Last week Annalyn and I were at Walmart, and she was asking me about school starting. (Great questions like, “Is anyone starting school today? What about tomorrow?” and “But is every school IN AMERICA starting next week?”)
As I chuckled at her quizzing, I glanced around the paper goods aisle and made eye contact with another mom. She said, “Ahhh, I’m not ready for school to start either. I called my friend this morning and asked her if she thought we could just homeschool to keep our kids home with us! Hahaha!”
I smiled (because I’m nice, you know). But all I could think was, “You crazy, lady!” Because a) I’m pretty sure my vague smile in her direction did not imply that I’m not ready for school to start, b) I don’t think that’s how homeschooling works, and c) Really? REALLY?!?
I am SO EXCITED that school is starting today! I’d do back flips or cheer loudly, except I AM ALL OUT OF THE ENERGY. I’m wiped out. Exhausted. DONE.
Look, I see your Facebook posts, my friends. I get it that I might be THE ONLY ONE feeling this way. You, with your, “I’m so sad for school to start.” and “I love summer! Hate for it to end!” and “I’m going to miss my kids soooooo much when school starts!”
Okay, fine. Maybe I’m the only one. But just in case I’m not…let me tell you the truth about the end of [my] summer.
I’ve been counting down the days for about three weeks now. What started out fun – extra time with my kiddo, checking things off our summer fun list, planning playdates and field trips, playing another round of UNO and remembering to feed my child a not-this-again PB&J lunch EVERY DAY – has worn.me.down.
Remember May? I do. As the school year wrapped up and the idea of summer was still young, we were so optimistic. We had plans. We had a bucket list.
Then I got pregnant.
Then we decided to sell our house.
Then I felt like running away.
Now, don’t get me wrong. We had fun this summer.
We went on a little vacation.
We saw Little Mermaid on stage.
Annalyn went to theater camp and took swim lessons.
We started a chapter book. (Junior Nancy Drew for the win!)
We ate s’mores. And watermelon. And hot dogs.
But, as I’ve mentioned, working from home while an at-least-for-now only child is also in that home IS DANG HARD. Early on, I scheduled lots of grandparent sleepovers and babysitter days for Annalyn, so I could get work and writing done – and then we could spend our time together playing and generally basking in a summer glow. Spoiler alert: Things didn’t exactly work out as planned.
And, let’s not forget, as my good friend keeps reminding me, doing ANYTHING while pregnant is also crazy hard. [I’m not sure it’s always a valid excuse, but seriously, sometimes…YEAH.]
So over the past few weeks, our summer has deteriorated into mornings spent in pajamas (FINE. Maybe the afternoons, too.) and hours upon hours of TV, interspersed with, “Are you finished yet?” and “Can we play now?” and “STOP CLIMBING ON THE COUCH!” (Yeah, that last one is from me. IN CASE YOU COULDN’T GUESS.)
*sigh* Not exactly what I imagined back in May. OR EVER.
Then again, I never imagined my daughter would react to my plan for her to play outside after lunch while I answered a few emails by standing on the front porch, pounding on the door and screaming, “Pleeeeeeease let me innnnnnnn!”
For the record, I did let her in. OF COURSE. Even though she’d begged to play outside. And it wasn’t all that hot. And she’d played outside every other day that week. So while I might have been THOROUGHLY annoyed, I let her in. Right away. Of course.
(And for the record, WE REALLY DID HAVE FUN this summer. I really didn’t spend all day, every day glued to my computer or the dishwasher or the coat closet or the Selling the House To-Do List. Not EVERY DAY.)
Obviously, I love my daughter like crazy and you guys? While I’m VERY happy to see the end of the summer, I’m still a little torn about the beginning of kindergarten.
I mean, let’s be honest. I’m sure I’ll shed a few tears this morning when we drop off Annalyn to her kindergarten class, because HELLO! I’m not a robot. This IS the beginning of the end, you know. I’m pretty much going to be helping her fill out college applications in about FOUR DAYS.
*CUE MELTDOWN in 3, 2, 1…*
But after I dry those tears? I am totally doing the Mommy Happy Dance!
(And then I’m going to start a load of laundry, get a little work done and enjoy my afternoon conference call in peace and quiet. Because, yeah, that’s the life of this work-at-home mom. It’s super glamorous.)
How do YOU feel about the beginning of the school year and the end of the summer?
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I’m counting down the days till my daughter starts school (pre-k, half days) … She went to art camp for a week this summer and it was so exciting to mop the floor without being interrupted. I love being a Mommy and I love my munchkin dearly but I will be super excited to have four hours every day all to myself for the first time in four years.
Woohoo!! Enjoy those half days of peace and quiet and productivity and down time! :)
We are meant to be friends. Listen, not only is fall my absolute favorite time of year, having a husband who is a teacher means our summers are crazy. This one was especially off routine and right now? I just want our “normal” back … bring on the start of the school year. Mama’s ready.
