Back To School, Time Management Tips For Busy Mothers

After about six weeks of fun, arguments, fights, more chores, family outing, noise, late bedtime and all, the kids are back to school The holiday is over. The days when they are allowed to sleep until they wake up naturally are gone. They watched TV, bookmarked favorite programs and shows, recorded at will, ate at will and had freedom to just be free and be themselves. A new school session begins
today for my youngest two girls. They were so excited, looked forward to this day when they will resume in "senior classes." 

The last two weeks have been a bit busy and kind of affected everything including my blogging. Busy getting things ready for the bigger babes. They leave for boarding schools. Shopping and packing for them has been a little stressful I must say. After weeks of sleeping till I see that the day is bright outside, sleeping and waking up naturally, today I was awakened again by the alarm on my phone. It was not easy getting up but sure after these first few days, the body will have no choice than to adjust to the moment.

Nearly all schools in Nigeria have resumed except for a few whose resumption date comes up next week Monday. It is time again to adjust to Living successfuly with school children. It is time to help the kids excel academically,

What Is Your Checklist For This School Session?  

Every parent, care giver or guardian needs a checklist as a guide to avoid the stress of having to think and plan over and over again. There are basic items that every child needs to take to school for a comfortable stay at school.
  • A school bag (back pack)
  • A lunch bag or box
  • 2 pairs of School Uniform for schools that wear particular uniforms.
  • School shoes
  • Many pairs of stockings to avoid lateness to school as a result of inability to find one stocking.
  • Vests
  • Underpants
  • Tights for girls
  • Sports wear
  • Cardigan 
  • Packs of assorted beads for girls' hair. Buying and storing is necessary for kids who have preference for some colors. These beads are given to their hair dressers whenever they come to braid the kids hair. Sometimes the hair dressers colors may not really go down well with the kids or the school colors, so, it is advisable and easier to get the beads during holiday and make them readily available when they are needed.

What To Put In A Lunchbox
  • Healthy snacks: It is important to plan weekly on what to put in the child's lunchbox. Planning reduces your stress and rush in the morning. The lunch for every week should be planned out during the weekends. Saves time in the morning. Failure to plan will lead us to over stuffing the kids with sugar because sugary snacks are always available.

    My kids school serves lunch to the kids. I still make sure there is something in the child's lunchbox just in case she does not like what is served or gets hungry while returning home. The distance from School is quite long. So they do not come back home looking too hungry, the snacks in the lunchbox can be eaten on their way home. If for any reason they are not picked on time, they have something to sustain them.

    On some occasions like today, that they took multivitamins before leaving for school. I just know that the school lunch is not going to be enough for their rumbling tummies, so, the lunchbox comes in handy. I vary what I put in there, some mornings are so hectic nothing works as planned. On such mornings, anything edible that I lay my hands on, goes into the lunchbox.
  • Water is something no parent should depend solely on the school for. Providing a water bottle for a child is a necessity. The school can run out of water at anytime. Whether there is need for it or not, for me a water bottle for my child is a must. Most times they do not touch the water because they don't need it. There are a few times when they empty their bottles and it makes me feel good that when they needed it, there was water in their bottles. What if a school cannot provide water dispensers for every class and a child will have to obtain permission to go to the dining room to drink water. The stress of walking all the way and back can make a child decide to endure the thirst. Whether your child's school provides good drinking water for their students or not, you will not regret giving that child a water bottle from home. Kids drink a lot. They play, sweat and get thirsty often.
  • Fruits and vegetables in the lunch box are very important. Big fruits should be chopped into smaller sizes. Kids who make faces at fruits and vegetables at home tend to consume them when they are before this teacher who keeps teaching them that these are a requirement for healthy growth.
  • Fruit Juice is another drink that kids love because it is not just tasteless like water. Kids may not empty their water bottle, but the juice pack never returns home with them.

    Try to avoid using the same lunchbox plan for every week of the term. Vary it so they do not get bored with cookies every Wednesday or Rice every Monday of every week of the term. 
    Sweets and candies in the lunchbox are a no no for me. They kill the kids appetite, give them a false sense of fullness and leave them hyperactive and too playful. The children will prefer the lollipops in their lunchboxes to their main meals so leave those in your fridge at home and let them take healthy meals or snacks to school.

    How To Get Kids Ready For School Every Morning
  • Wake up not later than two hours before time for departure. Have your quiet time alone with your God, have your bath or just freshen up, get their lunch packs ready if they were not packed the previous day, Drop them by the exit. Bring out their uniforms for the day and hang where the kids can reach, polish their shoes, keep their undies together with other school wears for the day. Get their water ready if it is not readily available. If you need to energize before waking the kids up, then eat or drink something. Remember to brush your teeth and use deodorants before attempting to start waking the kids. This is my habit anyway. (I also jog on the spot for 30 minutes like thrice a week before waking them. Sometimes there is just no time and I skip the jogging).I have a very sensitive nose and do not want to let any one go through what I experience around odors. 

    I bathe the kids one at a time. When you have more than one kid in the bathroom, there is competition among them on who finishes first or who gets mommy's attention the most and it can lead to fights, yelling or even shouts from mom. When I am done with one, she leaves the room to avoid distracting others. Asking a child to wait in the sitting room does not work without something to captivate that child's attention. Here is where we break the "No TV in the morning" rule because they have to watch something while waiting for others to get dressed. I tried the wait in the car thing a few times but it just did not work out because I could not cope with having to settle fights in the car and rushing back to get the remaining kids dressed. Now they are grown passed that stage and mornings are no longer that hectic for me. How time flies!

