Kristen Bell is a mom of two minds these days. One the one hand, she’s sad to see the long, unscheduled days of summer with her daughters, 9-year-old Lincoln and 7-year-old Delta, come to an end. On the other hand, the Good Place actress tells Romper, the family gets to start their back-to-school “Flat Man” routine again. What’s a mom to do?
Bell, who’s partnered with Shipt, the same-day delivery company that offers customers personal shoppers to customize their experience, recently returned from a spate of summer holidays with husband Dax Shepard and their two daughters. They went to Mount Rushmore in South Dakota, spent some time on the Snake River in Idaho, and even got some workouts in outside their RV. The Frozen star shares that she’d been reminiscing on saying goodbye to all of that easy time with her kids — to a point.
“As much as we love the unscripted time together in the summer,” Bell tells Romper, “we value getting back to a routine. It makes the free time that much sweeter. And with the routines comes the prep to get there.” Which is where Shipt comes in to help get their shopping done quickly so they can take advantage of that “extra time to really nail our routine before school officially kicks off.”
Another way Bell and Shepard kick off the official back-to-school routine? By getting out the “Flat Man.” Bell says that she and Shepard get their daughters ready for routine in stages. “First we start by adding in one structured activity like a walk, a craft, or reading a book,” she explains. “We try to stick to the same time every night so getting back into a more structured routine isn’t so daunting.”
When they’ve finished with their structured activity, Bell and Shepard “ask the girls to lay out their outfit for the next day.”
“Our family calls it our Flat Man,” Bell says.
Not only does this nightly routine give Bell a bit of a break, it’s also a clever little trick to help engage her daughters in being excited about going back to school. When asked if she and Shepard choose their daughters’ clothing, Bell says that’s up to Lincoln and Delta. “We let them decide! Whether the clothes are brand new or have been worn before, we make picking out their clothes exciting by calling it their Flat Man. It’s a special nightly activity we have with them that lets them plan ahead and get excited about what they’re planning on wearing.”
It also surely helps that Bell’s daughters recently started sleeping in their own room. It’s all of these small details that make transitioning between unstructured summer and super structured fall easier on parents and kids.