Summer is coming to a close and I'm kind of freaking out. You see, I love summer, not because of the warm weather but because I'm more relaxed during the summer months than I am during the school year. So, to me at least, there's literally only one fun thing about sending my kids to school: back-to-school shopping. Why? Well, because in addition to purchasing the pencil cases and the boxes of tissues, there are certain back-to-school items moms should buy for themselves. After all, we're the ones doing the freakin' shopping and spending a ridiculous amount of money.
The school year is full of chaos, and no matter how organized I try to be it all falls apart around in the middle of September. Then I get to spend the rest of the school year playing catch-up. I start the year strong: bags are packed, lunches and dinners are planned, calendar is up-to-date, and I feel ready. Then it just unravels and I am juggling everything at once without any type of plan. Yay motherhood, right?
This year will be different, though. This year I plan on doing better. I have lived and I have learned. I won't find myself failing halfway through the first month of school. In fact, I won't find myself failing at all. And if I keep telling myself I will succeed and will be able to keep up with school and work and social activities and everything else, then it will come true, right? You know what, don't answer that question.
I miss back-to-school shopping for myself. I remember going with my mom to buy all of my college supplies prior to starting my first year. I remember how fun it was getting the cool gel pens and the super useful 5-subject notebooks. Then I remember how painful it was dropping all of that money on college textbooks, and back-to-school shopping lost its appeal. Now that I'm the parent, though, back-to-school shopping is fun again. I make sure to find room in our budget for the following things, and that makes all the difference.
I mean, obviously wine is going to be on this list. It's literally the first item that came to my mind, which is why it's listed first. Wine (or whatever else you choose as your vice) is a dire necessity at the end of the day and/or week. If you aren't a drinker, then maybe consider getting yourself some other treat. For example, I also enjoy a handful of dark chocolates with a cup of hot tea.
A Wall Calendar
I know everything is electronic these days, but there is something about seeing a calendar in my kitchen that just can't be replaced by my phone. A dry-erase board or an actual paper calendar makes keeping track of everything simple (if you actually update it). My kitchen has a command center where we keep important reminders, mail, and our appointments.
If you're doing the morning/afternoon pick up, may I recommend a nice top to go along with those pajama bottoms? But seriously, I always buy a few new items of clothing for myself at the start of a new school year. The kids practically get a new wardrobe, and I can definitely use a new and comfortable pair of jeans.
Because just thinking about going back to school gives me a major migraine.
A Gym Membership
There is literally no better place to escape from your family for an hour than the gym. Please don't misunderstand, I'm not even a gym person. I go out of necessity. It's kind of like going to get a physical, or a yearly check up at the gynecologist, I don't want to do those things, but I know I should.
For me, going to the gym isn't just an escape from my family, it's a huge stress reliever, too. I find myself to be way more productive and energized when I make hitting the gym a part of my weekly routine.
Late nights, early morning, extra stress, and added anxiety are sure to take a toll on your skin. So, I am stocking up on some super nourishing skincare. I'm even going to buy the fancy wrinkle-reducer this year, because all of those confused looks on my face from this "new" math my kid is now learning will surely give me way more wrinkles than I previously had.
If you've been thinking it's time for a new coffee machine, it's time. It's time to invest in a monster of a coffee machine because you will need all the help in the energy department you can get. I know our society treats our very serious caffeine addiction as a completely normal and even hilarious vice, and I'm sure it's probably not all that great for me to be this addicted to caffeine, but until someone tells me to stop drinking coffee I will binge on that yummy goodness all damn day long.
I can wash my hair in the morning and it starts looking gross by mid-afternoon. While I was previously resistant to dry shampoo (because, yuck), I started dabbling in it a bit this summer, just to see if it was something that could work for me. I finally found one I love and I plan on using it this school year to save me the 30 minutes some mornings. Hey, 30 minutes twice a week is a huge deal, my friends.