these tips to help you enjoy these last few weeks of Summer. All hope is not lost, there is still plenty of fun to be had in the next few weeks as you prepare for the new school year.
Relax. September is coming up fast and there is a lot to organize before schools reopen but remember to carve out some precious time for yourself. Not every waking minute needs to be spent with the kids or trying to shop for the kids. Go for coffee with friends or run a bath. Maybe even set aside a couple of hours to finally finish that book you started on holidays. Seems like a lifetime ago, doesn’t it?
Strategize Have a conversation with your kids about what hobbies or sports they might want to pick up this year. This will give them time to change their mind a thousand times before deciding.
Shop early Start thinking about getting your back to school shopping done, right now! Nobody wants to be camping outside a bookshop for 16 hours only to find that the books you need are all gone and the nearest shop that stocks them is in Hong Kong. You should also spread out your back to school shopping over the next few weeks. It is a little known health fact that buying little and often reduces the risk of a heart attack at the cashier.
Pens, pencils, highlighters, staplers…These things seem inexpensive on their own but, when they’re bought all at once in a desperate last minute shopping splurge, you might find yourself looking at a small mortgage!
Make Fun Memories There are only a handful weekends left of the summer holidays. Make the most of them by planning fun things to do as a family. Go to the zoo, the bowling alley or even for a walk around the local parks. Try to avoid any long car rides with the kids though, that would be a recipe for disaster!
Don't estimate sizes! Shopping for school uniforms isn’t fun for anyone but the early bird catches the worm and the early shopper catches the right size. There comes a point when saying “you’ll grow into it” just doesn’t apply when you’ve literally lost your child in an oversized shirt.
Don’t feel bad about dropping your kids off at their friends house for a day. You will eventually have to return the favour but not before you get through as many friends as you can. Besides, you can’t seriously be expected to get all your back to school shopping done with the kids hanging out of you. That would just be cruel.
Birthdays aren't just for the kids Say yes immediately to every Birthday invite your child gets. You get a free afternoon to catch up on your work/sleep and you get to vent to the other Mums about how short this Summer has been. It’s basically free childcare and free therapy sessions, win win! You will have to buy a present, but two out of three ain’t bad.
Try to mentally prepare yourself for the first week of school-runs. We know it’s a traumatic thought but it is better to be prepared now rather than waking up in complete denial on the first day of school. Plan your school route ahead of time! We’re talking safe bike routes, traffic updates, detours, back up plans; anything to make sure you get your kids there on time and safe.
Don’t get too hung up about your teenager sleeping all day. They’re not depressed, they’re just lazy teenagers who need their sleep. Resign yourself to force them out of bed only every second day. About ten days before their first day back to school, start waking them up an hour earlier everyday until they are back in the early morning routine.
Just have fun And finally, enjoy your time with the kids. Purposefully plan a lazy Sunday where everyone stays in their PJs and all you do is watch movies, play board games and order pizza for dinner. It will probably be the highlight of your kid’s summer. There is only a month left and no matter how much they annoy you now, you will miss having them around when they go back to school. But not until October. At the earliest. Maybe.
Schooldays.ie article written by Megan Cronly,
as published in the Sunday Business Post on Sunday, 2nd August 2015