Summer break seems to start off slow—and then suddenly it’s over. As the dog days of sleeping in wind down and the early morning alarm clocks start ringing, it’s enough to make any mom get a little overwhelmed. Take a deep breath. Slow down and remember these five tips to help deal with the craziness.

1. Be Flexible

Try not to sweat the small stuff. Let your child buy a hot lunch if you forget to make it, don’t have time, or forgot to buy bread the day before. We all forget. Just have a back up plan. If your daughter’s ponytail holder snaps, let her wear her hair down. If your son puts on mismatched socks and is okay with it, let it slide. If one child likes to do homework after school and the other needs time to play outside first, don’t try to force a rigid schedule. Of course, homework must get done, but being flexible about the timing can save an argument or a melt down.

2. Schedule the Closet

Skip the morning “what should I wear today?” routine by planning out a week’s worth of clothes ahead of time. You can even buy hanging compartment organizers and label them Monday through Friday. Add an outfit and undergarments and you’re good to go.

3. Breakfast Prep

Plan and prepare breakfast the evening before. I leave plates, bowls, cereal boxes, and bread out so the children they can help themselves. They don’t wait for me and we aren’t running late. Have your teens set out their own breakfast fixings the night before.

4. Use a Calendar

A large dry erase board on the fridge (or another easy-access place) allows everyone to see the week’s schedule, from sports to dentist appointments to school events. This is a lifesaving tool for busy families—as long as you remember to update it!

5. Make Time for You

Yes, you, Mom! All mothers need some “me time” to de-stress or be pampered. Try a 15-minute walk around the neighborhood after dinner while someone else cleans up. Try soaking in the tub or taking an extra long shower at night without interruption. Consider adding in morning yoga or meditation, or read for 30 minutes before bed. Whatever you choose, it’s important for moms to remember that they need a breather from the school craziness, too!

While every family has it’s own routines and habits, a few adjustments can make it a much less stressful back to school period. Just don’t forget to slow down, breathe, and remember: the years go by fast. Try to savor this time. Believe it or not, one day you’re going to miss that big yellow bus, or the early morning craziness and carpool.