So my one and only kiddo has been a full time student for one week as of today. He seems pretty happy, despite some mild daily complaining about hating it. He doesn’t really hate school, he may however strongly dislike that it limits his time engineering Lego city, bike riding, and cartoon watching.
It has been an adjustment for sure. While his schedule is more full, mine has freed up. My current situation leaves me feeling extremely blessed. I work part time from home and have one child that still thinks I’m cool to hang out with. Still I’ve made some observations about this back to school season:
Myth #1 Back to school means a break for mom.
Moms everywhere are just as tired, if not more so, than the school-going youngsters. We stress out about new schedules, lunches, meeting teachers, volunteering, locker codes, bullies on the bus, etc. It is exhausting. Ideally, we should all take the first week of back to school off. While the kiddos are getting acclimated to school we would spend those hours relearning how to take care of ourselves. Spend that first week getting our hair done, working out, mani/pedis, and lunch with girlfriends. Wouldn’t that be good? And for moms who have demanding careers and/or several children – God bless you – for juggling all that.
Myth #2 You’re going to get everything done while they’re at school.
Regardless of your path, stay at home mom, work from home mom, work outside the home mom, you are likely the one who primarily runs the house. Making decisions on what goes on, what gets bought, what gets cooked, and yes what gets cleaned. If you’re like me, you have a list. A list that has been added to and put off for years. If you are home while you’re kids are in school it is tempting to think you will get it all accomplished during the school day. You will not get it done in the first week or even month the kids are in school. It is impossible. And that is okay. Break it down into smaller more manageable chunks. For me it is one one room of the house at a time. Then I can make progress and shorten the list. I was going to attempt to clear the list in the first week and then came to my senses. If I make a serious dent in the list by Thanksgiving I will feel pretty darn good.
Myth #3 Schedules are tough.
My son may think this new business of having to be up, ready, fed, and out the door before 9 AM is tough, but I on the other hand think routine is glorious. At least for our family. Don’t get me wrong, I like variety and spontaneity, but when it comes to things like bedtime and mealtimes, routine makes our home a happier place. A lesson I apparently need to learn the hard way over and over again. My son will be having so much fun with his buddies that I think to myself, its fine, its Friday after all. Yeah, then the over-tired, haven’t eaten near enough drama kicks in and I am reminded how much I love keeping things to a schedule. School helps immensely with routine and I’m grateful for that.
Myth #4 You’ll enjoy all that time to yourself.
Truth for me is that some of that time to myself is enjoyed, but I’ve also found that peace and quiet are a bit over-rated. There have been many days when I’ve struggled to have a sane thought in my head while trying to work from home. Pleading for just a few minutes of real quiet. Now I have seven hours of silence and wouldn’t you know it, I kinda miss the chatter and happy interruptions. I get more done for sure, but I don’t get to be anybody’s hero and nobody hugs me for no reason.
There you have it, my observations from the first week of school. How does back to school feel to you?
From a “work outside of the home” point of view, I would LOVE to take the first week of school off! 🙂 I’m a routine creature too, but adjusting to the new routine was seriously exhausting! Although I did find that the excitement of the new school year made it a little easier for my middle-schooler to get up in the morning. This week the excitement has worn off and she is not nearly as cheerful.
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