In this end-of-summer season, there are plenty of parents out there who are inwardly sighing at the idea of all the logistical juggling that the school year is about to foist upon them. We can already envision the stress of needing to be in two places at the same time, of going on too little sleep, of being asked to volunteer for school projects when we already have a huge backlog at home, and so on.
Does the school year really need to be like this? Or is there a way to make things easier?
Here are five ideas, and we hope you’ll share yours too.
1. Carpooling is not exactly a new idea, but it’s often underutilized by parents of younger children. It may be tricky to work out the initial logistics with regard to car seats and routes, but oh, how great it is to be able to skip some of those pick-ups and drop-offs. Sharing the job of walking the kids to and from school with a neighbor is equally helpful. If you can set this kind of system up early in the year, your life will be that much easier.
2. Along the same lines, babysitter sharing is a great way to give yourself a break without breaking the bank. An experienced sitter can easily watch two friends for an afternoon, for example. The hourly rate increases by a bit, but split between two families it is still less expensive, not to mention more fun for the kids.
3. Standing play dates are another way to give your child a fun experience without adding extra costs or logistical complications. Find a compatible family and alternate homes each week. The kids will look forward to it, and you’ll have a mini-holiday every fourteen days.
4. We've said this many times, but it still bears repeating: early bedtimes for both kids and adults are probably the best way to ease the school year stress for everyone. Anything is possible with sleep!
5. Think before saying yes to the various volunteer projects you will surely be asked to help with. Before giving an answer, take a day or two to consider whether the project is truly important, and whether you truly have the time.
Finally, an altogether different way to make the school year easier is to start planning the next vacation. Something lovely to look forward to makes the hustle and bustle all worthwhile.
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