Jenna Dewan Says Back-to-School Season in Her House Is a "Chaotic, Beautiful Circus"

Courtesy of Jenna Dewan
Courtesy of Jenna Dewan; Getty | Presley Ann / Stringer
Courtesy of Jenna Dewan; Getty | Presley Ann / Stringer

Courtesy of Jenna Dewan

Back-to-school season is a whirlwind for any parent — now imagine weathering back to school as a parent with a broken hand. That's what Jenna Dewan is dealing with this year, though she's the first to admit she has plenty of (appreciated) help, including fiancé Steve Kazee.

"It's the most annoying injury in the world. Nothing like being a mother of two kids and four dogs with a broken hand," she tells POPSUGAR, laughing. She shared the news on Instagram in early August, showing the brutal way she broke it doing box jumps at the gym. "[My hand is] like my most useful thing as a mom — it's constantly tying something, opening something, closing something. So yeah, it's been very funny in our household," she says, which she describes as a "chaotic, beautiful circus."

Dewan is a mom to 9-year-old Everly (nicknamed Evie) and 3-year-old Callum, plus dogs Wylie, Cosmo, Stella, and Meeka, who she says are "a total part of our family. They are my fur babies. They are treated like royalty over here." Dewan has always had "a bleeding heart for animals," dating back to her first memory of rescuing a bird from the snow in Baltimore as a kid. Now, for the back-to-school season, Dewan is channeling her animal love into a partnership with dog food brand Blue Buffalo, which recently became the only pet brand to participate in Box Tops for Education, which gives money back to schools.

The whole family's routine shifts around the back-to-school season, including the pups.

"There's a bit of an overwhelming sense the week of, or the few days before, where it's a whole new routine," she says. "Everyone's going to bed a little earlier, waking up a little earlier. There's so much to organize and get ready. You have to switch your brain away from summer back to the routine in school and back in education. Everything is just a bit of an adjustment."

Still, Dewan says keeping a consistent routine is the closest thing to a "hack" she's found in parenthood. "It's something I've really had to learn in life and it really does help when there's a definite routine: in this house, this is what we do," she says. "So Evie knows after school is homework time, so we get that done really quickly and then we can go into the rest of our day. Having a designated spot for everything is great, like, this is the homework spot."

And the routine is just as meaningful for the dogs. "The dogs are always incorporated," Dewan says. "Almost every single time the kids are having any sort of snack, meal, homework, any downtime, anywhere, all four of 'em are draped around their feet. They like to be involved as much as possible, which has been adorable."

That also means everyone gets to enjoy their after-school snacks together. The kids' favorites include peanut butter, which "is always a big deal in the house" and smoothies — "both of them love smoothies," Dewan says. "I've been getting creative with my smoothies. I used to do just fruit smoothies, but now I've been incorporating some pea protein powder and some almond butter, and making a little bit more savory smoothies."

And, naturally, the doggos get treats. "The kids really love giving the dogs treats . . . Callum and Evie love training them with the [Blue Buffalo] Blue Bits," Dewan says. "Evie just recently taught Cosmo how to shake, and she feels like the best dog trainer in all of LA at the moment."

As for back-to-school traditions, Dewan likes to write little lunchbox notes to make them feel special. "I draw little things, write little jokes, or write a little note. I feel like my kids are gonna be teenagers and I'll still be doing it, but it's like a little back-to-school tradition that I do every year," she says.

Overall, though, managing a household with so many little ones (both furry and human) running around means knowing that things are going to be a little messy, and Dewan is trying to teach her kids that lesson, too: "Just kind of setting expectations and understanding that everything is not gonna go perfect all the time" — and that's OK.