Photo: Pexels

We always wonder what our children need before new school year starts, we get tons of lists of different ‘must have for school’ items, but no one in all this euphoria is really wondering what us moms need? Is it that your youngest is going to Kindergarten, and you are completely free mom all day? Is it that your oldest is going to Kindergarten, and you still have little one at home? Will you have kids two hours at school, or full time? Are you going back to work? 

Nevertheless, we are all having our own mom time again. Summer has been fun, but school year will be fun even more. I created a list of things that every mom NEEDS before school starts again. I know you took care of school supplies for your kids, backpack, new winter clothing, new shoes, cute lunch boxes, and all that fun kids stuff. But, let’s talk about what moms want, shall we? 

MUST MUST – A GOOD PLANNER 

I’ve tried many planners in last few years, and I must say, my planners are getting bigger and bigger, just like my kids. Smaller kids – smaller responsibilities, bigger kids – bigger responsibilities and more activities. I prefer a physical planner over App, because I need to see it in writing, I like to add stuff, draw hearts and such. I like my kids scratches inside, it just makes my heart sing. But there are some great App you could use as well, I will list all of those with their pros and cons. 

 

a) SIMPLIFIED PLANNER

The Simplified Planner is a beautiful, joyful agenda for busy women in all seasons of life. Designed minimally on purpose, its open pages serve as a fresh start every day. They believe margin matters, and their mission is to inspire women to organize, simplify, and carve white space for the good stuff of life. The daily edition covers 12 months (with one day per page and shared weekend pages) and features a wire-o binding and luxurious Mohawk Via paper. 

They have four different designs for Academic daily planner, and solids, no wire, for weekly planner. It contains daily page, weekend page, monthly spread and inside pockets.

They have cute accessories you can add additionally, such are flag sticker set, stretchy band and mini notebook to-do list, page marker, paper clips, and pens. 

b) THE HAPPY PLANNER

This is another happy family story, mom and daughter team from California, who loved scrapbooking and turned it into The Happy Planner. They have 10 cutest designs to pick from, and they offer different box kits with goodies such are stickers, folder, sticky note pads. All designs are super cute and family planning will be lots of fun with this planner. If you are fitness junky, they have Fitness addition with cute ‘You can do it’ stickers. 

c) TARGET

Target is carrying some of the cutest planners brands. They are super affordable and their designs are very modern. If you have hard time paying full price planner, you can always get it at target for half price. Maybe they don’t have as many accessories as other brands, but they are still very very cute. My favorites are Day Designer and Sugar Paper.

Sugar Paper is another women owned brand from Los Angeles, two friends, graphic designers. Their mission was simple: to design exquisite social stationery that would be a distinctive stamp of st‌yle for their chic clientele, and shine a spotlight on a beautiful and under-appreciated art form. They offer birthday, baby, anniversary collections, greeting cards, and more.  

c) DAY DESIGNER

The idea for Day Designer® was born in 2010. It grew from chaos: an overflowing email inbox, a hand-scribbled to-do list, a pile of meeting notes and a daunting schedule. Whether you’re a working professional, full-time mom, or a diligent student, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and pulled in a million directions. Created by Whitney English, Day Designer is a simple and easy system created to help you find balance, focus and productivity.

They have nine designs to die for; black stripes, dots, tiles, palms, flowers, all to dye for!! On Target website you can find them for as low as $9.99, but on their website they are selling them for $59, including daily inspirational quotes, goal planning sheets, to-do notes, and more, when at Target you get planner without accessories. 

d) ERIN CONDREN

I believe, everyone know Erin Condren, if not, let me tell you something about her. She is one of the moms like us, who worked 12 hours a day, before she became stay at home mom with two children. She developed a case of cabin fever and began searching the internet for career opportunities she could do from home. With a tight budget and an active imagination, she began making note cards for friends, as birthday gifts, new baby announcements and hostess gifts. Her friend encouraged her to sell my designs at a “shopping party” at her home in June 2004 and the rest is history. 

It has three layouts: Vertical, horizontal, and Hourly, two color themes: Neutral and Colorful, available with 12 or 18-Month Calendars. It’s completely Customizable: Four Coil Colors: Platinum, Rose Gold, Gold, & Black, Personalized or Non-Personalized on All Classic Covers, Three Hard Bound, Leather-Like, Permanent Cover Options. You want it? She has it. It just makes family organizing fun and colorful for us moms.

What is your favorite planner? 

MASCARA

Yes, mascara is a must! Let’s start new school year with new goals. Every morning use at least ONE beauty product! I know, we all want to feel good about ourselves. I remember myself many many times, specially when Isabella was still a baby, taking Alex to school, looking like ****. Tired, with no sleep, exhausted, no help, no family around, Alex was a toddler, cooking, cleaning, all that was on my daily to-do list. My daily plate. Not to mention husband coming home late from work, tired, so here you go, hard to ask for help… I remember days, when I looked at myself in a mirror, looking white as wall (white walls in our new house), big dark circles around my eyes, my hair didn’t see the hair stylist FOREVER! But hey, those were happy times, right? I am a mom, aren’t I? I can look like ****! I deserve that, at least that! Yes, but, I also wish someone pushed mascara in my hands to put it on. Then, I wouldn’t have to hide 80% of selfies I took with my kids. LOL 

So, let’s all be pretty, shall we? 

