Back to school makes even the calmest household a little more hectic. Julia, a freelance editor on our content team and a mother of two, knows summer is truly over when she finds herself waiting in the pick-up line, searching for clean uniforms, volunteering for bake sales and searching for even more highlighter colors to organize her family calendar.
I do love this time of year. But as I think back over the time since my girls started going to school, I can’t believe some of the shortcuts I’ve taken or the wacky things I’ve actually done. Yes, I made sure my daughter got off the bus at school on the first day of kindergarten -- by driving all the way to school just to see it myself.
Here are some of the work-the-kinks out moments that make you realize there’s no going back to summer.
1. Your calendar instantly resembles a color-coded NASA launch chart.
2. Yay! Mismatched socks are in -- a mom must have started that trend.
3. You’ve actually calculated how much each minute the bus is late adds to your commute.
4. You’ve overslept and the first four words out of your mouth are really, really bad.
5. That amazing, color-coded, file organizer for your kid's room that you spent days creating is already hidden under dirty laundry.
6. Seeing the bus reminds your kids they need to pee. Right now. This. Very. Second.
7. You’ve actually said: “That shirt was in the laundry pile. Well, how far down was it? Did you smell it?”
8. You spend your evenings trying to pronounce your fourth grader’s spelling words.
9. Yes, subs at the soccer field count as a family dinner.
10. Without the kids around, you’d swear the dog is suffering from the back-to-school blues.
11. It's 7 am and with no fruit in the house, gummy snacks suddenly look like a good option.
12. Threatening to feel for wet toothbrushes starts a flurry for the bathroom.
13. You can’t wait for the winter when the windows are closed, and you won’t have to worry about your neighbors hearing you holler, “The bus is coming!”
14. Forget lazy Sunday night -- you’re frantically gathering outfits, papers, lunches and sports gear.
15. No, the kids can’t figure out how their homework ended up in the neighbor’s yard. No, they didn’t drop it. Maybe the dog took it.
16. Your standards for a good breakfast have tumbled spectacularly. Cheeze-Its? Really?
17. Yes, you've chased the bus, in heels and waving a forgotten lunchbox.
18. The grocery stores are stocking Halloween candy.
Those first back-to-school weeks are a big switch from summer. But just like summer’s lazy rhythm, back-to-school’s groove brings a regular schedule that’s welcome and reliable. And even if it has parents and kids running, this time of year is filled with excitement, new experiences and so much potential. We might struggle to catch the bus on time, but the gratification of watching our kids grow and learn is one of the things parents love most about the start of a new school year.
How does back to school change your routine?