School has been back for 2/3 weeks depending when your kids went back. I feel like it is taking me longer than the kids to adjust! Two things have changed this year – Jack is Grade One and Cameron’s swimming has moved location. Neither should be a big deal right? Well in isolation they wouldn’t be but when I am managing the movements of 6 people, when one steps out of line, something happens and it’s not always a good something.
Cameron’s swimming moved 5km further than where it was, which doesn’t sound like a lot but it adds 15/20 minutes to my daily trip and now in the afternoons I travel 46km EVERY. SINGLE. AFTERNOON! This does not include morning drop offs, dancing drops off and pick ups or swimming picks up. This is ONE TRIP!
I often get asked how I do it, especially when it comes to school and juggling all the balls that go with that! I am really really lucky that I have a lot more help than most people do. David helps with school pick ups and drops the kids every morning. His mom fetches Emma and Jack on a Monday, Wednesday, Friday.
I do have some tips though that make it easier.
Obviously my biggest suggestion is get some help! I know not everyone has help readily available but if you do, don’t be too proud to use it. There are also transportation services, au pairs etc that can help you. Even asking your domestic to cook dinner can be a huge help, it doesn’t have to be help picking up kids.
Keep the magazines. If you have kids in Grades 1-4 get yourself some magazines. Kids need pics for this, that and the next thing. Magazines make life so much easier than trying to get to a printer.
Plan your kids extra muruals so they work for you. Kiara and Jack have their at school extra muruals on the same day until the same time. A while ago I moved Kiara’s dancing to a studio closer. If one of them want to do something I do my best to make it work for us all. It has to be conveniently located, the times need to work for everyone. Seriously guys, we all want the best for our kids but they can still have it all AND be convenient for you!
Stock up on cupcake mix! Baker man or Cake and Candy will just suddenly arrive, these pre-mixes will safe your life more than once.
Explain the routine to your kids. Kiara loves to dawdle, if she dawdles I am late for Cameron, the we are late to swimming, late home etc etc. So I make sure she knows when she needs to hustle. I also tell Cam if I am going to be a bit late to fetch him. It takes the stress of me to get there on time and they know whats happening. Often Cameron will use the days I am going to be a bit late to talk to teachers he needs to etc.
Tag team it with your partner. We are back to supervising homework with Jack. David and I tag team it. We make sure homework gets done as soon as we get home, some days David is home and has time to spare, other times I do it. Don’t try to do it all on your own, ask for help!
Add Vitamin B. Seriously, you need all the help you can get especially while you all adjust. Vitamin B is your friend!
There is no magic solution to this. It is stressful and chaotic and some days the balls all drop and you find yourself sitting in the parking lot of a petrol station at 6h25, tank full of petrol but no bank card to pay for it. I have learnt to let a lot go. When the balls drop I ask myself how important was it really? Is the world still turning? Are my kids safe? If everyone falls asleep in their own beds, tummies full I take it as a win, the stuff in the middle is just that stuff!
How are you adjusting?
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