As the school buses roll through the neighborhood, the groans from the children can be heard loudly. The summer fun is replaced with homework and long days. As I look around social media, many moms seem to be doing the happy dance. For me, back to school does not equal a happy dance.
Here’s why I’m not overly excited that school is back in session. Don’t get me wrong. I do get several hours of quiet to do work. But, there is a trade-off. Think about the typical school week. There’s school lunches, homework, projects, sports, music, and those are just the kid related items. Don’t forget the laundry, house cleaning, yard work and the work that pays the bills. Add all those items up together and life seems crazier during the school year than the summer months.
In our house, the school schedule produces a very long day for everyone in the house. I’m up at 5:45 a.m.; kids up at 6:15 a.m.; bus comes at 7:15 a.m., kids off the bus at 3 p.m., homework, dinner, leave to for swim practice at 5:15 p.m., home at 8:30 p.m. and time to finish anything else that is left on the list and bed might finally come before the late night news. Just writing that list is exhausting.
In the summer, the alarm clock didn’t ring quite as early, the lists didn’t seem do daunting and life just seemed to happen. The family calendar didn’t need to be coordinated. I didn’t seem so exhausted. I was able to breathe more.
Yes, I don’t have to oversee the kids 24/7 like during the summer, but the summer presents less pressure to be perfect. One morning we don’t have to make sure that breakfast is healthy, lunch doesn’t have to come exactly on-time, it’s ok if I skip a day of laundry (that must have team shirt isn’t needed every other day).
So, as social media shows moms celebrating the kids heading back to school, I tread more cautiously. A few more weeks of summer vacation wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing.