Getting back into a routine after the summer holidays
While many parents will be glad that we are now back into the school routine as September gets under way, there can be a few teething troubles to get over during the first few weeks back at school. And not just for kids! Now that the schools are back things should return to normal and for many of us that means it’s back to wearing several different hats and juggling as many different responsibilities. Getting back into the school year can be just as daunting for parents – so here are a few tips to help you navigate through the next few weeks.
The ‘To Do’ list
When I was younger I marvelled at the number of notebooks my mother-in-law could fill with ‘To Do’ lists. These days I think ‘To do’ lists are great. At this time of year getting back into the routine can be helped by having at least one main list – just as a little reminder of all the necessary tasks you have to fit into an overcrowded week. The school break often leaves us with a bit more time to fit everything in and getting back into fitting chores around school runs and after school events can be mind-boggling. A list will help – believe me!
Meal routines; if you don’t already have a weekly menu plan in your head this can be a great time saver on many levels. It saves time on grocery shopping as well as ensuring that meal preparation goes smoothly. Planning – and where possible preparing meals in advance makes a real difference in terms of time and it can save money as you can plan around what’s in season and what’s on offer! The more simple meals you can work on to the menu the more time you can save.
Keeping the peace
Peace keeping can be a major part of the domestic routine. One of the biggest and least popular time wasting activities that many parents face is settling disputes and finding out who indeed really did start it. Set some very simple rules and make it the kid’s responsibility to sort it out. When an argument breaks out let them know they need to resolve it between them. If they are unable to do this send them for ‘time out’ to their own rooms. Repeat this as often as necessary – making it their responsibility to resolve arguments can be surprisingly effective and can free up more time than you could imagine!
Whatever it is, have it delivered
Whatever it is, if it can be delivered or dropped off, take advantage of that fact; online grocery shopping, dry cleaning drop off – better still pick-ups – and prescription services are all good examples. It helps to try to fit as many errands into one trip as possible and can save fuel/money as well. Online grocery shopping services are on the increase. Many dairies will now deliver daily essentials in additional to traditional milk and dairy products – these are great as they allow for small orders with no delivery charge. They can also offer the advantage of late ordering times – up to 9pm in some cases – with delivery first thing the next delivery day.
Don’t be complacent!
The first few weeks of getting back into the routine can leave you feeling tired and frazzled – to say the least. Back to school for the kids can mean back to work for adults with all the associated running around in between to cater to various after school requirements and pick up forgotten items from the shops. Organising your routine with the help of lists, a little menu planning and taking advantage of local food shopping services can cut out a lot of the hassle and help you back into your normal weekly routine. Beware though, summer be ending, but Christmas will soon be upon us!
Neil Goddard lives in the heart of South West London. He works as a digital marketer and is a keen blogger with a passion for sharing his thoughts online. Neil also keeps himself busy with kung fu and amateur film making when he can find the time.