Summer of 2017 is officially coming to a close and it is time for us parents to switch gears and get ready to send our little ones back out into the wide world of learning and growth.

Bye kids. Summer has been a blast but I for one am so ready for you to return to your natural habitats. We have vacationed, crafted, stayed up late, and eaten enough ice cream and popsicles to fuel my mom guilt right up to the holiday season. It is time to get down to business and get our children ready to hit the books and slay the 2017/2018 school year. Let the back-to-school prep begin!

1 | Start rolling your pennies

Or get a second job. Or sell your plasma. You are going to be really strapped for cash for the next month. God, kids are expensive. There are backpacks, lunch boxes, supplies, and shoes to purchase. Snazzy outfits will be selected with care for the first week of school just so that moms everywhere can take pictures of their spawn looking fly and post them to Facebook. (We all know the kids will be wearing ratty shorts and T-shirts everyday after that first week of school until the snow starts falling.) I have four girls in various schools this year, so if you need me I will be Googling “How to harvest your eggs for cash.”

2 | Order what you can on Amazon Prime

Let the kids look at backpacks on the computer and order them with a touch of a button. If you can manage to stand in “aisle hell” of Target for three hours as your kids debate between a Trolls or emoji backpack then you are my hero, but I can’t do that any longer. It hurts too much.

3 | Back to routine we go fools!

Buh-bye 11 p.m. bedtimes and neighborhood barbecues that linger way into the night. It is time to enforce actual bedtimes, and it won’t be pretty. Your kids will fight this one tooth and nail. They will not take kindly to having lights out by 8:30 pm with a few precious weeks of summer left, but it must be done. If you start this process now it will only make life easier for everyone the week before school starts.

I find that removing clocks from bedrooms helps with this process. Just lie to them. Tell them it is 9 p.m. when you simply can no longer parent for the day. When you feel like letting them stay up until they crash, remind yourself how miserable life will be during those first school rise and shines as you drag your small humans from their cozy beds at the crack of dawn so that they don’t miss the damn bus.

4 | Re-introduce your children to books, manners, and toothbrushes

All of those things that tend to fall to the wayside during the lazy summer months must be brought back to the surface. Make a Powerpoint presentation if you are feeling up to it. A few nights ago I announced that we would be reinstating nightly reading before bed and my girls looked at me like I was spitting Swahili at them. Goodbye mind-numbing YouTube videos, hello (equally mind-numbing) Rainbow Fairy Magic.

5 | Create a color coded spreadsheet

On the sheet put of all activities that your family is signed up for in the fall. Bus schedules, school start and end times, volunteer days, soccer practice, swim practice, and music lessons are all coming at us at full speed. Color code that shit and hope that you make it to at least 80 percent of the events that you committed to. Good luck and may the odds be ever in your favor.

6 | Get healthy and get creative (virtually, at least)

I don’t know what it is about fall but this is the time of year that I become a bone fide Pinterest Freak. I will scour the virtual, crafty world for healthy family recipes and crockpot meals galore and pin the hell out of them. Approximately one percent of pinned recipes will ever be attempted. Adorable back-to-school kits and crafts get hot glued together, along with my fingers. Headbands and hair bows with rulers and apples are made with the blood, sweat, and tears of mothers everywhere. Study hacks, tips, and tricks get saved for later dates (like never) and we moms are look like total winners on social media.

7 | Make four thousand appointments for the kids

Yearly physicals, dentist appointments, haircuts, perhaps a good therapy session for yourself – book away. Just block out the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for the rest of the month and prepare to taxi the kids around to their various unfavorable appointments. Remember, it could probably be worse – you could be me and have to fit in four of everything. I’ll be doubling down on the therapy thank you very much.

8 | Soak those kids up

Yes we have had our fill of summer and yes the kids are driving us bananas, but in a few weeks we will barely see them until next summer and we will miss them.