It’s that bittersweet time of year when summer draws to a close and we send our kids back to school. This summer we’ve been fortunate to make a lot of new memories with our kids traveling and playing through the long warm days. Whether we were enjoying a simple bbq with friends and family in the backyard or schlepping luggage through airports to see new sights, the goal was the same – to create moments that the whole family would remember.
That’s the thing with parenting, right? You’ve heard the cliché warnings – “oh, the years fly by so soak in every minute!”, “they grow so fast, don’t blink!”, “cherish every moment, they’ll be gone before you know it.” We’d be lying if we said we didn’t feel the pressure of time running out ourselves. There is truth in each statement. And, between us we have kids aged 8-20, so we’ve literally got ALL the feels these days. From elementary school lunch packing to college apartment move-ins, back to school means completely different experiences for us as moms.
Typically, there are two types of parents when it comes to school going back in session. Those who are super excited about it (Team Celebrate It!) and those who are just sad to see summer end and their kids go back to school 5 days a week (Team Hate It!). We know, the names could use some work… but you get the idea 😊. No matter what team you’re on, it can be stressful just the same. For many parents, the summer schedule of having kids at home EVERY DAY can definitely be a strain – especially if schooltime usually doubles as childcare while the parents are at work (earning what’s required for those trivial things like shelter and food). Or, if your ears are bleeding from the 800 times a day your kids: ask for snacks/ say “I’m bored”/complain about their siblings – you might also be on Team Celebrate It! at back to school time. No judging here; these are all valid reasons to feel the way you do!
Over here, we’re teetering just a little bit over onto Team Hate It!’s side, and here’s why: we ARE looking forward to having our regularly scheduled days back. Having those set hours from 8-2 Monday thru Friday means scheduling meetings, getting work done and not juggling the kids’ needs at the same time is a relief. But, we’re also fortunate enough to have the type of work schedules that allow us to be flexible when that’s NOT the case, like during summer vacation. So, our kids don’t have to go to daycare, and we don’t feel that extra financial and emotional burden over summer.
Now, if you’ve talked to either of us in the past about the notion of “lucky” – we’re not huge fans of describing our lives that way. We work really hard at every aspect of our lives (relationships, finances, personal growth) to be able to live a certain way, so we don’t like the notion that it’s all down to luck that we get to do what we do how we do. All that said, we know that we have a lot to be grateful for, like an extended family that we genuinely enjoy. From siblings to in-laws to cousins and their families; somehow the different personalities and ages just gel when we get together. Of course, there are moments of miscommunication and misunderstanding from time to time, but they are minor and typically too brief to even remember. When you get to enjoy a summer filled with family time that isn’t stressful, it’s difficult to celebrate that coming to an end!
Whichever team you find yourself on when it comes to back to school time, we get it, truly. Because at the end of the day, we’re all on the same team for our kids… the one where we are doing our best to love ‘em and raise ‘em right. So, Happy Back to School to all of you! We wish your kids a healthy, successful year of learning and growing. And we wish YOU a year of patience, sanity & all the hugs from your little (or not so little) ones.
With Sisterly Love,
Lan & Cathy
P.S. If you want to hear more about what our summer and back to school experiences REALLY were like this year, check out Episode 18 of the podcast HERE. It’s definitely not all sunshine & sandy toes… there might have been a painful glacier hike and some anxiety sprinkled in there, too. 😉.