How to survive the kids going back to school
How do you survive the kids going back to school? Shouldn’t we be happy that the kids aren’t home for the summer? I know some parents are excited about the school year starting. They happily usher their kids back to school. Many even post pictures of themselves celebrating as their kids leave.
Not me. I’m exhausted. I’m a single parent who dreads the summer coming to an end each year.
Part of it has to do with the fact that this is also the time that I go back to work. Luckily, I work at a school and have the summer off. To be clear, I do like my job, but I never seem to be ready for that time that I get to spend with my kids to end.
I’ve always wanted to be a stay at home mom. Over the years, I’ve also come to accept the fact that it’s not my reality. This job is my compromise. Working here allows me to work full-time during the school year and then (sort of) live that stay at home life I’ve always wanted.
Being home for the summer is temporary, but it is wonderful to have that time with my kids that I will never be able to get back. (If only I had a husband’s paycheck to go with my summer. lol) But really, I am always grateful for the opportunity I have had to have summers off.
Staying at home and working both have their challenges
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not at all suggesting that being a stay at home mom is easy. Staying at home and working out of the home both have their challenges. It’s not for everyone, but I for one would prefer being with my kids if given a choice. To me, the benefits to my children, and our family, outweigh the challenges.
The school year
The school year is filled with long commutes, rushing to school and work. Coming home from work and needing to relax and decompress from the work day, but unable to because I’m still the only adult around. Each night is filled with sports, homework, dinner, cleaning and everything else that I need to be caught up on. Every day in the back of my mind, all I can think about is: how I’m going to pay all the bills. How am I going to keep up? How do I do it all? I’m sure a lot of this sounds familiar to many of you.
Summer is similar to the school year, but so much more relaxed. Summer is filled with time together, friends, fun and most of all: connections. Yes, there is still stress, but there is so much more time together. And to me, time is the most important thing. Time is something we can never get back.
I’m not saying things are perfect during the summer. My kids fight. They fight with each other. They fight with me. They make messes. They get into trouble. I am the only adult that has to stress about paying the bills. I am the only adult dealing with the kids. But through it all, we do get to spend more time together.
Tips for Surviving the Transition to School
- During the summer make each moment count. Spend as much time together as you can and enjoy each other’s company (even if things aren’t perfect).
- Prepare ahead of time. Get back to school supplies early and make sure your kids have what they need well before school starts.
- Get as many appointments (doctor, dentist, vision exam, etc.) done before school starts.
- Complete any medical forms the school will need and make sure you have medications to leave at school (if needed).
- For older kids, find out about any big assignments or books they will be reading so they can get a head start throughout the summer.
- Finish any big summer projects or vacations at least a week or 2 before school starts.
- Give everyone at least a week to relax before going back to school.
- Complete school registration and anything you can as soon as possible, making sure that the school has all documentation that they need.
- Give everyone time to prepare for the school year mentally. Put up a calendar that everyone can see counting down to school.
- Start getting used a good routine before school starts.
How do you get through the school year? I would love it if you would share any tips or experiences in the comments below.