It's finally here, you guys. The day I've been waiting for (and my kids have been dreading) for the past 11 weeks. The first day back at school after summer vacation. I marked the date on the calendar and counted down the days as my family survived two vacations, one funeral, and not one, but two nannies quitting with no notice. So, yeah, I am glad summer vacation is over, but that's not the only feeling I'm experiencing. Turns out, there are more than a few emotions every mom feels when summer vacation finally ends, and I am pretty sure I'm feeling every single one of them.
Now, I am not saying I won't miss my kids while they're at school, because I totally will. But I also know I'm a way better mom when I get a break from constantly hearing, "Mom, he's touching me!" and, "I'm bored," and the fan-favorite, "Can we have screen time?" I went into summer break with the best of intentions, too. I was going to keep my kids engaged in fun and creative learning activities. By the end of summer, though, I was saying, "I don't care what you do, as long as you do it anywhere, but here." At least I tried, right?
But for as excited as I am to get my kids into their school routine, I'm also sad to see my kids leave. And worse, to see them grow up. Seriously, when did they grow up? It's so not fair. And while my house is quieter and more peaceful while they are at school, it might actually be too quiet. I kind of miss their chatter. Well, kind of.
So yeah, I am feeling a lot of different and sometimes conflicting emotions right now and as my kids go back to school. Feelings like, for example, the following:
One part of me is so excited to have the house to myself again. I can play with the baby, binge watch shows on Netflix, and actually manage to get some work done, all while my kids are at school. You guys, that's the dream.
Although it'll be nice to have a quiet house and more free time, I know I'll really miss my children when they aren't here. I can't help it. The house feels eerie when there's not a fight to break up or kid bothering me.
My kids going back to school is my yearly reminder that I need to go to bed sooner. I never get enough sleep before my alarm goes off, you guys. So, yeah, it's not just the kids who need to get used to a new routine.
I'm not just talking about not being ready in an emotional way. I mean, yeah, I totally had a moment where I wasn't ready for my younger son to start pre-K. I swear he was a baby, like, yesterday. But, when I say I'm not ready, I mean, I literally am not ready. I'm unprepared when ti comes to packing gym shoes and making school lunches, and don't even get me started about the stack of paperwork that goes along with having four kids in school.
Helping a child get ready for school is fun and exciting. I love buying school supplies and new clothes. I can't wait to hear about their new teachers and favorite things about school this year.
When you have four kids in school there are so many more opportunities for them to get hurt or face challenges, and it's more than a little bit scary to think about them doing these things on their own, without me.
It's so peaceful when my children are at school during the day. I might even get a shower while the baby is sleeping, or read a book. I can't honestly remember the last time I got to start and finish a book that wasn't Harry Potter or The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
Don't get me wrong, I like peace and quiet, but I know I'm going to be bored as hell. I love my baby, of course, but he's good for about 30 minutes of peak-a-boo, and then nothing. What am I supposed to do now? Watch another show on Netflix? Clean the house? I never thought I would actually say this, but I'm bored and it's only been one day. Weird.
I can't help it. I get anxious for my kids and for myself when they start a new school year. I have serious social anxiety, so the school year means new teachers for them and, consequently, new teachers for me to meet and get to know. The fact that we have a blended family and one of our kids has special needs makes this even more complicated for us to navigate. Deep breaths.
The school year means that kids (and parents) have to get seriously organized. Not a day goes by that I don't miss something or forget to sign something, sleep through my alarm or can't find my shoes. Dammit, I wish I could stay up late and sleep in.
Turns out, I might actually miss summer break.