GOING back to school after the long summer holidays can be a time parents look forward to and dread in equal measure.
Children across the UK are set to return to their desks on different days near the end of August and the beginning of September.
And while this means less pressure to entertain, it also means getting them used to a more rigid routine – which can cause a lot of stress for everyone, especially in the first week while they acclimatise.
Thankfully, there are things you can actively start doing now to make the process just that little bit easier.
Here, LDN Mums Fitness founder and mum-of-three Sarah Campus, 33, shares her top tips to making going back to school a breeze…
Calm over clutter
Getting the kids back to school after the long summer holiday can seem like a daunting task as a parent but getting organised and into a routine makes it all so much easier.
READ MORE PARENTING TIPS I’m a mum-of-7 and a typical day isn’t easy…my cleaning list is never ending I’m a mum – me & my hubby quit our jobs after I started a racy side hustle
Sarah says: "When you are organised, you feel more in control, and will help avoid that awful feeling of overwhelm can eventually lead to stress.
"Before term starts, try and factor in a declutter or at the very least, a good tidy – be as ruthless as you can!
"Throwing away old unwanted or unused items will give you a clearer space to live and work in and will help create a sense of calm.
"If your kids are old enough, get them involved too, as it's a good habit to get into from a young age."
Most read in Fabulous Andrew's daughters Beatrice & Eugenie beg Charles to give their shamed dad new job I'm fed up of my ex's step kids stealing the clothes I buy my children I hate spending money, I don't do laundry and I NEVER use toilet paper I work in a school & judge your kids if they’ve got these names, one is SO sneaky 6 All parents are busy, so anything you can do to make your life that little bit easier is worth it Credit: Sarah Campus Batch bake
If you have the freezer space – and the motivation – Sarah absolutely swears by batch-cooking, which will make your life so much easier when in a rush.
She says: "It's one less thing to worry about when the kids return from school or nursery and instead of spending an hour in the kitchen every day you can spend it with them.
"Do an online supermarket shop that will arrive on the weekend so you can prep for the week ahead and you know exactly how much you will spend allowing you to budget.
"You know what food is coming, are less likely to over order and you can split the food out accordingly throughout the week.
"Prepping food on the weekend ahead of the week can be a bore but is the best way to free up time in the week."
Prepare for success
You can also portion up snacks and ingredients in advance now too, to save even more time.
Sarah says: "Chop up fruit and vegetables and portion them into zip lock bags in the freezer so when it comes to cooking you can just throw it all into the pan.
"Store food in zip lock bags and label them with contents, time take to cook and which day it’s to be eaten on.
"Having them in freezer bags allowing them to defrost a lot quicker in cold water as opposed to in Tupperware."
Save money on your shop
As we head back into our autumn routines Tesco understands that we all want to make choices for our family at the right prices – even when times are tight.
That’s why Tesco has created Better Baskets. With value at its heart, Better Baskets is all about helping us make better choices in the food we buy, the meals we make and the packaging we use. Lots of the products are on Aldi Price Match, Clubcard prices or Everyday Low Prices, too!
Look out for the Better Baskets logo every time you shop – it’s an easy way to help you fill your basket with better choices.
Create a routine
A morning routine can help save time for all, so start by creating a morning checklist on a white board now for all to see and action when term starts.
Sarah recommends getting as much organised the night before and then having a routine, such as;
Wake up Brush teeth Get dressed Brush hair Eat breakfast Put lunch in backpack Put homework in backpack Fashion forward
When the big first day back gets closer, also ensure you get clothes ready in advance and have all uniform good to go.
Sarah says: "Make sure all clothes are name labelled in advance, I really like the sticker ones from Petit Fernand – quick to apply and durable.
"Also, have school bags and shoes by the door for a swift exit after breakfast.
"Have storage boxes for each child so they know where to find everything that belongs to them.
"Then when they return home from school, they can put all their belongings away – less likely things will get lost.
"Also have a white board or notice board by the front door with a list of things each child needs to remember before they leave for school."
How to transition into term time
Need some advice on how to make the transition from school holiday to term time more bearable? Sarah recommends:
Start earlier bedtimes in advance – 15 minutes earlier each night a week leading up to returning to school. Get up earlier, again in 15-minute increments a week leading up to returning to school. Get back on a mealtime schedule. Label everything and store in organised boxes. Turn off electronics and control amount of time spent and when, with no electronics 45-60 minutes before bedtime. Make sure they are getting plenty of exercise – it will make their minds sharper, help them sleep better and help reduce some of the tension and energy that builds up. Don't forget 'me time'
Finally, while sorting out the kids and what they need will inevitably take over, Sarah says: "Don't forget yourself! There's nothing worse than feeling too rushed to get ready.
"I once read that Posh Spice plans her outfits whilst taking a bath, and if its works for one of the world's most fashionable entrepreneurial mums, I think it constitutes a legitimate hack.
"Plan your wardrobe the night before – or even better, for the week ahead on a Sunday, and keep your keys and handbag in the same place every night.
"Make sure you charge everything electrical before bed, and check your journey for the day in case there are any unexpected delays you need to be aware.
Read More on The Sun My dad didn’t share EuroMillions jackpot so we smashed his car with HAMMER I wore super crop top while out shopping – and got so many dirty looks
"Finally remember we are all just humans! There are no prizes for being the perfect parent, so if it doesn't all go exactly to plan on day one, do not beat yourself up."
For more tips and conversations about fitness, health and mum life follow @ldnmumsfitness instagram.
Read Full Article