Single motherhood






Hi, I'm a Kenyan-born, Colorado-based single mom to twins Hodari and Milambu. I turned the challenges of single motherhood into a thriving YouTube community and blog. Here, I offer support and practical advice on parenting, lifestyle, and more. Let's navigate life's complexities together!


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Oh, the bittersweet truth… Summer days are slipping through our fingers like sand, and the chaos of school mornings is sneaking up on us faster than we can say “Caffeine, please!” Can you believe it? I swear, I’m trying desperately to hold on to the last days of lazy mornings and spontaneous adventures. But alas, the inevitable reality of early alarms and packed schedules is knocking at our doors.

As I watch my little ones trade their beach towels for backpacks, I can’t help but feel a mixture of nostalgia and anticipation. It’s a reminder that they’re growing up right before my eyes, ready to embark on new adventures, learn new things, and make lifelong memories. While the transition from summer bliss to school routines may seem daunting, I’ve come to realize that with a little preparation and a sprinkle of humor, we can tackle anything that comes our way.

As we bid farewell to summer’s lazy mornings and prepare to dive headfirst into the whirlwind of back-to-school chaos, take a moment to breathe. You’ve got this, and I’m here to guide you every step of the way. So, grab a steaming cup of your favorite brew, gather your strength, and let’s embark on this exhilarating journey we call the back-to-school season! With my comprehensive back-to-school checklist as your trusty companion, we’ll breeze through the tasks, from shopping for supplies to establishing routines. Together, we’ll create an environment that fosters learning, growth, and success for our children.


One Month Before School Starts

Are you ready to kickstart the back-to-school countdown? The one-month mark is here, and it’s time to get down to business, mamas! These next few weeks are crucial for getting ahead of the game and ensuring a seamless transition into the new school year. In this section, we’ll focus on tasks that require some advanced planning and those that you can tackle independently. So, put on your organizational hat, and let’s dive into the ultimate back-to-school checklist!

1. Review School Requirements

Alright, Mama Bear, it’s time to gather all the vital intel for the upcoming school year. Reach out to your child’s school or embark on a virtual quest through their website to uncover the top-secret school requirements. What supplies do they need? Are uniforms the cool new trend this year? And what about that pesky paperwork for enrollment? Take note of all the deadlines and make sure you have your spy gear ready to retrieve all the necessary documents.

2. Schedule Doctor and Dentist Appointments

Before we dive headfirst into the whirlwind of school chaos, let’s make sure our little ones are in tip-top shape. Take a moment to channel your inner secret agent and ensure that your child’s immunizations are up to date. Schedule those all-important medical and dental check-ups before the school year sneaks up on you. Keep in mind that some schools require specific forms to be filled out by the ever-elusive healthcare professionals, so make sure you have those ready too.

3. Organize Wardrobe

Alright, fashion-forward mom, it’s time to channel your inner Marie Kondo and tackle that closet chaos. Sort through your child’s clothes with the intensity of a seasoned detective. What have they outgrown? What needs replacing? Create a detailed list of essential clothing items that’ll make them the talk of the playground. And here’s a pro tip: keep an eye out for those incredible back-to-school sales and discounts. It’s like finding hidden treasure while saving some doubloons!

4. Create a Budget

Now, let’s put on our accountant hats and establish a back-to-school budget that would make even the most frugal supermom proud. Take a deep breath and dive into the world of expenses. School supplies, uniforms, clothing, shoes, backpacks, lunchboxes – it can feel overwhelming, but fear not! With a well-thought-out budget in hand, you’ll be the master of your financial domain. Prioritize your spending, avoid splurging on unnecessary items, and emerge victorious with a wallet that still has a few bucks left for a well-deserved treat.

3 Weeks Before School Starts

1. Shop for School Supplies

Ah, the thrilling adventure of school supply shopping! Grab your trusty list provided by the school and embark on a mission to gather all the necessary essentials. But wait, before you dash off to the nearest store, let me share a little secret: online retailers can be your best friend! Take advantage of the convenience and competitive prices offered by online platforms. Don’t forget to check local stores as well, because who doesn’t love stumbling upon a great deal while strolling down the aisles? And here’s a pro tip: involve your little one in the process. Turn it into a fun activity and let their eyes light up as they choose their favorite notebooks, pens, and backpacks. It’s like a mini treasure hunt for academic success!

2. Plan Lunch Ideas

Now, let’s talk about one of the most crucial aspects of the school day: lunchtime! Gone are the days of summer snacking whenever and wherever. It’s time to put on your chef hat and start brainstorming some drool-worthy lunch ideas. But hold on, we can’t just whip up any old sandwich and call it a day. We need to take into account our child’s preferences, any dietary restrictions they might have, and even the school’s policies regarding food allergies. So, put on your thinking cap and get ready to explore the realm of healthy, tasty, and easily packable lunches. Pinterest will be your best friend during this journey! Create a list of go-to lunch options that your little one will savor and enjoy. Don’t forget to throw in some easy-to-pack snacks too because we all know that hungry kids can turn into hangry monsters in no time!

