I woke up feeling so sad today. It’s my least favorite time of year. I felt the weight of the summer ending. Summer is my most favorite time of the year as you hear me say over and over again. I heard the voice in my head telling me to go print the school supply lists. I will do that after I write this. I heard the voice in my head telling me to order my daughter a new water bottle. Sigh. I need to buy my daughter locker shelves. I need to put their schedules into my phone.
Speaking of schedules, the cheer and football schedule is a lot. Between Max’s football schedule, Ella’s theater schedule, and Lillie’s camp and cheerleading schedule, let’s just say that I didn’t plan one summer trip for my family. I just received the whole football schedule, and I definitely missed my window to travel. My friend looked at me at cheerleading and asked if I thought the schedule was overwhelming? I want you to find a mom for me that doesn’t find their schedule overwhelming. I don’t think it exists. If it exists, I want you to find her and bring her to me because I must interview her for my podcast. My advice to myself and to all of you is to put it all into your calendar and to take it day by day, and hour by hour. I think I blocked this all out from last Fall. It was so exciting and so fun, and it was also A LOT! I don’t even want to mention the work trip my husband added to the schedule. I’m too busy with him here to help I am not quite sure how I am going to pull this off. I have three children in three directions, so I really truly understand!
I know what you are thinking right now because I’m right there with you:
- I have to get all their school supplies. My son is in high school so I won’t know what he needs until the first week of school and I can’t remember what I sent him to school with last year. Time to talk to my friends! I think he will be good with some paper, pencils and a calculator to start.
- What backpacks do they have, and do they need new ones?
- My son just got new sneakers, but my daughters need new sneakers.
- Two out of three of my kids don’t need a haircut but I better schedule the last one.
- Two orientations to figure out how to work at and spend time with my kids (PTSA duties).
- Buy Lillie a combination lock so she can practice before school starts. If your child is starting middle school, go get one today for practice time!
- They all just had their well visit so check that off the list. However, there are more appointments for me to fit in for them before school starts. I’m trying all the appointments in for my children before they go back to school.
- My daughters are going to want to go back to school shopping. I’ll just have to grab stuff for my son and hope he likes it! He may have to come because I need his foot for football cleats!
- I’m trying really hard to keep up with all the emails and forms. As the PTSA president at the middle school, I can almost guarantee you that the question you are going to ask me this year was in an email that I sent out. I get it. I do the same thing. No problem! Just know that I really am trying to communicate with you just like the principals and teachers are. It’s just really hard to read and retain everything. At least I can take a school off my list with keeping up with emails. No more elementary school emails! Let’s celebrate this! That’s going to lead to a lot less emails for me to manage!
- I will make sure to walk the building with my new middle schooler. I have been there for five years already with my older two children, so I know it well, but I need to teach it to my baby. I also went to school there which is crazy to me!
- What is left on my summer brain that I still want to do with my kids?
- I never picked or booked a pool company and if I don’t do it soon it’s not going to happen next year either.
- Teachers and schedules come out this week!
I’m cutting myself off from writing more but as you all know this mommy mental load is usually huge and right now all the back to school stuff makes it even bigger. If you are one of those moms who loves back to school and loves everything Fall – thank you! Thank you for your attitude and your posts on social media. You all cheer this summer girl up loving all things Fall. I can hear it now: Fall, Football, Jeans and Pumpkins! I can see how that is all exciting. My soccer player son (many years of soccer and goalie training) is playing football for the first time, so this is an extra exciting (and nervous) Fall for my family. If you are looking for us this Fall, we will be at cheerleading or football. Don’t worry, we haven’t forgotten about our wonderful actress. She will be busy back at her theater classes that she adores. I’m thinking about the baseball parents who hang the wreath on their door: We are at a baseball game. That is me this fall: We are at a cheerleading or football game. We will see you in November!
I already feel lonely for my children. Don’t throw up. I know mothers, and I know that some of you understand, and some of you will be dancing down the driveway when they go back to school. Then I have a discussion with myself: My husband just added more work for me to do. I’m more than happy to help his (our) company. I have continuing education that I have to complete. I have my own Whinypaluza work that takes my time. I have PTSA work to do. I have a lot of stuff to fill my time and I will have time to think and get stuff done. I will still miss them. They will drive me nuts two minutes after I pick them up, but I will still miss them. They are driving me nuts at home today in August and I will still miss them. I’m not going to miss feeding them all day.
I see you dropping your children off at college and my heart aches for you. Thank you for going first. Thank you for helping to teach me how to do it. You see, I am the mama bird who always wanted to build her nest. The nest started with my husband and our kitties. We have since added three children, a dog and two cats to our nest. I just want to build and grow our loving nest. Seth is raising them to be able to fly away successfully. It’s not that I don’t agree with this. It just fascinates me that he wants them to fly away, and I want to hold them close. Please don’t get me wrong. I want them to grow up and be successful and build their own nests. I am hoping these nests are close by and include grand babies one day.
Every year I learn to let go a little more. I disappear for the day with the girls and my son feeds himself, takes care of himself, and helps me with our pets. I see him growing and becoming a young adult. Driving will be our next adventure with him. This year I will send him off to his sophomore year. In January he gets his learner’s permit to drive. I’m so excited for him. High school goes really quickly so don’t blink.
As much as I resist, I am blessed to be here with you again this year. We are blessed to be able to enjoy another school year with our children. We are blessed to be able to send them off to grow and learn in a new school year. These are all blessings that I don’t take for granted. Every year with my children is precious to me and every year goes by a little faster. So here I sit making my lists and buckling up for another year of school. I hope my children love their teachers. I hope they learn a lot this year. I hope they enjoy school. I hope Lillie likes her new school. I hope that my 8th grader finds school less stressful this year. I hope that they make new friends. I hope that I make new friends (I met a new mom who moved here from Florida who is so sweet. We can make new friends too. Moms need friends too).
I hope that you are handling the end of summer load. I hope that you are:
- Making yourself a list.
- Taking it day by day and hour by hour.
- Talking to people about how you are feeling. Especially your partner.
- Making your family a part of the load. Involve them. Delegate. Be a team.
- Throw the list aside and have some fun too.
- Hire help!
- Say no sometimes!
- Be less controlling! You don’t have to do it all.
- Get sleep! Don’t stay up the extra hour watching Netflix or scrolling your phone. Well rested gets more things accomplished and is more tolerant in general.
I hope that you can squeeze in some more summer fun into the end of your summer. I hope that you and your family have a wonderful new school year. Cheers to new beginnings. Cheers to a new school year. Ever year you get them ready and off to school and you will be successful again this year.
Laughing, Learning, Loving,
Rebecca Greene, LCSW-R
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