By Madonna Bechaz – @the.other.madonna


With the end of the year just around the corner, Christmas will fly by and soon enough we’ll have to think about getting ready for a new school year. It. Never. Ends!

For kids and parents alike, we’ve been thrown so many obstacles the past two years. The pandemic affected all aspects of our lives and resulted in what felt like an endless period of home schooling. I’m not sure about you, but our family is looking forward to (hopefully) getting back on track and starting 2022 fresh and ready for no more interruptions to the things we love!

If you’re anything like me, I love to take these opportunities to reset and implement some new habits to set us all up for a better year.

Prepare for the worst

Although we hope for a miracle when the clock strikes midnight, it is important to still understand that things may not revert back to ‘normal’. There will no doubt still be requirements put in place for the foreseeable future, so going in prepared is always important. If your child has a learning disability, my prayers go out to you for surviving the past two years as I can’t imagine the difficultly these changes have caused.

One of the hardest things about heading back to school, is rejigging the dreaded sleeping patterns. Most kids are staying up later and sleeping in while on holidays, so making sure your kids have a formal sleeping routine the week leading up or even just a few days prior to returning to the school routine is SO important. It will save you so much time on the all important first day of school and you won’t have to bring out the spray water bottle in those dire situations (guilty…).

School shopping

I don’t know about you…but since I was a kid, back to school shopping has been a favourite of mine. From choosing a new pencil case or covering your books in your favourite contact, it’s a creatives dream. BUT, we also need the necessities as the kids grow, like new uniforms, shoes accessories etc.

If you have kids across different grades, it can be time consuming. And as much as I love back to school shopping, the kids aren’t as thrilled. We aim to make a trip to retailers who offer the best multi-buy deals so we can get the best bang for our buck – both time and money! Best&Less is our go-to for long-lasting school clothing and accessories, while Officeworks is our holy grail for all things stationary/books etc.

If in doubt Facebook Marketplace is also a great place for secondhand school uniforms, so it’s easy to start there!

Meal prep madness

Your kids’ lunch boxes are also an important factor to consider, making sure you have a few key snacks ready to go for the week will make those fast-paced mornings so much smoother. I like celery with cream cheese, simple granola bars, mini frittatas or even some cheese and crackers. We mix it up between sandwiches and other fun ‘main’ lunches so the kids don’t get bored. I’m not Martha Stewart, but I pride myself of the kids eating all their lunch each day.

All in all I think the most important thing to remember is that times have been hard for us all lately. Even for young kids it’s important to check in with them and make sure they are doing ok with all the adjustments. The last 18+ months lacked structure and coming into the New Year, I think that’s one of the most valuable things we can give our children. We love a routine in our household!