Keeping Your Sanity in the Back-to-School Madness

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How to keep your back-to-school sanity

Recently I was perusing this post on 31 Writing Prompts for August to get my creative juices flowing and #5 hit me before I could even read on, it asked, “How do you respond to change?”

My immediate thought?

Not well.

And, this is the time of year my response to change stares me right in my anxiety-ridden face: back-to-school.

The anxiety starts to kick in a couple weeks before school starts and culminates with me feeling like I am losing my sanity come the second week of school.

BUT, I want to try to do things differently this year. Handle the school year transition with a little more ease, which inspired this post on how to keep your back-to-school sanity.

Please chime in with your own thoughts and tips below!

Summer Lovin’

familypic This back-to-school transition is going to be a big one for our family.

First off, I loved this summer. My girls and their ages (5 and 8) made it the most fun and relaxing summer ever.

No naps to work around, no 5pm meltdowns, more hours where they played so contentedly together and the ability to sit in a lounge chair and watch them swim or play on the beach.  Heaven.

My “summer is ending sadness” coupled with the fact my youngest starts kindergarten and my 3rd grader moves to a new campus make this back-to-school transition even that much more monumental.

When I start thinking of the drop off and pick up schedules, paperwork, homework, projects, what teachers they are going to have, etc.  I get anxious. Very anxious.

Mommy needs to get a grip.

Hindsight is a beautiful thing, so I thought of some ways years past have been stressful, and ways I can try to go into this school year with more ease.

How to Keep Your Back-to-School Sanity 

Here are some ideas on how to keep your back-to-school sanity. If you have your own tips, please share in the comments below.

Be Patient Finding Your School Year Groove 

Every year I get frustrated a couple weeks in when I feel like we SHOULD be into a groove, and we’re not. Whether it’s kids acting out, exhaustion with the new morning schedule or homework battles, it always takes longer than I feel it should to find a groove.

6 weeks is the magic number for me.

By mid-October, I am usually finding the groove and have things running smoothly. If you are the same, just remember to be patient, you will get there. Be patient.

Resist the Urge to Over-Commit 

At the start of the school year, I usually feel pretty hyped up. But sometimes that gung-ho energy can cause me to over-commit because start of the year means sign-ups.

Last year I volunteered to be room mom for both my daughter’s classrooms. Sure, I can do it, no problem! Right? Wrong. Well yes, I did do it, but by holiday time I realized I took on TOO much while also trying to run my blog.

Volunteering is an amazing gift if you have some time available to dedicate to it. Just look at your schedule and obligations before jumping to “yes!”

Practice Your Response When Asked 

This post on Momastery was one of the most powerful posts I read this year. Take a few minutes to read it. It’s not just about tweens, it applies to kids of all ages (and their moms)!

Her opening struck a chord in me because I am a people-pleaser and always want to say “yes” when asked to do something.

Therefore, practice your response NOW, before asked to do things, so you have a response.

These are the ones I came up with.

If it’s a “hell no”

“Thanks so much for thinking of me! I would love to be able to, but I am expanding my business this year, and I am afraid I have too much on my plate to take on anything extra.” 

If it’s a “I’m not sure”

“Thanks so much for thinking of me! I have a lot on my plate right now, but let me think about whether I could fit it in, and I will get back to you.”

At least this buys you time to think through your obligations and if you are able to do it or not.

Come up with your responses now and practice them.

Take Time for Yourself 

When things get particularly busy and hectic, the first thing that gets neglected is time to take care of ourselves. Stay tuned for a fun challenge I have for all of us this September to make sure in that crazy first month we are also taking the time to find balance for ourselves, and our sanity…

Who has ways to share how to keep your back-to-school sanity? Please comment!


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  1. 1

    Great tips Jen! I didn’t realize our kids are exactly the same ages! This summer, for me, was fun as well! I felt like I didn’t have to hover quite as much and it was amazing! I will be copying those phrases for saying no. We have low parent participation at our school so I sometimes feel like I have to do everything which leaves me totally stressed! I will be using those for sure!

    • 2
      jen says:

      Thank you! I love you got the same summer experience as me! The BEST. I am milking this stage with every ounce of appreciation I have. I feel you, if you don’t see other people stepping up, those of us that are helpers at heart tend to pick up the slack. I love volunteering (but in the right capacity that I have time for). I love having phrases already worked out to buy me some time to figure out how much I can take on this new school year. Good luck to you!!!

  2. 3

    […] week I wrote about ways to keep your sanity during the back-to-school madness as I tend to get a tad okay, a lot, stressed when school starts. […]

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