For most of us out there, back to school time seems to bring a wide range of emotions. There is anticipation – maybe mixed with a little dread – about starting a new school year. Some of us may not be ready for the summer to be winding down yet (definitely me!). Some moms are ready for their kids to be gone again during the day, while others wouldn’t mind keeping them home a little bit longer (also me). Regardless of how you feel about school starting and whether it is you or your kids going back to school, I am sharing a few tips to help make this transition a little less painful.

Set reasonable expectations for yourself and your kids!

Adjusting back to a structured schedule can be hard for some people. I love our lazy mornings and late nights, so getting back into the routine of morning alarms, homework, reading, and bedtime is going to be an adjustment for everyone. Start making a few adjustments before school starts and realize that your schedule isn’t going to be perfect, and that’s okay. It’s probably going to take a few weeks to feel like you are starting to get a handle on things.

Don’t overdo it!

It is so easy to get caught up in what you think you have to do to get the school year started. Does your family need a pinterest-worthy back to school dinner, complete with themed foods and decorations? Definitely not. Do they even need all their shopping completed before the big day arrives? Maybe, but probably not. I like to spread my shopping out and don’t start buying cold-weather clothes until the weather starts to cool off. What your family needs is a mom who is loving and supportive (most of the time), even when things are getting a little chaotic and crazy.

Save some money when you can!

Between school fees, school supplies, and clothes, this is an expensive time of year! Some of my favorite tips for saving money are:

  1. Shop through apps and websites like MyPoints and Ibotta to earn points and cash back on your purchases. MyPoints allows you to earn points from your purchases that can be redeemed for gift cards. I like to save up my points and then cash them out when I am making a lot of purchases, like at Christmas. When you shop using Ibotta, you earn cash back by either submitting your receipts or shopping online. You can also earn bonus cash awards for making certain purchases.
  2. Save time and money by shopping from your favorite retailers using store pick-up. If you haven’t heard, many stores like Walmart and Target allow you to shop online and then pick-up your order for free. Some retailers also offer free shipping on your order, which makes life even easier. This means that you get to take advantage of their sales, but don’t have to deal with the hassle of shopping inside the store! Online shopping can be really convenient, but can also sometimes be more expensive than a retailer’s sale price, so this is definitely a win-win. I frequently take advantage of this with Target, especially since as a Redcard member, I get 5% off and free shipping on all my purchases.

Last, but probably most important, give yourself some grace!

Social media often makes it look like everyone else has it all together – kids are perfectly dressed and posed for their first day, nobody is struggling academically, and basically life is just easy. Well, it’s not. Most of us are going to experience meltdowns – either our own or our kids! We will think that we are ready to send kids back, but we will still be scrambling to get things together. But do you know what, that’s okay. If you need a minute, grab a piece of chocolate and hide in the bathroom to take a breather. You’ve got this.

Are you excited for school to start? We’d love to hear your tips for starting the school year off successfully.

-Lisa