After three weeks of hit-or-miss school days and childcare, I finally had a week of ALL of my children being in school when they were supposed to be.
When our two summer programs ended a week before school started (and at totally different times), it left me scrambling to keep up my work schedule and figure out what to do with my kids on seven out of nine work days over three weeks.
Once we made it through the creative scheduling, we were excited to settle into the new school year routine. The kindergarten taper-in was successful for Bug, Lu is establishing her routine in the third grade, and Dude is living the dream of having his Mama all to himself a couple of days a week when he isn’t at preschool.
Lu is playing softball, Bug is playing soccer and poor Dude doesn’t get to do anything because his sisters’ schedules keep me so busy that I refuse to sign him up for anything yet. But let’s be honest: since I’m such a stellar mom in every other way, this will give him reason to blame all of his problems on me when he grows up. “My mom didn’t let me play a sport when I was four” is the reason millennials are so awful. Seriously, look it up.
Anyway, I am back in the groove now. I start every week by sitting down with my planner (paper, thankyouverymuch) and writing in any missing practices, events, holidays, projects or urgent happenings that might throw a wrench in my finely-tuned logistical planning for the week. I religiously check my salon schedule to make sure no combination of services will cause me to leave the salon any later than 4:27, after which I know it is impossible to pick up Dude in Franklin and the girls in Thompson’s Station on time before I’m charged $15 for being one minute late.
I put my homework game face on and prepare to crack the whip on any whiny children who have the nerve to complain about having to “do work” at home while I cook and fold laundry at the same time. I lapse into lectures about “you don’t know what work is, do you know what I have done in just the last three hours, just wait till you have kids to take care of!”
Y’all, it’s ugly.
But even so, there’s a bright side. My children are (mostly) away from the house and each other! They aren’t alternately begging me to entertain them and fighting with each other over idiotic things! This back-to-the grind craziness and scheduling is a wonderful and amazing thing — people who are not me have to deal with my children’s annoying tendencies (and honestly, they’re much better at it anyway.)
You will not catch me lamenting the beginning of the school year, even if it means I am over-scheduled and spread thin. At least I don’t have to apply sunscreen 26 hours a day anymore. I’m free, people!
All of you kindergarten parents out there who are sad about your baby going to school are clearly confused. This isn’t the end of something, it’s the BEGINNING! You can ship that kid off and he’ll come back SMARTER. And you won’t even have to make him a snack every 15 minutes and sing to him while he goes potty.
Do you hear me, friends? Embrace this lovely time for the blessing it is. Suck it up and chauffeur those kids around the whole dang county while yelling at them to do their math worksheet in the back of the car before their soccer practice starts. Pick up Chik Fil A a couple of nights in a row because you’re not home to cook. It’ll be OK — because busy is better than being an unpaid server to tiny humans who may break out in a fist fight any moment.
Overheard at the Salon: “Our mom named the monster under our bed, and every night she told it to eat our feet if we got out of bed. I’m in therapy now, but at least she got good sleep.”
Julie Holt is a wife, mother of three, writer and suffers from chronic road rage. She loves to keep it real, but she is not lit or woke. Actually, she’s pretty basic. Her hobbies include naps, pizza and writing about herself in the third person. You can read Julie’s blog at jholtwriting.com or follow her on Facebook @julieslighterside.