Back to school is stressful for all, even more when it’s just you taking care of all the things. I am a single Mom of 3 (16, 11 and 6) and here are my top tips of not only how to survive it but thrive doing it!
- Teach the kids to make their own lunch. If they can work an iPad, they can pack a lunch box. Make it easy for them. Put all non-perishable items in a basket and sandwich bags. They will know to bring their lunch box to the “lunch making station” every day and getting ready for the next day.
2. Find your tribe. Moms that can help you! Somewhere in that class there is a Mom who is like super organized, high efficient and knows all the school info – find her! She may be a stay at home Mom or just one of those OCD, type A personalities and she would love nothing more than to help you. You are going to need it. Find the Mom who stays at home or has flexible hours and that can help you out on the early release days or teacher conferences. It’s ideal to find someone your kids get along with, that way you can return the favor by babysitting one weekend.
3. Just buy the treat. I know you want to be the Pinterest, DIY Mom, but you don’t have time or maybe are just not good at it. Don’t feel guilty, just buy it! Cupcakes to celebrate birthdays are fun and special – even when the cupcakes come from the store.
4. Update your calendar. There is likely one on the school website or a paper one that was sent home. Use your smart phone and put all those dates in there. All of them, even spring break and last day of school. That way you don’t have to remember, because there’s no way you can. Or at least no way I can with 3 kids at 3 levels of education. You don’t want to miss a game or school program, just because you forgot.
5. Find out how your school and child’s teacher communicates. If it’s via email, text, phone calls or social media, make sure you are signed up for all the alerts. There will always be reminders and communication coming from school, so make sure you are in the loop.
6. Clothing swap or exchange. Kids grow fast, in fact most of them grow so fast that a lot of clothes and shoes only get worn a few times. Start a Facebook group or just a small co-op to see if that Mom of a 5th grade girl wants to give you all her cute clothes for your 3rd grade girl. She probably will! I love hand me downs and feel so much better giving clothes to someone who will get good use out of them instead of just dumping them in the goodwill tubs.
7. Take advantage of paydays! Money gets tight for everyone, but especially if you're doing it alone. A trick I do, is buy a $10 or $20 gas gift card every payday. Store it away for a rainy day, or that day right before you get paid and you have no money!
Mikita Burton is a single Mom of 3,coffee addict, Lifestyle Blogger, new dedicated gym rat and educator. Keeping up with her 3 kids doesn’t lend itself to a lot of sleep, hence the coffee addiction!