    How To Manage The Girl Child's Hair This School Term
  • There is one thing I like about myself. I do not have strict rules about my kids hair. Yes they are girls and their hair needs to be braided and accessorized. There were times I had no choice than to trim the hair. It is a living thing and will grow back. At a point it was just difficult having to spend the whole weekend at a salon because I cannot leave them alone with the hair dressers. Sometimes disappointments from the hair dressers will leave a child looking unkempt on a Monday morning. When it gets to a point where we cannot handle it, I hold a discussion with the girls and we agree on trimming. It does not take long for hair to grow. After all, even as an adult, there are countless times I have gone on low cut hair. Rocking styles that make me look younger. "wink" 
Make hairstyles that the child can carry for up to two or more weeks if possible. A child should have restful Saturdays and not just spend every weekend at a hair dressing salon. Beaded hairstyles last longer. Hair bands help the child with long hair to sometimes allow the hair to rest from twists and braids. Some schools do not allow hair accessories. Let your child's stylist braid styles that will not look worn out within just one week.

How Not To Feel Rushed And Cheated In The Morning

For many mothers, the time they have left to take care of themselves every morning is so short that they always leave the house feeling cheated and feeling like always in a hurry. If you have to take care of everyone before taking care of you, then you will neither have a clean bath nor make up properly before leaving your house everyday.

I hate to have to make every one look good and then not have enough time for myself because we are running late. I then came up with a personal decision to wake up earlier, take care of me, before my family. I do this on weekdays and Sundays where we have to go to church and I do not like to tie my scarf in the car or make up hurriedly in the car to avoid keeping others waiting. My geles ( head gears) are tied in advance and kept somewhere in the house. On Sundays, I just slot them on my head and we are good to go. Failure to get them fixed and kept will result in tying over and over again on Sundays while the car horn is hurrying  me up.

One thing about getting myself ready before the kids is that I will sweat while taking care of them. Basically, I just have my bath, keep my wears on stand by, and ensure that every thing I need for myself is where I can find it easily. 

After taking care of the kids, I do not need to have my bath because that has been taken care of earlier. All I do is just get dressed and move. I will advise mothers to wake up earlier than usual, take care of themselves, feel good in the morning before waking the kids up to start getting ready for school.

If you can, pack lunch boxes the previous day. I pack in the mornings because I feel like that way every thing remains fresh when the kids eat.

How To Supervise Homework Effectively

  1. Do not write for the child. Homework is given on the topics that your child has done in school. Let the child attempt while you supervise to see that s/he is doing the right thing.
  2. Provide a good Dictionary, Thesaurus and other good reference books for the child at home. If you have an internet connection at home, that is just excellent. The kids will not need your assistance in anyway once they discover how to use the internet for their home work. The only thing I do is open the books to check and ensure that the homework is done. With the Internet, the girls know when they are getting it right or wrong. sometimes they need my assistance only when their search queries are not yielding desired results and what I do is rephrase for them and they are done. These days, one does not need a laptop at home to enable kids assess the Internet. The mobile phones can be used for Homework search queries.

    With an Internet connection, Homework becomes a thing of joy for kids. They can successfully do their work without Reference Books. Is there any resource material that cannot be found online.

    Giving your kids access to the Internet will ease your stress of Home work. Do not leave kids unsupervised while they are online. Monitor their browsing activity and ensure that they are actually doing the homework and not playing kids online games instead.

    If you cannot sit with them while they do the homework, try your possible best to check their books before going to bed. Correct little mistakes and draw their attention to those corrections before they take the books to school. Homework should not be done in the morning while getting ready for school. It will be done haphazardly and in a hurry. It can lead to lateness.

    Holidays are over, back to school, back to strict bedtime rules. Kids do not really understand the importance of sleep. It is our duty as parents to send them to bed and insist that they observe bedtime rules. A child who sleeps well will hardly fall asleep while lessons are going on. A well rested child can be fun to play with and tends to be friendly too. 
When we let kids get away with late bed times, it tells on them. A child that does not get adequate sleep may look cranky and stressed. Stress is not good for any one. Insist that they go to bed early. It is good for their health and affords you that extra time to relax and take care of personal needs before going to bed.


  1. My goodness Joy,
    what do I say. Someone is a very busy mum, and a good one at that! I thought my life was busy, but you deserve a medal with all that you do in your life. Nice, informative post with good advice for young mums.

    1. Thank you so much Brenda. You make me feel good! I try my best with the girls, they won't be around for ever you know. Before we say Jack, they are grown and gone. One thing you may not know is that here in Africa only very few Dads really know how to get kids ready for school in the mornings. Majority just wish that they can assist their busy wives. They can't afford to miss early morning news, so a mom has no choice than to get used to bathing, dressing, feeding and doing what needs be done in the morning. Dads find other ways to compensate anyway. Compared to most Moms, I think that I am less busy and not yet excellent at it. I always say that this is the only opportunity we have to bond with and make our impact felt in their lives. They grow up faster than we think!
      oh Brenda, thanks again.

  2. Time management is really important for everyone but when it comes for a busy mum it’s very complicated. She has to manage everything on time and these advices are very effective for mums who struggle to manage it on time.

    1. Hi BCUK, you are right! Thanks for the comment.

  3. Make sense though! But this will not apply for each and every single Mom, some are really good in time managing and at the same time take care of their child. Anyway pretty useful tips though!

    1. Thanks for leaving your thoughts.

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