I’ve Got The Back-to-School Blues


Moms and dads everywhere are singing that familiar tune “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” to mark the end of summer. They’re prancing down aisles of stores while giddily checking off supply lists and looking forward to the first day of school with zeal and delight. I feel like I am one of the very few who aren’t joining in the festivities. I struggle with the end of summer and it’s easy breezy living, not relishing in the relinquishing of my children to their schools.

I know this is my normal…I struggle with “back to school” every single summer.

back to school, end of summer, water, summer washed away, sand, beach, summer at the beach

It’s all about adjustment really, because if you ask me in June, when school’s about to let out, I’ll tell you how nervous I am about having the kids home all summer long. I make plans to keep them busy and come up with reading incentives and chore charts and I sign them up for camps and sports…all in an effort to give them an enjoyable summer but also to keep me from going insane. But then nothing short of magical happens…I end up greatly enjoying my time with all my kids, together. It’s summer so it’s about less rigid rules and I let the boys stay up a little longer and sleep in a little later. The house is filled with laughter as my sons dote on their younger sister and make her giggle until she bursts. It’s also filled with moments of anger and frustration between brothers and also from me. My house is messier and louder and routine has gone out the window. Working from home is nearly impossible but we’re together and it feels great.

There are enjoyable aspects of getting ready for the start of school. Organizing closets and going shopping for new clothes, especially new socks and underwear, now they get my heart thumping!  I clear the corkboard in the mudroom and put up the new school calender and lunch menu and other important papers. The internet is scoured and scores of lunch recipes are pinned. I vow to be more involved, more organized, more…well, everything. It’s new, it’s fresh and it’s a chance to start over.


That first week of school is just so hard, people. I cry every single year on the first day. My house is so quiet. It’s just me and my daughter and I look at the clock every few minutes, willing for it to go faster. When our daughter isn’t with her brothers, she misses them. I miss them. I once again seriously entertain the idea of homeschooling as I wait with baited breath for the bus to pull up and I have to work at keeping from running to them to not embarrass them in front of their peers. I think part of my struggle is just letting go. It’s something no one ever explicitly told me about being a mom but it is without a doubt one of the toughest parts of parenting, for me anyway. Letting go thankfully comes in stages but it doesn’t make it any easier in the moment. My boys are heading into fifth and second grade this year and I know in the end they’ll be ok and so will I.

school bus, neighborhood, back to school, 1st day of school

So, with school starting this week, the closets and dressers have been organized, new clothes are washed and ready to be worn. The mudroom is cleaned out and the pantry is stocked. I prepare my heart for the quiet and the routine that will take shape. I know after a couple of weeks in it’ll all feel normal and I will have adjusted. I smile actually when I think about how excited I get every time I see that yellow bus pull up. It’s one of my favorite moments in the day when I hug them tight and tell them I’ve missed them.

I delight in my children and I’m grateful for every minute with them and I make sure they know that – down to their core – to carry with them when they head out into the world every day.



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