Mr. Garland and I are both teachers, and that means that are summers are absolutely amazing, but it also means that our worlds are completely and utterly rocked when school starts back up every year! It’s always more than a little exhausting as we try to get back into the swing of things, and we always struggle through these first few weeks of school as we try to get our feet back underneath us and figure out how our schedule will work (now that we have Jackson things change so much each year as he’s growing).
I thought it might be interesting to round up a few of the struggles we have each year as we learn to adjust to our new schedule, along with some tricks we’ve learned over the years to manage the chaos of starting a new school year.
1) We’re all tired. All the time. Jackson has a tough time getting used to being up early (he has no problems waking up early, he just has a problem getting back to a normal sleep schedule!) and so do Mr. Garland and I! We all get a little crankier, a lot more tired, and a lot more lazy during the first month or so of school. We’ve learned that we really just have to fight through the exhaustion and it will slowly lift as we all get used to being up so early again. A few things that help us are to not sleep in too much during the summer (I usually set my alarm for 6:30 and go running, so it’s only an hour later than I wake up during the school year), and to be very strict with ourselves on going to bed on time. We basically never waver from Jackson’s sleep schedule during the school year (we’re a little looser in the summer), and Mr. Garland and I try to make ourselves get into bed at the same time every night so that we can avoid letting ourselves get even more sleep deprived. I find that I also do better if I keep my classroom stocked with some healthy, protein-filled snacks to help me power through those mid-morning and mid-afternoon slumps.
2) Our evenings suddenly become very short! Summer afternoons and evenings can feel like they stretch on forever. We take our time with cooking and eating dinner, we relax and play for a while before putting Jackson to bed, and it feels like the evenings last for a good, long time. Once school starts back up, though, the evenings feel like they’re over before they even begin! I only have a few minutes between getting home and getting started on dinner, and Jack goes to bed very shortly after we finish eating. We have to soak up every second of time with him that we can because there isn’t much of it during the week! We’ve learned to stick to really simple and quick dinners for the weeknights, and we rely a lot on leftovers!
3) Cleaning becomes dang near impossible. In the summer I’m able to clean our house throughout the day and I often have long stretches of time where Jackson is occupied and I’m able to get some deep cleaning done. Our house is so clean! During the school year, however, cleaning has to be squeezed into the margins, and the margins are never big enough to get my home as clean as I’d like. I’ve found that I can stay on top of things much easier if I do a big cleaning on Saturday morning (that’s usually when I’m the most motivated), and then throughout the week I try to do a 15-minute sweep every night after putting Jackson down. I’m always amazed at what I’m able to get done in 15 minutes, and if I set a timer for myself it helps prevent me from getting caught up and spending the whole night cleaning. If I stay on top of this, my Saturday morning cleaning gets easier and easier and my house actually feels clean again!
4) We have to get back in the habit of having quick breakfasts. Over the summer we can have leisurely breakfasts that start whenever we want and take a while to cook. We often don’t eat for a couple of hours after waking up, and it’s not unusual for us to have big breakfasts or to skip breakfast completely and do a big lunch. Once school starts, however, we don’t have time to cook a big breakfast and we have to eat right away or we’ll never get through the day. For the first week or so, Mr. Garland and I always feel sick in the mornings as our bodies get used to eating so early again! We’ve learned to avoid anything with a lot of sugar and try to stick to simple & quick breakfasts. Bagels, frozen sausages, and protein bars are our best friends during the school year!
How do you adjust to the new school year every year?