The blogosphere is inundated with back to school posts and frankly I’m tired of reading about it. I’m tired of reading about moms crying into their whiskey laced coffee mugs because Johnny started Pre-K. My kids haven’t gone back yet, in fact, orientation is today and I’m not going to pretend I’m not happy as a pig flopping around in it’s own excrement about it.
Now before all you moms out there get ready to tar and feather me, I understand where you’re coming from. I’ve been a stay at home (3 years) and a work outside the mom (2 years and counting). I’ve seen both sides of the nasty coin, had mom guilt for both decisions and finally decided that if mom isn’t happy, well the kids won’t be either. But that’s a post for another day. The last of my babies are entering Pre-K. While the idea that baby years are clearly behind me, makes me sad, I’m also excited. I’m entering a new phase of my life and so are they. The prospects of that are so thrilling, that I can’t waste time on thinking about what has come to pass. So before you start scary sobbing into your Pumpkin Spiced Latte, here are ten reasons why you should be happy your kids are back to school.
10. Oh, The Places You’ll Go – during the day while none of the kids are at home. Just think about it, yeah you’ve got chores to do but we both know you can get that all done in two hours before the Husband gets home. You’ve got all day to yourself, enjoy it.
9. Saving Money IS Priceless – All you working moms can feel me on this one. You’ve paid for camps and sitters all summer so you could go to work to bring home the bacon. Now, the county school system is doing your babysitting for you, for free and the kids are learning something, I call that a win/win situation. With all that money you’re saving, you can put it towards next year’s camp because we both know that’s where it’s going to go anyway.
8. Watching Your Kids Become Little People – They’re developing their own lives outside of the family, which is awesome. It’s time to start my favorite family dinner tradition of, “What did you do today?”
7. PTO – I love crazy Ubermoms. The PTO is full of them and women like me who love to sit back and watch the show. I love to listen to them fight about curriculums (because they were all teachers in a past life and know exactly what should be taught), gossip about other moms (as long as it’s not me) and wait for the yearly scandal to happen because we all know there’s going to be one.
6. School Lunch Burnout – I take great pleasure in watching the Ubermoms burn out. It’s just too much work to upkeep. I reserve the crazy Bento boxes for special occasions like birthdays, but everyday, yeah that’s not happening. I always delighted me when the older kids would come home from school telling me that the kids who started out the year with the cool lunches now are bringing in day old Subway sandwiches. We’re all full of piss and vinegar in September when they start school but come November (October for me), I’m over the lunch making shit and have moved on to just giving them lunch money. At least I know all the food groups will be represented.
5. Afternoon Delights – You remember those days where you husband would sneak out of work in the afternoon and come home for a “visit”. Then, you had kids and afternoon lunch breaks became a thing of the past because if anyone walked within a mile radius of your house, those kids were waking up from their naps. Those kids that never napped are gone now, the only thing stopping you, is you.
4. It’s Hobby Time – You remember all those things that you always wanted to do? Those things you went to Michael’s and bought all the crap for and then started but never finished or didn’t even start. Now you have the time to get back to it. The world is your oyster for 8 hours a day, take advantage of it.
3. Quiet Time – Marinate in that one for a minute. Initially the silence will be deafening but in the end, the old saying is true, silence is golden.
2. Exercise – The first five years was all about the kids and rightfully so, they take a lot of care and commitment during that time. I’m not saying you have to lose weight but you do have to be healthy so you can live long enough to see them finish this journey and graduate from High School. I know you want to be there, so start taking care of the body that’s going to make that possible. Get moving, even if it’s only to walk to Panera to get some soup in a Bread Bowl.
1. Find You Again – It’s so easy to lose who you are a midst all the responsibilities of being a parent and a spouse. Now, with extra time on your hands, go back to school, volunteer, write, craft, but do something that’s going to get you excited about this new phase in your life. For as much as your kids are transitioning, you are too and it’s time to stop the crying and embrace it.