Find Your “Click”

It’s that time of year! School is back in session, fall is upon us, and college football is in full swing!

With a new school year comes finding a new normal.

It can be hard to find that normal, especially if you’re adapting to a new school or moving from mainstream education to homeschooling or vice versa. Adapting to a new teacher and new class can be challenging too! Joining activities and finding how to fit practices, games, and classes into your family schedule can also be a real struggle. It can get overwhelming so fast.

Finding the things in your daily life that “click” or just open a way for your daily life to be better can make all the difference.

It can be as big or as small as you want it to be. Once you find it, you will be amazed and wonder how you ever did without it! Once I found what worked – we embraced those “clicks” and used them to the highest ability.

Stop for a minute and think about what is the hardest part of the day.

Is it getting up in the morning? The after-school craziness? The bedtime wind down? Write it down. Do you struggle with the paperwork that comes home every day? Do you never know what to make for dinner?

Now, think about what you can do to make your days easier.

Some stuff is inevitable. Schedules are not always able to be changed to be easier. My old boss used to say to control what you can and the rest you learn to work with. What small things can you do to make your days easier? Pack lunch the night before? Have frozen lasagna in the freezer you can throw in the oven on your busiest night? Change up the bedtime routine?

Here are some suggestions for what you could try! These are what works for me.

Unpack right away.

Children come home with a LOT of stuff. Backpacks are emptied as soon as you get home. Folders and papers come out, and the folders go right back in. Empty and scrub lunchboxes immediately. This prevents you from finding a questionable substance in the lunchbox tomorrow or missing a sign-up sheet for a class party or field trip.

Every night, the kitchen gets cleaned, and the dishwasher gets started.

A clean kitchen in the morning is a fresh start. You’re not scrambling to wash bowls for cereal or scrub out stinky lunchboxes. At night when it needs done, when you just want to decompress and zone out, it may not be something you want to do. However, your next day self will thank your last night self. The morning will seem so much less overwhelming.

Five days’ worth of outfits are matched up and ready to go for weekday mornings.

Take about an hour or so every weekend to get this task done. It eliminates deciding in the morning. Backups are ready to go if something doesn’t work out or if the weather is unexpectedly cooler or warmer. My mom gets credit for this one, but the difference it has made is incredible. I really suggest it. (This is also a great way to weed out what doesn’t fit by being able to see it on your child early in the day and yank it off them before they head out the door).

Meal Planning

By meal planning, that daily question of “what should I make for dinner?” is already answered. I have been meal planning for about 4 years and love it. If you don’t meal plan – don’t fret! As a whole- it can seem overwhelming, and you aren’t sure where to get started. I suggest starting at TikTok or YouTube for videos on this subject. YouTuber Blair Lamb has a great video on how she plans, the service she uses, and how she adapts it. Or there may be a future post from Cedar Rapids Moms about it.

You can adapt all of these to your own life and household. This is what works for me, and I hope you find yours!

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