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How I’m Getting Through These First Exhausting Weeks of School

This cup isn't nearly big enough.

The witching hour has returned to our house just in time for these first two weeks of the school year. Brought on by sheer exhaustion, both kids can barely function after a long day at school. Truth be told, I’m right there with them in their exhaustion. These first two weeks of school are brutal!

Summer seems like a distant memory despite the thermometer’s insistence that it hasn’t actually gone anywhere. Two weeks ago our days were filled with pool play dates, Popsicles, and late night lightning bug hunts. Fast forward to today, our days are now filled with early wake-up calls, homework, and rushing from one after school activity to another.

While we’re all getting used to our new, hectic schedule, there are a few things I’m finding are absolutely essential to our survival!

Since my kids are melting down each night at dinner, getting dinner on the table has been a battle. Two words have saved us the past few nights: Crock. Pot. Seriously, dump some ingredients in the crock pot in the morning, turn that bad boy on low, and come 5:30, dinner is served. Thanks to Pinterest, I have at least a zillion more crock pot recipes to try. Fingers crossed that cream of mushroom soup goes on sale at the grocery store soon!

Another thing I can’t live without? Google Calendar is the be all, end all of my existence. I probably wouldn’t even know that my kids were supposed to be at school if I didn’t get a friendly little reminder at 7:25 a.m each morning that school starts in 30 minutes. Other alarms remind me of important appointments and to actually pick up the kids from school. With my entire life planned using Google Calendar, I can keep my brain free for important tasks like helping my first grader with math homework.

These early mornings are doing a number on my youthful appearance. I find myself needing copious amounts of eye cream to cover the ever darkening circles under my eyes thanks to the 5:30 a.m. start to the day. Each morning my beauty routine includes a quick brushing of the teeth, the hair pulled up in a ponytail, finding something clean-ish to wear, and slapping on some eye cream. I could almost pass for thirty-five now.

Forget about breakfast of champions. By the time I’ve fed my children a nutritious breakfast, all I have time for is a gallon bucket full of coffee. And I don’t even like coffee! Without my daily pick-me-up, though, I’d be passed out cold by 9 a.m.

Probably the most important things that I’ve needed these past two weeks since school began have to be patience and humor. I keep reminding myself that the kids and I will soon be used to our school year schedule. Moods can be lightened with little more than some deep breaths and a few laughs. A nap would certainly help, too — maybe I should schedule one on my Google Calendar.

How do you handle beginning of the school year stress?

(Photo credit: Flickr)

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