RELATED: 18 Easy Bento Box School Lunch Ideas for Toddlers

3. Establish Routines

Ah, routines. Love them or hate them, they are the secret sauce to a smooth sailing-school year. As summer slowly slips away, it’s time to reintroduce those school routines that seem to have taken a vacation of their own. Start by setting regular bedtimes and wake-up times that align with the upcoming school schedule. Trust me, it might be a battle at first, but gradually easing your child into a consistent sleep routine will save you from those bleary-eyed battles in the mornings. And hey, while you’re at it, encourage your little ones to engage in educational activities like reading or puzzles. It’s a gentle way to ease them back into the academic mindset and get those rusty gears turning before the school bell rings. So, let’s bid farewell to the lazy summer days and say hello to structured routines that will keep us all on track throughout the school year.

4. Organize Your Home

Now, let’s talk about creating an oasis of organization in your home. Trust me, it’ll save you countless headaches when you’re searching for that elusive permission slip or missing shoe.

  • Declutter and create designated spaces: Start by decluttering and sorting through those towering piles of papers. Create a system for important school-related documents like permission slips, school newsletters, and calendars. Consider using labeled folders or a bulletin board to keep everything organized and easily accessible.
  • Designate a go-to spot: Choose an area near the front door or in your child’s room as the designated spot for backpacks, lunchboxes, and school gear. Hang sturdy hooks for backpacks and create cubbies or bins for shoes and other essentials. Having a designated spot for everything will save you from frantic searches on busy mornings.
  • Tackle the kitchen chaos: Say goodbye to pantry chaos by going through shelves and getting rid of expired snacks and items past their prime. Create a designated snack section for easy-to-pack goodies in your pantry. Get creative with containers and labels to make it visually appealing and easily accessible for both you and your little ones.

By creating an organized haven in your home, you’ll not only conquer the back-to-school madness but also enjoy a more peaceful and efficient household. Embrace the power of organization, Mama, and sail through the school year with ease!

2 Weeks Before School Starts

1. Label and Organize Supplies

Now, let’s talk about a task that might seem tedious but is oh-so-important: labeling and organizing those school supplies! Grab your trusty permanent marker or label maker and get ready to unleash your inner organization guru. Take the time to lovingly label each and every item with your child’s name or initials. From pencils to notebooks, from glue sticks to rulers, make sure every item is marked as your child’s prized possession. Trust me, this small effort will save you from countless mix-ups, arguments, and the eternal question, “Is this mine or yours?”

But labeling alone isn’t enough; we need to create a well-oiled organizational system. Gather all the supplies, and let’s dive into the world of backpacks, storage bins, and designated areas. Find a home for each item, whether it’s a specific pocket in the backpack or a dedicated shelf in their study area. The goal here is twofold: easy access and visual clarity. When the morning rush hits and your little one is scrambling to find that elusive eraser or colored pencil, they’ll know exactly where to look. No more panicked searches or last-minute runs to the store. Organization is our superpower, and we’re here to conquer the chaos!

2. Meet the Teacher

Get ready to attend the back-to-school events or orientation sessions offered by the school, because it’s time to meet the incredible individuals who will be leading your child’s educational journey. Meeting your child’s teacher(s) is a crucial step in preparing for the upcoming school year.

During these events, you’ll have the opportunity to gain valuable insights into classroom expectations and routines. The teachers will share important information about the curriculum, homework policies, and any upcoming projects or field trips. This is your chance to ask questions, voice any concerns you may have, and establish open lines of communication with the teacher(s).

Meeting the teacher(s) helps create a sense of familiarity and connection, both for you as a parent and for your child. It allows you to put faces to the names, ensuring a smoother transition into the school environment. You’ll have the opportunity to discuss your child’s strengths, challenges, and any specific needs they may have, enabling the teacher(s) to better support them throughout the year.

Building a positive relationship with the teacher(s) sets the stage for effective collaboration and ensures that everyone is on the same page when it comes to your child’s education. So, mark your calendar, prepare your questions, and get ready to meet the amazing educators who will play a significant role in your child’s academic journey.

RELATED: Escape into Summer with 20 Exciting Books for Preschoolers

1 Week Before School Starts

1. Plan Transportation

As the first day of school approaches, it’s essential to plan out your child’s transportation to ensure a stress-free start. If your child will be taking the bus or walking to school, take some time to review the transportation routes and schedules together. Familiarize your child with the designated stops or walking paths, so they feel at ease during the commute. If you’ll be driving them, plan the most efficient route, and consider factors like traffic flow and pick-up/drop-off timings. This thoughtful preparation will save you time and help your child feel more comfortable on the journey to school.

2. Practice the Commute

Navigating a new route can be intimidating for your little one, so take the opportunity to practice the school commute a few times before the big day. Accompany your child on the route you plan to take, pointing out landmarks and highlighting important spots like the school entrance or bus stop. This rehearsal will build familiarity and confidence, ensuring that your child’s first-day jitters are eased. Plus, the practice runs will also help you gauge the actual time it takes to reach school, allowing you to plan your mornings accordingly.

