procrastination help

Getting my kids ready for a new school year

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Are you a perpetual procrastinator like me? I hope not.

But, if you are, you’re likely scrounging to get everything done for the new school year. You know what I mean, the lists, the phone calls, the organizing and [Ugh] the bedtimes! Geez.

I’m actually on kid number two (the first one is in his twenties) and I’m still putting off school preps until last minute. I do this every single year. Each year I ask myself “why don’t you plan earlier?” Forgetful, I guess.

Then, it occurs to me!

I’m not sure it’s that I’m “soooo”  forgetful or just that I’m getting old! Hey,  I’m a forty-something mommy for crying out loud.  I’m balancing a career, gray hair with a gazillion elementary school demands designed for people half my age.

I got one kid looking at apartments while finishing his Masters and another begging for a new electric scooter!

I’m old and so is my husband! We’re old and tired people struggling to stay awake most days. So, I’ll take a little slack for not buying a few school supplies months ahead of time for the little one…what’s his name again? Just kidding, but that felt good to say (or type) out loud.

I hope the inner workings of my dubious mind made you chuckle.  But, if you’re like me, getting a late start on this thing, the good news is it’s not too late for us to get into gear to make this happen.

So, here is what I’m up to this week:

First, let’s talk about the Benjamins. I’m talking dollar bills, ya’ll!

I’m still getting some pretty good deals on school supplies. Yes, a lot of it is picked over, but it’s all good. Here’s my game plan: I first visit Coupon Mom.com. Have you used this coupon site before?

If not, three great things about it: the first is that it’s free; visit couponmom.comsecondly, you can find deals for local AND national stores. Thirdly, it is super easy to use.

For example, you want deals from CVS? The site matches their weekly sales with coupons to save you loot. Don’t you love getting those CVS bonus bucks? CouponMom shows you how. Register your email address and you can receive deals – should you so desire.

Now, let’s talk bedtime.

It’s not too late to get your family acclimated to the earlier bedtimes either. But, you have to be strategic about it.

One of my favorite sites, “Everyday Health.Com has an article entitled “10 Tips to Reset Your Internal Clock” by Kristen Stewart. It explains sleep functions actually stem from brain activity.

So, sending your kid to bed early does not ensure she is resting. Instead, she’ll likely be laying there staring at the dark ceiling dreaming of the day she can put you in a rest home. Instead, impact her behaviors and brain processes to prepare her mind and body for sleep.

You want to hear something funny? Some things you did when she was an infant may be helpful to her now.

Yes.  I’m starting a little late, but this is how I’m getting my JJ ready for back to school bedtime.  Let me know what you think:

1. A bath-time type routine. Evening bath time puts most babies out within an hour. Remember? Now, was it the bath or the routine? Who knows, but soothing and repetitive habits can trigger the brain and let it know it’s beddy-bye time. About an hour and a half before it is time to turn in, try instituting a simple bedtime chore. Don’t tell them that’s what you are doing.

An easy, routine activity can activate the mental connections that signal the culmination of the day. Make it easy and brainless like loading the dishwasher, or folding clothes.

Another thing I do with my youngest is our nightly weeknight chitchat. I love our pre-bedtime conversations. We discuss what went well that day, what didn’t, and the subsequent lessons learned. Sometimes, all we do is shoot the breeze in the dimly lit room. I think it relaxes both of us.

2. Set the mood. Dim the lights around the house before bedtime. Again, don’t tell them your plan. Casually say something like “it’s about time to shut it down” as you gradually turn off lights in the busiest rooms around the house. Mind control is a powerful thing in the hands of a smart mom. Right? Right.

 3. Tuning Out. A few experts disagree with this one. For years, my boys fell to sleep to music. I chose gentle Christian tunes to feed their spirits and soothe their minds. My oldest did this up until he moved out (and likely still does).

That’s it: my chaotic pace to find deals and brainwash my kid for his new bedtime. Wish me luck!

Hey, where any of my tips useful? Do you have other ideas to share? Let me know!