Back to school is around the corner and this working mamma of five is about to get her prep on.
Whether you are a working or SAHM you know mornings with littles is the devil’s trick to make you punch a kitten.
Young kids love to “help” and by help I mean they imagine they are doing a task when really they are taking 30 minutes convincing you that whiskey in your coffee is a good idea.
But they have to learn to be independent. Sure it’s easy to take over and just get it done: tying their shoes, making their beds, making their lunches. But when does that end?
Trust me. Now is the time! Instead of taking away their opportunity to figure it out, set them up with baby steps.
Does your four year old want to do chores? Put them in charge of silverware.
Teaching them to make a bed? Put them in charge of changing the pillowcase or just the left side of the covers. You pulling up the right side models what to do and pills their side up a smidge.
Your kindergartener is probably so stoked to own a lunchbox that she can’t WAIT to make her lunch. This could take an eternity and spark disagreements about what’s going in that lunch. And frankly, weekday mornings, I just ain’t got time for that.
Over the weekend, make the main course- make all five sandwhiches, all five homemade lunchables, a week’s worth of tortilla wrap pinwheels. Whatever the main course is, get it done and out of the way. This saves you time because you have everything out already!
You can label the sandwich bags with a different day of the week for some extra reading practice or let your kid let decide.
In the pantry AND the fridge, create a space in a drawer or bin of suitable lunch sides: cheese, yogurt, crackers, pretzels, fruit, veggies, or whatever you deem good. Your little helper gets all the independence she wants by choosing one or two from each bin.
You can even pre-size your grasp bunches or baggies of blueberries. It’s a small amount of planning for a very big return on your sanity and time.
This way you’ve given junior and Jenny the chance to choose, exercise their independence, and created boundaries in which they are able to help.
Once you see they can handle it, put them in charge of making their main course! Trust me. A five year old can make their own PB&J. I’ve not made a kid school lunch in five years.
It’s great because it leaves me plenty of time to slip notes in everyone’s lunch boxes ❤️. Even my high schoolers.
You can do it, Mamma. I believe in you.