3. Create a Family Calendar

The key to a successful school year lies in staying organized and creating a dedicated family calendar is your secret weapon. Whether it’s a physical calendar hanging in a prominent spot or a digital planning app accessible to everyone in the family, having a centralized system is crucial. Mark important school dates, parent-teacher meetings, extracurricular activities, and any appointments on the calendar. This way, you can avoid scheduling conflicts, remember essential events, and ensure nothing slips through the cracks. With a well-organized family calendar, you’ll feel in control and ready to tackle the upcoming school year with confidence.

Day Before and First Day of School

The Back-to-School Eve

The day before the first day of school is always filled with anticipation and excitement. As a single mom, you want everything to go smoothly, and preparing ahead of time will alleviate some of the stress. Here’s a detailed plan to make the most of this special evening:

1. Backpack Packing Party

Gather all the necessary school supplies and have a backpack-packing party with your child. Lay out the list of required items provided by the school, including notebooks, pencils, erasers, and any specific supplies requested by the teacher. This can be a fun bonding experience as you both prepare for the new school year together. Double-check that everything is neatly packed, and don’t forget to include any required paperwork or forms that need to be returned on the first day.

2. Organize Outfits

Encourage your child to pick out their outfit for the first day of school. Involving them in this decision will boost their confidence and excitement. Make sure the chosen outfit is comfortable and weather-appropriate to ensure a great start to their school day.

3. Discuss Expectations and Anxieties

Sit down with your child for a heartfelt conversation about their expectations and any concerns they may have about the upcoming school year. Listen attentively and offer reassurance if they’re feeling nervous or anxious. Remind them that it’s normal to feel a mix of emotions when starting something new and assure them that you believe in their abilities to succeed.

4. Set Up a Special Evening Tradition

Create a special tradition for the night before school starts. It could be anything from cooking their favorite meal together to having a movie night with popcorn. This tradition will give your child something positive to look forward to every year, easing any preschool jitters.

5. Prepare a Sweet Note

Leave a heartfelt note for your child to find in the morning. Express your love and pride in their accomplishments, reminding them of how capable and loved they are. This small gesture will make the morning extra special and boost their confidence as they head off to school.

The First Day of School:

Finally, the big day has arrived! The first day of school is a significant milestone in your child’s life, and you want to make it memorable and enjoyable for them. Here’s how to make the most of this special day:

1. Rise and Shine with Positivity

Wake up a little earlier than usual to start the morning on a positive note. Greet your child with enthusiasm and let them know you’re excited for them. A cheerful and supportive morning atmosphere will set the tone for the day.

2. Capture the Moment

Before heading out the door, don’t forget to take first-day photos of your child. Pose with them in front of your home or in a meaningful spot, creating lasting memories that you’ll cherish for years to come. As the school years go by, these photos will be a beautiful reminder of their growth and achievements.

3. Enjoy a Special Breakfast

Prepare a delicious and nutritious breakfast to give your child the energy they need for an exciting day ahead. This meal can become another yearly tradition, fostering a sense of comfort and excitement about the first day of school.

4. Accompany Your Child to School (If Possible)

If your child is starting at a new school or feeling particularly anxious, consider accompanying them to school on the first day. Walking with them to the school gate and briefly meeting their teacher can ease their nerves and help them feel more comfortable in their new environment.

5. Celebrate the Afternoon

When the school day ends, celebrate your child’s first day back at school. Ask about their day and listen attentively as they share their experiences. Consider having a small treat ready, such as their favorite snack or ice cream, to make the day even more special.

RELATED: 8 Best Affordable Stroller Wagons for Families with Kids

Wrapping Up…

And there you have it—the ultimate back-to-school checklist to conquer the upcoming academic year like the fearless warriors we are! From navigating school supplies to establishing routines, we’ve covered it all. Now, as we wrap up this checklist, take a moment to pat yourself on the back. You’ve put in the time, effort, and love to ensure your child’s smooth transition into the new school year.

Remember, you are not alone on this wild ride. Reach out to other parents, join online communities, and lean on your support network whenever you need an extra boost of encouragement. We’re all in this together, sharing the joys, challenges, and hilarious school stories along the way.

As the school bell rings, let’s embrace the excitement and possibilities that the new school year brings. Watch your little ones grow, learn, and flourish in the classroom. Cherish the moments, big and small, and don’t forget to capture those first-day photos—it’s a tradition worth preserving!

So, fellow super moms, stand tall, equipped with the power of organization, preparation, and love. As we bid farewell to summer and embrace the whirlwind of school mornings, remember that you are an incredible force, capable of conquering any challenge that comes your way.

From one super mom to another, I wish you and your children a fantastic school year filled with laughter, growth, and unforgettable memories. You’ve got this! Now, let’s tackle that back-to-school season like the rockstar moms we were born to be!


The Ultimate Checklist To Ace the Back-to-School Hustle

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Jul 20, 2023

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