My favorite is Tarte. Or, at least I think it is. I change them constantly. One day I like this one, next day I feel more the other one. Or, is it the hormone-mom thing? I remember before kids, I have my one and only favorite Chanel Inimitable Waterproof Multi Dimensional Mascara and I used that one for years! I also like Better then Sex, by Too Faced. I’ve heard Lancome has the best mascaras, but I’ve never tried one. 

What is your favorite mascara? 

BLACK LEGGINGS 

Everyone needs a pair of black leggings! Specially busy moms. They are comfy, stretchy, goes with everything and anything. When you have only two seconds to get dressed, what do you wear? Black leggings! The only problem with black leggings is that you can’t have just any. There are many see through ones out there, and it’s really hard to find the good ones. 

I personally like LuLaRoe. I haven’t owned a black leggings that are not see through and not made of performance fabrics at the same time. They are definitely not see through and they are super super soft. Also, what I like about them is that their waist is wider, so the elastic doesn’t cut into my after-baby belly. It straightens my stomach, something like spanx, just not as tight. 

The other day I saw my sister in law and she was rocking her black leggings. She looked amazing! It looked like they are sucking all the unwanted skin in and by that, it made her body look really tight and toned. So, I asked her where did she got them, and she replied on Amazon for $8. Here are few I found on Amazon. 

What are your favorite black leggings? 

BABY SITTER ON A SIDE 

School year is long, and winter is even longer. If you live close to your parents or in-laws, than maybe you are in a good position, but for those who don’t, you need emergency baby sitter on a side! It’s a must. Try with local moms who have teenage daughters, local mom groups, some schools are offering classes for baby sitting, ask there, or just try SitterCity or Care

AT LEAST ONE FITNESS CLASS 

Yes, for our sanity, if you haven’t joined the local gym yet, now it’s time! When kids go back to school, we want to have at least that one hour of Yoga, at least once-three times a week. If you have a preschooler staying at home with you, then gym might be your better option. And, if you live in Chicago, where winters are cold, you will need an indoor club. Most of the gyms offer kids area. 

What have been your fitness goal? What have you always wanted to try? Yoga, Pilates, Barre, Meditation? Pick one and go for it!! Chicago suburbs has a great offer of classes and gyms. If you want to do the fitness trainer thing, then do that. But, commit  that you will take that one hour from your family for yourself!

A GOOD BOOK 

I’ve been reading almost only kids books last seven years. If they are not children books, they are books about children. And, it’s exhausting for our beautiful minds to be always occupied with these ‘adult’ books. Sometimes we do need ‘easy’ read. Read for our soul. I remember me ‘eating’ books before having kids, it was just so refreshing. It still happens, but not as often I would like. Just feeling of going back to library and getting new books, is incredible, food for my soul.

It might sound strange, but I love smell of the book. Every time I pick up the book, I smell it, and then open it. Next time, when you go to library with your children, have a list of books that you want to read. There is awesome website www.goodreads.com, where you can find any kinds of books your mind could only think of. And check at your library for Book Clubs. Have it be once a month ‘Girls Night Out – Book & Wine.’ 

Here is the list of Adult Fiction Books New Releases.

Popular Adult Fiction Books. 

Recently active book lists on Goodreads.com. 

What book do you recommend? 

FRIENDS

Yes, you heard me, FRIENDS! Some are just lucky enough to have friends and family in the area. But not many of us are that lucky. I can not imagine anymore how it feels to have friends 24/7  available for me. I must say, my first few years were very rush, but more and more moms are becoming my very good friends. And small friendships are becoming big friendships. Let’s keep ourselves a promise to be nice to each other, because maybe that mom over there, who is struggling, alone, doesn’t have anyone. We need to support each other and understand each other. Maybe she want to hang out with you, but she doesn’t know how to approach to you. 

We need each other. Moms need moms. For our sanity. It’s just so much easier. And I know, new moms are moving to our areas every year, every month. And they need help, too. They need someone who will approach to them. If you see me, just stop by and say HI. I never turn my back on people. I don’t judge. I teach that my children! We are all humans and we are born to be social. We need to be social. So, let’s make a promise to make new friendships. If you are shy, promise yourself you will make that first step. You are not alone! There are many moms like you, alone! Lonely! 

I remember first few years I was terrified to approach to anyone here. To talk to people, that was my biggest fear. But few years later, you saw me emailing and texting every single mom from Alex’s class. When kid says: ‘Mom, I want to play with Jai.” What do you do? You want to make your kid happy, or you don’t call because of your own feelings? You call Jai’s mom. Of course. And today they are greate friends. And mom got a new friend, too! 

My friend moved from Phoenix, Arizona, to New York. She had many friends in Phoenix. But since her husband is in military, they are moving around every couple of years. So, now in New York, she is alone. Again. And it breaks my heart, I can’t do much. I can call her and text her, but I wish she was here. With her kids. 

So ladies, let’s make new friends!! 

***

What are other mom’s essentials? There are many ‘more’ important things, like cooking, housekeeping, but really really essential is a happy mom. And how can mom be really happy, other than make kids and husband happy? Is to make herself happy. And that’s what we are going to do in year 2016/2017. We will not FORGET ABOUT OURSELVES!! 

If you have a suggestion, that you would like to add and share with us, please comment! 

xoxo,

Renata