This might be an unpopular opinion among my fellow summer-is-over moms, but I had been dreading back to school. Yes, I totally understand the celebratory “we survived summer” champagne brunches that begin at 7:31 am after drop off on the first day, but I also feel the need to mourn the end of summer. And no, it is not because I am one of those “OMG I will miss my babies so much! How will I make it the whole day without them?” moms either. Don’t get me wrong – I do miss them. And I can totally relate to the moms who experience this. But my feelings around school starting come from a different place…
Selfishly, summer is easier for me. With three children in school, two working parents with conflicting schedules, activities and social events x 3, plus all the other stuff that comes with life, the school year magnifies our busyness and drives us toward tighter schedules, less flexibility, and just more stuff in my already full brain. I am very aware that much of this I create for myself (see all my previous posts about my inability to say no to anything). However, I find that summer brings a little less control to our chaos. And I kind of love it. No homework = more time in the evenings to relax. No school = no forced wake ups (for the kids at least) so that means less stress in the morning. No packing lunches, no rushing from school to activities, and no bedtime restrictions.
Weekends also seem easier during summer. Our plans are typically a little lighter and Sunday scaries are limited to just mom. If a bath doesn’t happen, it isn’t the end of the world…they probably spent a good portion of the weekend swimming anyway (and that totally counts in the bathing category, amiright?). I don’t feel as rushed to get things done over the weekend in the summer months as I do when school is in session – the kids’ clothes can get washed during the week, there is more time at night to make dinners so massive meal prep isn’t as critical, and without after school activities, I know my post-work time can be used for more things. In short, summer is a simpler time.
I am not all doom and gloom. School obviously brings some great things too. And my children thrive on routine so the school year certainly introduces that back into our world again. Our days are definitely busier but we still prioritize our time together and those Friday nights after a long week of work and school always feel like a little family reunion. The time apart certainly makes us appreciate our time together (and maybe means less fighting? a mom can dream…). Until next year summer…I will count down the days until we are reunited but will continue to strive to find the balance you so effortless impart on us the whole year through.