Well – here it is, Labor Day weekend. Millions of parents throughout the country are looking around and thinking, ‘what the hell happened to Summer’? Unless you’re a stay-at-home parent … in which case I’m pretty sure you’re all doing the happy dance right about now. Props to y’all for surviving the Summer at home with your kids – you’re better people than me!
I swear, the Mouse was *just* coming home from his last day of Kindergarten – how the past three months flew by so fast I have no idea. In the span of one week of first grade we’ve gone from daycare and late nights with sno cones and movies, to homework, lunch box packing, and evening baseball practices. The ‘school year traffic’ is back for my commute. Somehow, we’ve gone through more coffee and paper towels in the past week than last month combined. Bedtime has been moved up a good hour. And oh yeah, the husband has been working out of town for the most of it.
Last night, the family didn’t stumble up the driveway until after 8pm owing to the Mouse’s baseball practice, and dinner out afterwards. As I was collecting grocery bags, baseball equipment, work bags, and empty coffee cups out of my car and exhaustingly schlepping my way up to the house I grumbled to myself: Why do I do this to us? Why do ANY parents do this? It’s late, they’re tired, I’M tired, we have to get up early – who needs this extra stuff when just the day-to-day schedule is tough enough already? And it’ll only get worse when the Froggy decides he’s old enough for sports or extra curricular activities – what then? I might just lose it for real. Add with my work travel, the Husband’s crazy work schedule, two dogs … (this is about when my mind completely shut down).
I have moments like that a LOT – when the schedule gets really hectic, when I’m worried about one too many things, and I have a mini mental meltdown. I start second guessing myself: Am I making the right decisions for our family? Is this job I love so much worth it with the crazy commute and the traveling? Are sports really something my kids need to be messing with right now? Why on EARTH did we think adding a large, insanely hyper labrador puppy to our life was a good idea right now?
The mental hyperventilating usually recedes as quickly as it shows up – I’m lucky that I have a partner around who can quickly recognize when it’s happening, and knows how to help me cope. “Our boys are amazing – they’re handling all of this much better than you think they are. The Mouse loves baseball, one late night a week is not going to kill him. You being happy with your job is the best thing that has happened to our family in years”.
I am a lucky woman.
But getting back in to the ‘routine’ is hard, y’all – there are lot’s of “pinnable” posts about helping your kids acclimate back into the school year, but what about us parents? This shitz can be rough. There is so much pressure for parents these days to be able to do it all: Be present in your kid’s lives, but give them space. Remind them they’re your whole world (these days are fleeting!), but make sure you have a career and portray a strong role model for them. ‘Clean’ foods in the lunch boxes. Is there backpack the right size, or too heavy? Team sportsmanship! Academics! Socialization! Ten hours of sleep! Reading time!
If you’re out there, and feel the pressure that goes along with all of this? Let’s all breathe a collective “woosah” together and have a glass of wine. The school year has officially started.