Episode 055: Tips for Back to School - Part 2

Episode Transcription

Are you struggling with the back-to-school chaos? I’m sharing six practical, stress-busting strategies, from snack time tips to tools for managing school schedules. Remember, there's a chance to win $300 for your back-to-school needs too. Let’s make this school year the best one yet!

Are you interested in joining our giveaway? Click the link below for more information and how to enter.
Back-to-School Giveaway: Click Here to Enter

This is the second episode of a three-part series. Diana shares more practical strategies for managing back-to-school stress and schedules.

Tips we discuss in this episode:

  • Dodge the snack time funk by creating a master snack list
  • Keep the first weekend after school totally clear and low key
  • Create 1:1 time with each child
  • Load your planner/calendar with all the back-to-school things
  • Use alarms or use personal assistants to give you countdowns and reminders to be ready for school
  • Have snacks ready to avoid hangry kids

What can you expect from this podcast and future episodes?

  • 15-20 minute episodes to help you tackle your to-do list
  • How to declutter in an effective and efficient way
  • Guest interviews
  • Deep dives on specific topics 

Find Diana Rene on social media:
Instagram: @the.decluttered.mom
Facebook: @the.decluttered.mom
Pinterest: @DianaRene

Are you ready for a peaceful and clutter-free home? Watch my FREE training video "Kiss Clutter Goodbye" to learn how it's possible! And find all of my resources here.

This transcript is auto-generated. Please excuse grammatical errors.

Diana Rene: 

You're listening to the Decluttered Mom podcast, a podcast built specifically for busy moms by a busy mom. I'm your host, Diana Rene, and in 2017, I had my second daughter and it felt like I was literally drowning in my home Okay, not literally, but I felt like I couldn't breathe with all of the stuff surrounding me. Over the next 10 months, I got rid of approximately 70% of our household belongings and I have never looked back. I kind of feel like I hacked the mom system and I'm here to share all the tips, tricks and encouragement. Let's listen to today's show.

Welcome to another episode of The Decluttered Mom Podcast. This is going to be the second part of the three-part series, all about back-to-school tips, tricks, systems, routines, all of the things that are going to help you reduce the chaos, reduce the stress and just maybe even enjoy back-to-school a little bit. Maybe, who knows, but at least take away the stress right?

Don't forget that we do have a giveaway going on for this series. It's a three-part back-to-school series, so if you want to take part in that giveaway, all of the details are in the show notes. It's super simple to enter and one random person is going to win $300 to use for back-to-school things, whether that school supplies, food, gas, whatever they need for back-to-school.

Okay, so let's just jump into today's tips, because we don't have time to just go into all the other fluff, right? So we're going to jump into tip number one, and that is dodging this snack time funk. We all know that when we go to pick up kids after school, or right when they get home, if they come off the bus or wherever it may be, they are hangry and we want to make sure that we are not only dealing with hangry kids, but not knowing what we're going to feed these hangry kids. And so I have always struggled with food, with snacks, with meals, because it's just not something that I don't enjoy cooking, I don't enjoy baking and I have ADHD and I oftentimes just forget to eat. Like I just get so hyper focused on what I'm doing that it can be like three o'clock and I look at the. I'm like, why am I so hungry? And I'm like, oh yeah, because it's three o'clock, and so having kids kind of forced me actually to be more proactive when it comes to all things. Food and snack is one of those things, and so, for whatever reason, when we go back to school, I have noticed a trend that we like forget what to do when it comes to snacks, and I think, maybe because we're doing back to school lunches and there's already other, so many other things that are is on our mental plate and our physical plate, and so what I did a few years back and I do it every year now is create a master snack list. So what this is is I sit down with my kids, I have them come up with as many snack ideas as they can. I come up with as many snack ideas as I can. If there's not enough which usually there's plenty from that list. But if there's not enough, then I can go on Pinterest, I can go on Google, I can type in on TikTok kids snack ideas like there's so many resources out there when it comes to kids snacks and I just add them to this list. This master list I keep printed in the kitchen, in the inside of one of my cabinets, and if I'm ever doing my grocery list and I'm just having a moment where I'm just struggling on thinking of what I can order for snacks, then I just look at this list and I order. Those are the things that I have, and so Having this list just keeps me stocked with fresh ideas and just makes the planning easier, either when I'm doing grocery day or when the kids are home and the food is already in your house and you just can't think of what to give them. It's helpful in both of those scenarios.

