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Summer! Just the word "summer" makes me look forward to taking life a little bit slower.  In fact, the words Life is Good® aren't just the name of a cool tee shirt company I like — it's just that life is good!  But, when I hear the words "back to school” or “school year," I instantly envision frantic parents, school shopping, parent-teacher conferences and lots of stress!  To help out, here are some realistic life hacks to support you and keep you sane throughout the school year.

1. Get Up One Hour Earlier Than Your Kids

It doesn’t matter what time of year it is, that extra hour in the morning will give you a quiet mental and physical break to do whatever you want.  Practice yoga, meditate, read or indulge in all three.  You can look forward to this time every day, and you’ll find you’re much more relaxed when the kids do start to get moving.

2. Use Sunday To Prep For The Week

Take a few hours on Sunday to prep for the week ahead.  For example, review calendars for you, your husband and your kids to spot intersections for family time. Confirm plans for after-school activities and make sure transportation needs are met.  Then, take care of things like ironing karate uniforms and other various tasks so you save time later on.

Prepare meals for the week, too.  In my house, we have two crockpots going at the same time.  We cook two big meals on Sunday, which allows us to have leftovers for lunch during the week.  We also prepare two other meals to cook during the week as we need.  When we get home, tired and hungry after work and school, we don’t wonder what to do about dinner.

3. Minimize Shopping Tasks

To buy groceries, I schedule three big shopping trips a month.  One of the three is planned as a warehouse store trip to buy bulk items, then we make two other trips to a local supermarket.  This approach saves trips to and from the store and it also saves money.

4. Prepare For Each Morning The Night Before

Each evening, take a few minutes to prepare for the next day. You’ll find that the tasks take less time, leaving you more relaxed in the morning.  You can prepare for breakfast, make school lunches and get clothes out for the next day.

In my house, we also pre-load the car with the things we need.  For example, we’ve just about eliminated the last minute race to find the missing sports uniform that creates a car full of stressed out people just trying to get to a game on time.

5. Share After School Activity Time

My husband and I alternate taking the kids to their after-school activities.  It gives each of us one-on-one bonding time while the other can take time to relax.  The parent at the event takes photos to send home so that all of us feel involved.  The other parent has had a break and can’t wait to hear all the things that happened.  If both parents aren’t available, try making arrangements with another family member, friend or neighbor. 

Give these simple tips a try.  You may find that these five things are your saving grace and that life can be good... not only in the summer, but all year long!

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Wanda Sealy created Multi-Task-Her Coaching and Consulting Services to assist ambitious working mothers like herself. An experienced coach, Wanda has an uncanny ability to help women identify and address the core issues that are holding them back, allowing them to be the inspired and empowered people they were born to be. If all you have are questions, Wanda will help you find the answers. To learn more about Wanda and her company visit www.multitaskher.com or email her at [email protected]

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