- Family and Parenting
At Last, School's back!
Happy First Day!
Time to shine!
This is one of those times of years where stay-at-home mom's excel. This is when we juggle breakfast for kids, getting them and you ready for the day, and getting coffee and making sure the husband is ready for his day. We're master multi-taskers. We can juggle a toddler, hitting us in the face with whatever toy they grabbed first while making coffee. Our efficiency in the morning is what will make or break the day for our family. Now, this is also a good time of year because the house is easier to maintain when you subtract a child or two. It's a little quieter. But it's important for our children to get out there in the world and learn valuable life skills and get a proper education.
Now we have to make sure we nag our kids to make sure they have their bags ready for their days. We have to make sure they have their instruments on band day, that they know when they have their extracurriculars. This year, with a fifth grader, I'll have to juggle drama, student council (if he makes it again), Catechism classes, band, and baseball. Busy times, but it's exciting to watch your babies grow into young people.
This isn't just our time to shine; it's our children's time. They're a year bigger, and year more powerful in the hierarchy that is school. Unless your child is starting Kindergarten, in which case they're the lowest on the totem pole. It's their time to rekindle friendships and make more. It's their time to challenge themselves more at school. It's their time to start fresh and make a new name for themselves because last year was so long ago, everyone forgot who everyone else was. The new school year brings new beginnings. And who doesn't need a new beginning every year.
The worst part of this time of year is the nerves. People think it's just the children getting the worst of the nerves. First time parents and even old pros are nervous for today. How will my child do? Will they miss me? Will everything be okay for them? It's hard for everyone today, and it's important to not let the nerves get to us. We can do this. It's just school. They're just there from 8-3 and they're home. They'll have homework, they'll want a snack. Children are resilient little people, more than we give them credit for. They can do it. We can all do this successfully together.
I'm a veteran at this. My oldest is going into 5th grade, and I've seen a lot at the bus stop and learned a lot from this time of the year. So, I'd like to share some of my wisdom or sarcasm. Maybe a little of both. These are my lessons learned over the years.
- There's always a new mom that was much worse than you. I chronicled one of these stories of neurotic moms in my e-book "Teagan". That mom was mostly real. She followed the bus to the school to make sure it made it all right, after appearing at the bus stop with at least 3 different cameras. She was visibly nervous waiting for the bus, and then she told me about her morning stalking the school bus. Don't be that mom, they will be okay.
- You might just be more nervous than your child. While you're sitting around, wondering what your child is doing and making sure they are okay, I hate to break it to you: they're not wondering the same about you. They are making friends and learning their routines. They are playing in the playground, and reading and learning. Not saying they don't think about you, they do miss you. But they're too busy with the "newness" of everything. Did I mention they'd be too busy playing in the playground? Yes, they'll swing from the monkeybars and forget they're even away from us.
- The Nurse calls. No fail, the nurse will always call you at a moment when you're not quite available. I can't tell you how many times I've chased after the phone call because she called at the exact moment I was in the shower or otherwise occupied in the bathroom. This is the fact of life though, doesn't that always happen with the phone call?
- You did well. One important thing you can learn is that you did well. You prepared your child as well as you could for this moment, and you need to trust yourself. They'll be okay, because you taught them how to be okay. They will do their best, and you will walk away proud.
- It's so quiet! Eventually, you get over the nerves of sending them out of your site for several hours. You'll realize that now you can have a quiet house. You don't have to listen to "I'm bored!" or "there's nothing to do" all day. Because now they have something to do all day. Appreciate the quiet, the minute the door opens after school, you'll have a tornado of papers and snacks and juices.
- Labor Day? That's not the best holiday. The best holiday is the day after Labor Day. I call it "Back to School Day". This starts our vacation as stay-at-home parents. We don't have to play entertainer, we don't have to play personal chef. If we want to watch Criminal Minds instead of Adventure time, we can. We can use the bathroom without using it as a hideout. This doesn't mean we don't love our children, it just means after a long Summer, we love them just a little more when they're at school.
Some of these were supposed to be solely for humor's sake, but the lessons are worthwhile ones. Just think about this and remember your children love you and they will be fine at school. I hope this helped put your mind at ease, and make you feel a little better today. Good luck!