Maude Michaud | La parfaite maman cinglante
I know that getting back into the routine isn’t all that appealing: the crazy morning rush, lunches, traffic, the evening run to pick everyone up, dinner preparations combined with homework for your eldest and dealing with your youngest’s small mishaps, baths and then bedtime, which can’t come soon enough.
We’re all in the same boat, and in order to survive the onset of fall, maintain your sanity and make family life happy and pleasant after the summer holidays, here are 9 tips to start applying now.
#1 Don’t set your alarm clock any earlier than 6:00 a.m.
If you’re not leaving the house before 7:30 a.m., stop setting your alarm clock for before 6:00 a.m. No one should be up before that hour, and unless you’re an avid morning person, I can guarantee that rising before the sun will have a nasty effect on your mood and on how your day unfolds.
Do you do this because you feel short of time in the morning? Between you and me, no matter what time you get up, you always end up rushing anyway, so why not rush with an extra hour of sleep in your system? I think we can all agree that an hour and a half to get dressed and eat breakfast—even with three kids in tow—is oodles.
#2 Make those darn lunches the night before
There’s nothing more discouraging than wrestling with ham and concocting tomato sauce out of ketchup and mayonnaise at 6:15 a.m. Do yourself a favour and make the lunches the night before while dad is handling bath time. It may seem like nothing, but the next morning, you’ll have time for three gulps of hot coffee instead of just one.
#3 Keep in mind that no one is going to be worse for wear from repetitive lunches
I know the food guide advocates variety, but don’t kill yourself over it. When I was young, I ate ham sandwiches every single day, and I turned out just fine. So leftovers from the night before will do the job.
Even three days in a row. You can easily get away with serving turkey sandwiches twice in the same week... just throw in a few baby carrots and a chunk of cheese, and you’ll be all set.
#4 Say yes to frozen macaroni and cheese
If you don’t already have a truckload of it in your freezer, go get some. Macaroni and cheese frozen in individual portions is a life-saver when you’re all out of ham or leftovers. What's more, your kids will love you for it.
And if you’re afraid of being judged, microwave it for a minute and put it in a lunch container. No one will be the wiser. Other than being fluorescent orange, it can pass for homemade.
#5 Make the most of being stuck in traffic
No matter what route you take, you can’t escape traffic, it’s everywhere. But instead of swearing and grumbling over the passing minutes, look at it as a great opportunity to listen to some music and sing along, sip on hot coffee from a thermos and enjoy the momentary peace and quiet. Think about it—it’s like a free trip to the spa.
#6 Put the pots and pans on the table at suppertime
Are you fed up getting up and down from the table during mealtime? At supper, put the pots and pans and any food items your offspring are likely to ask for right on the table. Milk, bread, butter, spices, pots, you name it. No more eating a cold dinner because you’ve been popping up from the table playing servant. You’re entitled to a hot meal just like everyone else.
#7 Skip bath time
I know, I know, it’s not ideal. I know your kids have perspired and come into contact with a pile of germs throughout the day. But if one night you get stuck doing overtime and it throws off your evening routine by an hour or so, or if on a Wednesday evening you’re zonked and just need to crash on the couch by 8 p.m., it’s okay to skip bath time.
#8 Put your kids to bed 15 minutes later
Between dinner, homework and baths, it can be hard to squeeze in some quality family time. Even though it may be 7:15 p.m.—the kids’ usual bedtime—it’s okay to stretch out the evening a bit and snuggle up on the couch together for a movie. So what if the kids are a little pooped the next day... at least you got to enjoy that special time together.
#9 Put your kids to bed 15 minutes early
If you’ve had it up to your ears by 5:30 p.m., you’re bound to find it a long haul till bedtime. Every so often, when your head is about to explode, there’s nothing wrong with putting the kids to bed 15 minutes early for some peace of mind.
As parents, we both know that 15 minutes of relaxation is the equivalent of a week at Club Med.
Good luck with getting back into the routine!
You want to relax a little more? Cascades Fluff suggest you the article Aromatic bliss - Master the art of home aromatherapy!, a balm for the spirit against the daily bombardment of stimuli.