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How to Keep Your Cool While Prepping for the First Day of School

Post by Bethann Wagner

When I was asked to write about prepping for the first day of school, I thought it would be difficult to write. Honestly, the back-to-school season brings me sanity. Hear me out. It’s certainly not a season without bumps. It’s hectic, there are fights and lots of whining—and I am not just talking about the kids. But having a state-enforced structure tends to be good for my work-life balance and forces me to get organized. Here is how I’ve conquered the past 3 back-to-school seasons with my sanity intact.

first day of school: prep

Get Organized

Homework, lunches, calendar prep—oh my! Having to plan lunches for the kids helps me meal prep for myself. Before I know it, I am no longer doing intermitted fasting then caving in on junk food. No more spontaneous chocolate milkshakes on the Pier will get me off track now and it feels good to take a little control back.

Set Boundaries

I work from home which means work gets interrupted a lot. With kids, it’s often interrupted for something way more important. Of course, kids take priority even if they’re showing me a race car I’ve seen 200 times. When school is in session it gets easier for me to schedule work time and make sure the kids, husband, dog (okay, the dog doesn’t care), friends or relatives thinking of dropping in know that I am unavailable for during my ‘working hours’.

first day of school: prep

Take Breaks

It helps when you limit the amount of time you sit at the computer. I schedule my workouts in the middle of my morning so I have some stress relief. Working the entire time the kids are at school is an easy way to ensure I am not my best self when I pick them up. Even if you can take 3 minutes to meditate (whatever that means to you) the reset will help you transition from #girlboss to #momlife easier.

Make a List Each Day

Having a list of things I need to accomplish and things I want to accomplish helps me get it all done. Then, I put it on my calendar. If I don’t have it scheduled in my calendar it’s not happening. Everything from carpool times to standing up at my desk for a few minutes each hour is accounted for. When my husband is out for work dinners and it’s not on my calendar I get so mad—hey, I’m still working on trying to get him to join me in calendaring. It has helped me to really see I do have time for everything I want to do. I just need to prioritize things, schedule appropriately and remember number 2!

Practice Gratitude

Okay, so this is the hardest one for me. It’s so easy for me to upset when things don’t go as planned. Someone says something ridiculous on the internet or my kid’s teacher needs 35 cupcakes by tomorrow and just like that, I am having a bad day. I try to take a moment at least once a day to be grateful. This is the job I dreamed of having while I was working my butt off at all those jobs that weren’t fulfilling. I am so lucky to get paid to do things and share things I am passionate about. So grateful to have kids that yes, totally love to interrupt me, but they’re mine! So fortunate to be able to move my body and inspire others to move theirs, too.


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