Oh yes, fall is THE BEST. But wow, having a husband in education must make summer even harder!! Normal, routine, regular – those are good things. :)
I always crave the normal of routine and that means the school years. As a work-out-home mommy, the summer days aren’t too different for me than the school days. However, I love that my children get to have a more relaxed schedule and laze at home with a nanny whilst I work away! This summer was unusual and buy- I got married! School started this week and we’re forming what will be our new normal.
The thing I DREAD about school is homework with my fourth grader – it is so easy to become a power struggle between the two of us. Sigh, I don’t like to be a militant mommy, but in this area it requires taking a hard stance. Perhaps this year’s teacher will be more pro-classwork!
Oh, and my youngest begins kindergarten this year, too! He’s so excited! And I must say that I’m terribly excited that for the first time in five years, I won’t be paying full time child care! That is reason to rejoice!!!
Yay!! I hope he loves it!! My daughter actually had a major meltdown when we dropped her off this morning, but I’m sure she’s going to end up loving kindergarten just as much as she did preschool! And a big AMEN to a normal routine. She and I BOTH crave that!!
And…hello?! Congratulations on getting married!!! (I don’t feel like I knew that, but if we’ve already had this conversation, please blame it on pregnancy brain?!) :)
My daughter cried each morning for the first two weeks of kindergarten…she hadn’t gone to preschool and I think it was just overwhelming for her.
The wedding was at the end of July, I probably never mentioned it here.
Have a great school year!
You are not alone! Our best laid plans went right out the door as well. Pushing the mommy guilt aside and looking forward to the first day of school as well. :)
Yes – here’s to getting rid of mommy guilt, new seasons and fresh starts!
Are you sure you’re not me? I feel like I am the only one in the world looking forward to school starting. I too will be joining you in the cry first then Happy Mommy Dance routine.
I might not be you, but I’m glad to know I’m not the only one LIKE me! :)
I’m with you. Well, not exactly. Because I do love summer and don’t want school to start. But, seeing as how I don’t have kids and do work in a school, I think “I’m with you” still applies.
I guess that’s why God made kids so much work? So you’ll be ready to part with them?? I dunno. But I’m thinking the exhaustion on your part might make the transition to kindergarten a tiny bit easier (for you). And for me, the start of another school year is a new beginning. I’m going to start afresh and do a better job… Really. I am. …
The fresh start is one of God’s greatest blessings, I think – even if it comes with bittersweet transitions and homework. :)
Believe it or not, even though I’m a HOMESCHOOLING mother, I can’t wait for school to start either! Even though it means more work for me. I can so relate to looking back at your aspirations for the summer and now feeling like summer’s done you in! I’m looking forward to regular routines and not haing to be a drill sergeant to get my kids off the internet!!! :-)
Betsy, I do believe you! I never would have guessed that a homeschooling mom would feel like less of a drill sergeant during the school year, but it makes sense. I think most of us – especially kids – do better when we have regular tasks and routines to keep us in line! Good luck starting your school year!
THANK YOU!!!!! I am so grateful I’m not the only one that was looking forward to school starting! I crave alone time to recharge and being a stay-at-home mom provides none of that. We also sold a house and moved to a new one two hours away which has been a crazy long few months of transition and I think that’s part of it, but all my friends have been so sad about school starting and it’s made me feel so guilty about my excitement. I love routine and alone time. So grateful for school and amazing teachers we can trust our children with (to do a much better job teaching them than I know I ever would!).
Don’t feel guilty, Brit!! You are NOT alone at ALL! Routine, alone time and the confidence in your kids’ teachers are great reasons to look forward to the start of another school year! Enjoy your quiet time!
Asher starts preschool this year (morning, EVERY DAY!) and I am positively giddy thinking about the three hours of alone time I’ll be having in… lemme see… 17 days! You are not alone. Also, it gets better. Well, it gets worse, then it gets better. You’re welcome. :)
Ha! Better…then worse…then better… I think that’s pretty much the tagline for all children, everywhere. :) Oooohh, three hours EVERY day?! Enjoy it!!
I’m right there with you! I didn’t even set goals for the summer. I had no illusions of it being productive OR educational (we have a 3-month-old baby, so yeah). I’m excited for my sons preschool to start, even though its only 3 mornings a week because then at least he’ll have SOME activities and I’ll feel less guilty for not doing anything. Oh, and we found out this year’s preschool would be 15 minutes longer than last year and I rejoiced! That’s so sad. But true. I really do love my kid. I think I’d LIKE him a little more if he let me have just a few minutes of quiet each day, for the love of all that’s good and holy. So yeah, def looking forward to preschool starting!
Woohoo! Enjoy those quiet mornings! :)
Libbie and I have both been counting the days down. SHE GOT SICK ON HER SECOND DAY OF PRESCHOOL. CURSES!!!
I’m trying to figure out how I could send David to school, too, without actually having to pay for it. Then MAYBE I would get something done.
I know this post is older, but reading this let’s me know I’m not alone! I have an only child starting kindergarten this fall. I found out I was pregnant in May. She just wants to play, but I have felt so tired most of this first trimester. I’m sad and scared for her to go, but I know when she goes to she will busy with fun activities and new playmates (that don’t include her pregnant Mom).