Tip number two is to keep this first weekend after school totally clear. This is actually a tip that a mom of teenagers gave me when my oldest was going into kindergarten and she was like can I give you some unsolicited advice that really helped me through the years? And I was like 100%, because if anything you guys, I will always listen to advice from moms who are further ahead in older stages than I have ever dealt with, because they have wisdom, they have paid no things that I just don't know yet. So she was going to kindergarten in the fall. I was like we had done preschool, but it was like very minimal, like two half days a week type thing. So I did not know what I was really getting into with back to school season. And so she was like so my best unsolicited advice is to leave the weekend after the first week of school totally open and just totally free. And if the kids want to watch movies all weekend long or they want to sleep in until 11 am, like, I just let them. We have no obligations, we don't have to be anywhere. And she said that just having that cushion after a crazy first week because, let's face it, no matter how prepared you are the first week of school, everybody's tired, everybody's a little bit overstimulated, and so just having that buffer at the end of the week is really helpful for them, especially because as you do it for a couple of years, the kids know to expect it. You know to expect it. So you can kind of like, if things are extra crazy, you kind of like have that in the back of your mind is like, okay, it's crazy tonight or today, but like we have that coming up where we can just do nothing all weekend long and the kids feel the same.

And the other part of that is having a one-on-one time with each kid during that weekend. So this can be as simple or as elaborate as you wanted to make it, but for me I just take each of them on a long walk one-on-one alone, just them and mom. And that way I have found that when there are two times my kids talk to me the most or they open up to me, I should say the most. They will talk to me all day long, but as far as like open up to me about like things going on with friends or just thoughts that they're having or worries they're having or anything like that, I have found the two times they really open up the most are right before bed and when we're walking, like I think and I don't know if that's just like a neurological, physiological thing right when, like, our brains are like kind of preoccupied with, like just the simple mode of walking. But that tends to be a time that they really open up to me. And so I take each of them on a one-on-one walk and I don't put any expectations on that walk, I don't like grill them with questions, I just am there in case they want to talk about anything. And I think that that has really been helpful, also for just a chance to like connect in the season of a little more crazy than normal. And so that has been really really helpful and was great, unsolicited but welcome advice that I got several years ago.

Okay, tip number three was actually the one-on-one time. I got ahead of myself. Okay, and for the sake of me not getting confused with the rest of the numbers, we're gonna say that that was tip number two and three.

So tip number four is to get ahead of the game and load your planner or calendar, whatever you use with the whole school year. Yes, so include all school events, days off, spirit days, anything. Obviously you're not gonna know about some random things that pop up, but you should get a calendar from the school at the beginning of the year with all of the events, all of the teacher days where the kids have a half day or a day off, or there's a million, one bajillion things. So I just take that calendar, I print it out, I sit down and I put every single thing into my Google calendar. Yes, google calendar. If you've been listening to me for any period of time, you're like Tiana what Cause? You know that I always talk about being a paper planner person. I even have a planner myself that is a free download. You can print it yourself, you can have it. I do still use that sometimes, but I will say the last five-ish months I have really turned into more of a digital planner person, which I know, I know, I know it's crazy. Maybe I need to talk about this in another episode, because I could probably talk about it for a full episode, but that doesn't mean I will never use a paper planner again. That is just what is working for me in this season of my life. So I'm going to. If something's working for me, I'm gonna hold onto it and ride with it. I'm not going to push back just because something else worked better for me in the past, and so, yes, I think I'll talk about this on another episode, because I do think I could talk about this for a while. But so what I do is I just print it out and I sit down and I put everything into the Google calendar. That way, I have it there. I actually also have a new thing that I ordered for our command center, which is like a digital calendar, like frame, I guess I don't know how to describe it. It looks like a frame that's attached, like you hang it on the wall, but it's a digital. You can like sync your Google calendar to it, and so it's there, and so that will be a new test. I don't know how that's gonna work, but I really wanted to try this so that everyone has easy access to the calendar, but again, I'm getting off. I'm getting off track. The idea is to basically just get everything that you can extra curricular activities. If you have all the practice or game schedules or anything like that, just get it in your calendar now, because you never know when you're planning something. Like it's October, you haven't been thinking about school stuff for a while, and like you plan something for January and you're like, oh shoot, that's when the school has X day. You know what I mean, and so just having everything in your calendar for the whole year really helps you to prevent any scheduling issues down the road.

