So, we all know that back to school time can be a riot of challenges and adjustments for the kids, right? Well, I am here to tell you that it’s no walk in the park for mom, either!
I’m noticing a pattern, friends. It seems that getting through the initial August rush is not a problem. Everything is new! and exciting! and, even though school has started, things are pretty easy-going. Activities aren’t all up and running yet; homework hasn’t gotten out of hand. We get just a couple weeks to coast and become too comfortable for our own good.
Then September hits and before you know it, I’ve lost my mind and all of my money. Maybe you can relate?
How can I be bored when I’m this busy?
Once September hits, I go back to work at my part-time gig. And all of a sudden, my days have two distinct speeds: tortoise and hare. Either I am at home by myself, getting my jobs and errands done in a manner that I think is best (a la the tortoise). OR I’ve worked that day and then school lets out and it’s pedal to the metal and GO GO GO until all of the activities are done for the night (like the hare). It’s insane. And there seems to be no in-between.
But, when do we eat?
A friend posted this meme on FB this morning and I was all “YESSSSS!” Even though I’ve been so good about meal planning and grocery shopping, it becomes quite a challenge when, 4-5 nights a week, nobody is home at the same time to actually eat what you cook!
Add to that the fact that I have one teenage boy in the marching band, one teenage boy who plays volleyball, and a preteen daughter who dances four hours a week…and these children are always hungry! Every time I turn around, someone is asking for a snack. We may as well just remove the pantry door so I don’t have to hear it opening and slamming shut a hundred times a day.
The sass is back.
Now, I don’t know about your kids, but for my 7 year-old especially, it seems like back to school becomes back to sass. My sweet, sweet girl does this Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde transformation that drives me bananas.
Case in point. One morning, while the kids were eating breakfast…
Me: Thank you guys so much for working so hard this weekend. The house looks so good. Mommy really likes to see it all picked up like this!
Lu: Well, don’t get used to it! It won’t last long, you know.
Or, how about when I deflecting the umpteenth request for money and she comes up with this one…
Lu: Don’t worry, Mommy. I won’t ask you for money. You know, because you won’t let me do anything other than school.
Pardon me, Miss Sassafras!! But I believe that I had just offered to sign you up for basketball or cheerleading or gymnastics. But whatevs, babe!
Speaking of money…
I honestly said these words to my children the other day:
I have NO MORE MONEY. Between now and next week, I have exactly enough cash to pay for gas in the van and groceries. STOP ASKING!
They didn’t stop.
Because they neeeeed things. Things like volleyball fees and band trip fees and dance team apparel and religious ed registration and money for everybody to go to the Friday night home football games and admission to the volleyball games and new sneakers and book orders and 8th grade extras and AP books and solo music and all new dance leos and dance shoes and and and!
And then I think how I honestly admire people who can pay for private education plus all of this necessary nonsense. Y’all deserve a medal.
But this is the hardest part.
In the month of September, moms cease being human. We cease to be actual people with feelings that the kids enjoy (or at least tolerate) hanging out with and talking to. Instead, we become some sort of amalgamation of a taxi, a restaurant, and an ATM machine. And, let’s be frank. It sucks.
Instead of being called “mom,” more often than not I am referred to simply as “I need.” And I get it. This isn’t my first rodeo, you know. I understand that right now, everything feels very urgent and new. And, if you really think about it, it’s kind of a backhanded honor. My kids know that I will do whatever I can, fulfill every need, to the best of my ability. Sometimes, though, they need the reminder that Mommy is human and has feelings, too.
Let’s do this, moms.
We all know that back to school time is coo-coo-bananas. We all know we lose our minds just a little bit. So let’s have each other’s backs, yeah? Let’s be understanding when the friends we miss can’t get together because they are totally strung out. But, at the same time, let’s not stop reaching out. Let’s tell each other what a good job we’re doing and support each other when we feel like we’re failing miserably. This too shall pass, right? And I have a sneaky feeling that it’s all going to pass way too quickly.