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Challenge: It's Back to School: Share Your Advice

Why Back to School is Harder on Me than the Kids...

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As the start of the new school year nears, I am finding my excitement is building with the promise of routine, knowing what my days and weeks will look like and the promise of not having to beg the kids to stop talking while I am on the phone with a client... I love structure. Freakin love it! Which is strange, as my life rarely resembles it.

But then... last night I opened my email and there they sat... The first of many. I got my first 2 emails from the school about the school year ahead, and my heart sank a little with a dash of dread and a swirl of disappointment washing over me.

You see, when we landed into the Summer I was just thinking - ffaaaaarrrrrrkkkkkk all I am going to hear is

  • 'there is nothing to do...'
  • 'I am bored...'
  • 'I am hungry...'
  • 'there is no food to eat...'
  • 'He Hit Meeee! - She Hit Meeeee'
  • 'Moooooooommmmmmmm, Mom, Mom, Mom.... MOOOOOOOOOOM!!!!'

Juggling the kids at home while running a business, and also running around to a million different camps, planning playdates and just hoping so so so much that my babysitter doesn't decide to have a life and take a vacation of her own... it's exhausting and daunting.

But it's 9 weeks in and I kinda got my jam going now. We all wake up and smooch around, have breakfast by 9 am... a lot of days they're watching too much tv, then we might have swimming lessons before our babysitter arrives. Our babysitter takes the kids to the park most days and its been, dare I say it... nice.

But before you even think about it... YES, I know, it is not lost on me how fortunate I am to have a babysitter helping this summer, it wasn't always like this.


And then last night when I open my email, there it is. That feeling I haven't had to deal with for 9 weeks. That feeling of - heart sinking a little with a dash of dread and a swirl of disappointment... all washing over me and in my stomach.

I thought I would be excited for the first day back to school, I'd drive past the school just barely stopping enough to throw the kids towards the school gates - then whizzing off, cranking up the stereo to some adult freakin' music - Taylor Swift and Katy Perry can kiss my pretty ass - and party on down to the local cafe for some adult time.

But what are these feelings? Where are they coming from? I have shocked myself. Heart sinking, a dash of dread and a swirl of disappointment... and maybe not all for the reasons you would expect. Let me break this down for you... bit raw, bit personal, but I think you can handle it.

1. I am going to be asked to volunteer for things... I'll be honest. I don't like volunteering, THERE... I said it out loud! I mean, I don't mind occasionally buying a cake to sell at the cake stall - no I never freaking make them - or you know, the odd art class and, driving on a field trip. But I hate the year long regular commitment and expectation of volunteering. It makes me sweat and get anxious. It's more pressure and because I work from home it's expected I can create the time - But I can't. My days are full, I can barely volunteer in my own home let alone commit to someone else. Plus, if I let them down which... come on, over the space of a year it's highly likely to happen, well... then it's gossip and drama - in my community anyway.

Think of the movie Bad Moms. I am a bit like the Mom played by Mila Kunis. But she has a waaay better ass and I have never held that kinda of banging house party. Well, not since kids anyway.

2. then there are all the sign-up sheets and endless newsletters about to be sent out again - and I'll be honest, I never read them all, Ever. And because I never read them I am that Mom who takes the kids to school and it's Magical F'ing Unicorn dress up day or some crap and my kids are not dressed up as Magical F'ing Unicorns, and I am the worst Mom in the world standing there with crying embarrassed kids, while I scramble through my handbag and my pockets pulling out lip gloss and a pen to use as face paints.

I LOVE our school, I mean totally looooove our school. I love the teachers, I love the principle, I love the classroom aids, I love the janitor - he is so sweet and I am grateful for the volunteers, admire them even! They are so dedicated and without them... well, the school wouldn't be the school I love. But it's just... I don't like to volunteer, it's not me. It doesn't fire me up and ignite my spirit. Plus some of the volunteer Moms scare me, they can be very passionate people. Which brings me to...

3. I don't fit in with the Moms. I never really found my tribe. I am not the sporty Mom, the Cool Mom or the Tiger Mom - back to point no. 1. Again Mila Kunis character. I am also not a perfect Mom... Nowhere near it. I feel like I am the Mom that other Moms often judge, their eyes darting me up and down as my kids run out of the car in less than perfect attire - because they now dress themselves I might add - mismatching socks and wearing Unicorn hoodies when it was Magical F'ing Unicorn day LAST WEEK!

I am the Mom that sends their kids in with empty lunch boxes by accident and is late for school, I am the Mom that drops the f-bomb at the school gate in front of other kids unintentionally - I swear to God, it's by accident! that shit just rolls straight off my tongue - and I am the Mom that the perfect Moms run away from in case I say something too real. Which is often a story that I think is hilarious, but in my community is frowned upon. You know... like the story about the time my daughter ate my oldest sons poo like it was a chunk of cake - in context that is a fucking hilarious story, I'll share it with you one day.

So you know... there is that. Which although I make fun of not fitting in and can see the humor... it doesn't always feel fun and I don't always laugh in that moment. It can really sting at times. But I will admit, once I stopped trying to fit in, it all felt sooooo much better.

But then there is...No.4...

4. Although my 3 little snot rags have driven me crazy on many days with their fighting and crying and the - I'm bored, I am hungry, there is nothing to eat - and the general hurricane of mess they seem to create within the 5 mins of me cleaning a room and leaving it. I am going to miss them!

I am going to miss them annoying me and sneaking up behind me to surprise me with hugs and cuddles and kisses, even after I have begged them not to interrupt my call. I am going to miss my daily fill of stories and occasionally bunking off work for an afternoon so I can watch another stupid vampire show with them.


Instead, we are going to be running around like headless chickens again. Dance classes, speech therapy, drumming lessons, homework. Much less being bored and snuggling watching stupid vampire shows.

I read a blog post recently that pointed out we only get 12 summer breaks... and then they are gone. Maybe Summer break isn't so bad. It suddenly all feels like it's moving too fast, or maybe I am just romanticizing summer breaks because they don't involve me volunteering...


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