Top 5 Tips for the Back to School Grind

Brianne Miller | @cranmiller

The sweetness of summer is dissipating and we are down to its last few chaos-filled days. Whose kids are fighting nonstop? (:::Raises hand:::) All signs are pointing to fall: Target’s shelves are filled with school supplies--except of course those very specific post-it notes you have yet to check off the school supply list. Pumpkin spice everything is everywhere and on my last grocery run I spotted pumpkins sitting outside King Soopers!  

One Mama-Broad’s Top 5 Tips for this Transition Time

1. Plan for sleep. Summertime is for late-night movie watching and s’more making. The hardest part about back to school is making sure everyone gets enough sleep, including you, mamas.  Don’t underestimate the disadvantage kids face in school from a lack of sleep. Start a few days before school begins and get the family’s sleep routine back on track.

2. Plan for meals. Stock your fridge and pantry. Make that Costco run. When those late, soccer practice and piano lesson filled nights roll around you want to be whipping lunches together with maximum efficiency. Because nothing should cut into the hour you make yourself stay awake to watch the latest episode of Game of Thrones.

3. Plan for tasks. Map out your schedule. Who is responsible for breakfast? Getting lunches into backpacks? When will they do it? Get your family on the same page before the first day of school. Have a game plan for getting everyone out the door on time. No one needs to spill coffee on their brand new shirt because your kid can’t find her shoes. Save that for next week when your schedule changes. Again.

4. Get your backpack game on. You want water resistant and something that can double as a tent—you know, something functional. The kids want one with lights and a zipper guaranteed to give out by September. Is your kid five or older? Then don’t try to pick the backpack out yourself. Just don’t. It won’t end well. Be ready with a veto over your kid’s first choice, but pick your battles and all that. Speaking of picking your battles. . . . 

5. Learn to say “no.”  School registration presents you with access to all kinds of additional new commitments. Know your boundaries and don’t overcommit to the PTA, or the soccer coaching rotation, or to make cookies for after school playdates for a week. Do the things you enjoy and protect the time to do them well. Be proud of everything you do so you have the confidence to say “no” to more. Stay involved and commit to what you really enjoy.

Finally, don’t forget to stock up on wine because by Wednesday of that first week back to school you are going to be wishing it was summer again. Remember, broads: you got this.


Brianne Miller is the social media coordinator for The Broadview Denver, a former teacher, and one bad*ss mama to two school-aged daughters. She is currently counting down the days left until her kids are back in school as if it were the kickoff to Christmas and Mardi-Gras combined.

LifestyleVirginia Santy