See What This Mom Realized As She Took Her Kids Back To School

Taking kids back to school can be complicated for mothers.

Summer lovinʼ had me a blast. No really. It was glorious. But now school is back in session. And itʼs time to get back at it. Woo-hoo. Emphasis on the hoo. Weʼve been back for more than 4 weeks now, but today was the first day it didnʼt really feel like summer.

As we embark on a new school year, here are a few observations Iʼve made in
my suburban utopia:

1) The start of the school year is rife with conflicting emotions

Taking the kids back to school gives you more me time.

The sadness of no more beach. And hanging out on the deck. And having lazy mornings. Paired with the sheer elation of having some “me” time back when sliding door of the minivan closes as you wave goodbye and say I love you. In my case, Iʼve gained 2.5 glorious hours, 3X a week. I know, itʼs hard to figure out what to do with all of my free time. Should I go grocery shopping? Check email? Clean up from breakfast? Figure out what to cook for dinner? Do the calendar? Go to the gym? Do PTO stuff? Lay on the couch and watch Kathie Lee and Hoda? The possibilities are endless.

2) All of the moms, dads and teachers at drop-off and pick-up are having the same mundane conversations

Sending kids back to school prompts conversations among parents.

– How was your summer?
– Good. Good. But Iʼm definitely enjoying getting back into the routine.
– Yeah, us too. So good to see you.

Have you EVER heard ANYONE say, “Yeah, our summer really sucked.” Or, “Iʼm so glad to finally be getting rid of my kids!” No one says it. Cʼmon people. I know everyone is thinking it. And how many of you have heard, “WOW! He got so big!” Itʼs like, “No sh*t Sherlock.” Itʼs been like 10 weeks. Kids grow. Duuuuh. Why the fake amazement?

3) The morning routine must be reinstated

Taking the kids back to school also takes time for them to get back in the routine.

Seriously, itʼs like the summer actually made my kids dumber. Theyʼve completely forgotten that in order to go school you need to get dressed, eat your breakfast and brush your teeth. Is that too much to ask? And those are just the big three – this doesnʼt include going to the bathroom, brushing your hair, grabbing your backpack and getting into the car. Oh no. Iʼve decided this year to use reverse psychology. When for my kids back to school doesn’t sound like a great idea and they decide to play or do whatever it is besides getting ready, Iʼve been sitting down on the couch and threatening, “OK. Well Iʼm just going to have a cup of coffee and you guys let me know when YOU want to go to school.” They look at each other in sheer terror and scream, “Nooooooo! Weʼre getting ready. We want to be on time!” Ha. Suckers.

4) I am eternally behind!

Getting the kids back to school makes you postpone a lot of things.

I just canʼt believe I STILL havenʼt gone through all of the papers and artwork that they brought back by the grocery bag full at the end of last year. Itʼs still sitting in my living room waiting to be sorted into 3 piles:
– Things I want to hang up somewhere in the house
– Things I want to throw away
– Things I want to keep as a memory, so I store it only to ultimately throw away in a few years because Iʼll look at it and think, “Why the hell did I save this?”.
Thatʼs all I got. Hereʼs to a great year – whatever grade you may be going into.
And in the words of Obi-Wan Kenobi, “May the force be with you. Always.”

How are you coping with having your kids back to school?

Ann Lieberman
I'm a totally suburban mother of 3, married to a sexy Brit. Before I was a mom, I was a real person working as a creative writer at some hot advertising shops in New York City. Now I freelance when I can, but most of the time I'm in mom mode. I call my kids the 3-as*holes, which is a term of endearment. For fun, I have a gazillion side projects I’ve started, but not finished, in addition to my two blogs: The Suburbs Are Weird and Wonder Twin Powers Activate.
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