A mom’s guide to kick start your back-to-school routine

Remember Cathy from the comics section in the paper? The one where everything is UGH… that’s me right now because I am nowhere NEAR ready for the kids to head back to school. Does that make me one of the weird parents?

But really, I’m not ready for two big reasons. One, I love sleeping and once school starts, I can kiss the 8 am wakeup goodbye. Two, I adore slow mornings. You know the type: hot coffee in hand, taking in the sweet morning air, listening to the birds sing; it all feels so good to me. 

But school’s starting so I need to start my day earlier and get the kids up too, least I prove my husband right and run late for the next nine months.

For the last almost 60 days we’ve been living life as if time doesn’t exist, there’s no such thing as bedtimes, and what’s a kitchen table? What’s a parent to do when living off the real-world grid is the new routine? Start slow and give yourself (and the kids) a lot of grace. 

There’s no magic formula to kick-starting your school routine. I looked. If you want to be ready,  bite the bullet and begin by getting out of bed with the first alarm. Feel free to snag a few of my “lazy mom” techniques too such as moving their bedtime earlier by 5 minutes, start eating at the kitchen table (maybe) and start taking advantage of your parenting control software for less drama while bringing balance back. 

Ease into a schedule, starting with your devices. I got my smart charging station to help my kids learn tech boundaries, but I have to admit the Den has been unlocked almost twelve hours a day since June 5th. The only session I scheduled this summer was called “summer summer summertime” (did Fresh Prince just pop into your head?) and was available between 7 am- 8 pm. But that changed as of August 1st. Now the only two sessions available are called “after school” and “cheers to the weekend.” Back to managing screen time for the greater good of the household.  

Revisit your summer bucket list. What else can you check off the list before the school year grind begins? I bet you can still fit in a visit to the nature preserve, go to the zoo or fly kites at your local park.

Start collecting your school supplies now. I know you want to save money and shop during the ‘school supplies sale’ but c’ mon. What’s more important? Your sanity or saving a few bucks. I vote sanity. Or at least buy the supplies you know won’t go on sale. 

Establish a new Den schedule with perks. If you’ve been using the Den all summer, you probably already know about the screen time app that comes with it. But have you been using it? Now’s a great time to re-initiate a reward system with specific goals to help structure their days.  

Most of all, remember to live up these last 30 days or so of freedom with good quality family time. It’s a precious commodity, so get intentional with your days while the kids are still home and have some fun!

Megan Cahak is a contributing TechDen writer, mom of two, firefighter wife, and is the owner of a copywriting company specializing in supporting small business growth online and in real life. Behind her big business dreams is a woman on a mission to make others laugh and nod their head in solidarity when talking kids & technology, free-range parenting (that’s a thing), and the ‘good ole days’ of growing up in the late 90s, early 2000s. Unrelated, Megan also drinks an entire pot of coffee a day and show no signs of slowing down.