Okay, tip number five is to use alarms or personal tech. I don't even know what are they called. Okay, I don't know. Alexa on Google what is it? Echo? I don't even know. I don't even know. We have Alexas in our house and I'm sorry because I'm probably, by saying that, like turning your Alexas on and saying they're saying like, what can I do for you? I'm sorry, this always happens anytime I talk about them, but I like to use these as my personal assistant in the home as far as reminders, and so I have Alexa or whatever your preferred assistant is give countdowns for leaving the house. So like, if I know we have to leave the door or get out the door at 6.55 am, no-transcript I'm gonna have, and I'm just making that up. We actually don't leave that early. If it's six to 55 am, then I have a reminder at 6.40 am saying 15 minutes until you leave for school, and that way the kids have a little bit of an idea of how much time they have left to be ready for school. That also not just the kids, it helps me and my husband also just kind of stay on track with where we are with time. Again, adhd, I know, but like time blindness is a thing and so it's really easy for me to like completely not even pay attention to the time. So having these like reminders is really helpful. I also set alarms on my phone for school pickup because there was one time in my oldest was in kindergarten that I forgot about school pickup because I was on like a meeting. Then I got distracted and then I was like, oh no, I'm supposed to be there right now and it's all drive. So I don't ever, I don't ever wanna do that again and you could be the best mom in the world and still forget to go pick your kids up. Because, especially when it's back to school and you're in a new routine, it's easy to do so I just have an alarm on my phone, that way if I'm not home I'll still get it, and I just do it for like 20 minutes before pickup or 20 minutes before the time I need to leave. So that's like, oh yeah, I need to do that. Do I have time to like do this one last thing before I leave? But at least it like puts it back on my radar so that I don't ever forget Again. I realized that it makes me sound like a bad mom, like don't forget to pick up your kids. But we have a lot on our plates and sometimes we just need reminders for the most simple things, especially when we're in a new routine.

This tip number six is another one that a mom of older kids gave me and that was just to simply bring a snack and water for school pickup. Obviously, if, like, your kids ride the bus and they get home, it says a little bit different. But when my oldest was in kindergarten, I didn't do that at first and like she was so hangry and emotional and overstimulated and like just having a snack for her. Just making that simple shift was so, so helpful. Obviously, you need to adjust this based on how old your kids are and how clean you wanna keep your car, but I just think that getting food in their system when we pick them up, even if you don't like them eating in the car, even if you just like hang out outside of the school for a little bit while they eat their snack, I just think it makes such a big difference and I think that it's important to remember that if it's your child's first time in school, this is new for you and it's new for them, and so there's a lot of big emotions, even if it's not their first time in school. There tends to be a lot of big emotions at the beginning of the school year because it's a new class, it's a new teacher, it might be new friend issues, like there's things going on that our kids just have a harder time with, and so just making sure that they have food in their bellies and they're not angry and emotional just because they're really hungry or dehydrated is just a really helpful thing to have.

Okay, you guys, that is all I have for today. Remember, we do have a third part of this three-part series coming out next week. For the giveaway you can enter once each week, so once, like three times over the three. Can I make that any more complicated? There are three weeks with three different episodes for Back to School. You can enter the giveaway every single one of those weeks, okay, and so I would love to hear how this episode was helpful for you. Is there any of these tips that you're going to try with your kids with Back to School? Let me know, send me a DM I'd love to hear from you or sharing your stories and tag me and we will see you on part three next week.

Thanks for hanging out and listening to the Decluttered Mom podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, it would mean the world If you could write a review or share this episode with a friend or your Instagram stories. And if you're on Instagram, be sure to follow me at thedeclutteredmom and send me a DM to say hi. I'd love to hear what you thought about today's episode. I hope you'll come back next week and hang out with us again.