Summer, that elusive warm (ok, hot) season full of rest, relaxation and rowdy rambunctious kids, is coming to an end. With apologies to Ned Stark from Game of Thrones: School is Coming! And that means hectic times and busy days, school supplies, meeting the teachers, first day of school butterflies, and “Mom! I lost my lunchbox on the first day of school!” If you have the added excitement of expecting a baby in August or September, you may be cruising toward full panic mode.
But just take a breath, sit back, and prop up your swelling ankles. Here is a back to school survival guide!
Remember when your kids brought their school supplies home with them in May? If their backpacks are still full, now is a good time to pull them out and assess the school supplies. Chances are your kid already has quite a few school supplies in good shape. See if you can check scissors, pencil box and thumb drives off your school supply list.
Fill Your Freezer
Cooking ahead and freezing food will save you and your family from a few weeks of cereal for dinner after you birth your August or September baby. (Not that we judge cereal for dinner here!) Once you have a newborn on hand, easy meal preparation is useful to keep your evening schedule humming along. Make ahead and freeze lasagne, enchiladas, soups, chili, and chicken dishes. You can also make ahead and freeze breakfast burritos for an easy way to send off your older kids to school with a high protein breakfast in their bellies (just remember to microwave the burritos before you feed them to your kids).
Call Your Cavalry
Call your cavalry or text your tribe or fire off messages to your Facebook friends. You will need some help with your school age kiddos when you have your baby or during the first few weeks at home. It’s okay to ask for help! You will be able to return the favor or pay it forward in time. Try to have a plan B to get your kids to and from school, practices, rehearsals, etc. Is there a school friend they can spend the night with while you are giving birth? Can your brother step up and run carpool for a couple of days? Prepare a list of names and phone numbers for trusted helpers you can call day and night. You and your partner do not have to do this alone.
Prepare the Drawers
Organize your kids’ drawers. And your kids’ drawers of drawers. Take a bag and put an entire change of clothes (socks, underwear, and jammies included) and repeat for two or three more bags. That way your kids are not searching high and low for a pair of matching socks of comfortable undies while your mother-in-law is trying to herd them out the door to school.
Having a baby at the beginning of the school year can be very challenging, but with some planning and organization, your life will be so much easier. Your second-day postpartum self will thank you for it!