Some moms look forward to the first day of school as much as their sons dread it. Others dread the first day of school and the impending separation from their children. Regardless of the attitude you have toward the first day, though, one thing is sure: the first week of school can be an emotional and physical drain on even the most enthusiastic families. Between adjusting to new routines and dealing with the logistics of getting going earlier in the morning and winding up earlier at night, enduring the first week of school can feel like running a marathon.
So is there any real way to prepare for the first week of school? While nothing can completely prepare you for the emotional highs and lows of the first week, with planning and execution you can almost completely mitigate the effects of the physical exhaustion. As with so many other things in life, preparation is the cure for many ills.
First, if you don’t already have and use a household planner, now would be a great time to create one. While there are numerous planners you can buy, if you are willing to take a little time, you can create your own planner which serves your exact needs. Don’t worry that you may have to spend a ton of time creating forms and organizing your planner. There are many websites that have already done this for you. My go-to site for forms is Donna Young’s . If you homeschool or afterschool your son, you’re in for a huge treat at this site, but even if you are just putting together your own household planner, you will likely find the majority of forms you need. Donna even provides a range of typefaces and planner types. By buying her site CD . (on sale during the month of August), you will have access to the most amazing electronic planner ever. I’m in no way affiliated with Donna Young, but I have benefitted from her free forms for years!
A planner will allow you to keep track of everything you need to do/have/plan for school. It also solves another major problem moms face: school lunch. Plenty of moms end up paying much more for school lunches than they budget simply because it is easier when embroiled in a hectic morning to hand your son $5 than it is to throw together a lunch when you haven’t planned lunch. By planning out a week’s worth of lunches, and preparing them the night before, you can eliminate this major stress causer. Lunch doesn’t have to be that elaborate, either. Thanks to the world of convenience food available today, your son can have a nutritious lunch with virtually no prep time on your part.
Although having and using a planner can help you better to manage your time on school nights/mornings, there is no substitute for preparation. Just as you would prepare your son’s lunch the night before, encourage him to lay out his clothes, pack his backpack, and do anything that can be done in the evening. There is nothing wrong with doing a couple of dry runs before school actually starts. If you or your son drives to school, it would also be a good idea to do a dry run of the commute during rush hour. Unless you are absolutely sure of the traffic patterns in the morning, don’t assume that you will be on time on the first day absent a trial run!
Finally, realize that unexpected things may come up the first week. Instead of fretting that they weren’t on your planner, be prepared to adapt. Any mom who has sent a child to school knows that routine settles in soon enough. If it seems like things will never settle in to that routine, just be patient. All the kinks will work themselves out and things will get easier before you know it.