July has left the building, and that means the approaching school year will be starting way too soon. My middle child is entering Kindergarten, so I really wish this summer could last forever. I am the weepy mom on the first day of school. You know the one…I have wet-rimmed eyes at the Boo-hoo/Woo-hoo coffee breaks, brunches, and lunch outings.
To better mentally prepare for another year of my kids (and myself) getting older, I have completed a pros and cons list for saying “See ya later!” to summer vacation and “Hello, how are you?” to the upcoming academic term.
CONS to the School Year Beginning
- I am going to miss my kids. I like having all of my little ones around me during the day-time hours. It is chaotic, but fun to travel and explore our hometown together. The loudness in the vehicle and the messiness at lunch do not really bug me that much during the summer. It is the time of year when I don’t have to share my children with others. I get to dictate the schedule, which means it is okay if we want to go swimming at 10am on a Tuesday or stay up well past dark on a Thursday. It is the ultimate time to rejoice as a stay-at-home mom.
- I am going to miss the hot weather. Fall is probably my favorite season overall, but it is also the precursor to winter. I was not made for cold weather and I have no idea why I am a permanent Midwesterner. Summer days with my kids makes for a ton of outdoor time, no coats when we leave the house, and unlimited days of my toddler running around shirtless. Or as he likes to call it (and tell every neighbor in sight) “wearing his booby shirt”.
- I am going to miss the more relaxed me. I think I take a sabbatical in the summer from my typically over organized stay-at-home mom-self. We sleep in more, we go to bed later, we eat at flexible times, and the afternoon napping window is very negotiable. I am a way cooler and hip mom during June and July. The looming first day of school means I need to buckle down, as much as my kiddos, and get back to our regularly scheduled program.
PROS to the School Year Beginning
- For every con item I listed above, there is almost a mirror image pro to go along with it. While I will miss my kids when they are at school, I am also looking forward to some quality time with my youngest and making runs to the grocery store unaccompanied by my entire herd of spawn. Our house is going to look nicer, more freelance writing work can get completed on deadline, and errands won’t be continually put off until the weekend (or the end of eternity). The first few days of school starting make me mopey, but by the second week of classes I am doing a Target Cartwheel (the app and the actual handspring motion) in the cereal aisle due to my newfound freedom.
- Another big plus for school starting is that my kids will get back to seeing their classroom friends on a daily basis. I can also reconnect with my mom buddies that I don’t typically see unless I am patrolling the elementary grounds as a volunteer or doing a parental duty drop-off for my soon-to-be third grader who forgot her homework. My family gets into a bubble in the summer and I miss talking to my neighbors at the bus-stops and visiting with others who are involved with the same after-school activities as my own children.
- Although the “relaxed me” is pretty refreshing, this alternative identity is confusing to my immediate family. I am the time watcher, calendar organizer, and data collector of my tribe. So when I start being lax, my husband and kids get thrown for a loop. They need me to be on top of what is happening during the week and providing goals and guidance. During the summer, I dismiss bath times at a moment’s notice and encourage movie nights, which will earn praises from my kids and a deer in headlights look from my hubby. The amount of temper tantrums my two-year-old has thrown in July, is proof that I have been letting him run the show a bit too often. The start of school means calmer evenings, more bedtime stories, and some much needed quiet time after a long and busy day.
The start of another school year, just means another chapter in our family ‘s book of life. I do not like how fast my kids are growing up, but I do love seeing who they become with each passing year. So bring on the school supply lists and PTO fundraisers! I may not be ready, but I am definitely willing to embrace the first day of school and everything that comes with it.
How does summer ending and school starting change your family dynamic? Let us know by leaving a comment or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you so much for reading our blog!