Adrienne Hedger is no rookie when it comes to back-to-school season. The cartoonist and mom based in Southern California has two daughters, who are 12 and 15 years old (entering 7th grade and 10th grade, respectively).
Over the years, Hedger has created relatable comics about the struggles and triumphs of sending your kids back to the classroom.
“I like to take life’s ridiculous or even annoying moments and find the humor in them. I feel like school gives me a wealth of material to work with,” she told HuffPost in an email.
“Parents everywhere struggle with things like getting kids up, making sure you’re out the door on time, helping with homework, signing forms, dealing with fundraisers, planning school lunches, and so on, and so forth,” she said. “The stress level can ratchet up, so it helps to find something to laugh about.”
Hedger said her feelings about back-to-school season have changed over time. When her kids were younger, summer was challenging, as she had to find camps, babysitters and other forms of childcare on top of getting work done.
“In those early years, getting the kids back in school ― and back into a routine where I could work ― was something that saved my sanity,” she explained.
Now that her daughters are older, they don’t require constant supervision and she’s enjoyed having them around.
“I’m going to miss them when they go back to school!” Hedger said. “But even as I write this, my youngest is making a ton of noise in the next room...”
Although her kids like shopping for school supplies such as notebooks and backpacks, picking out new clothes is a challenge.
“It’s been difficult for my teenage daughter and I to agree on what’s appropriate for school,” Hedger said. “It takes A LOT of shopping to find even one clothing item we agree on. It’s like a part-time job trying to get her clothed for the year.”
Hedger enjoys sharing her comics and reading comments from fellow parents who have back-to-school anecdotes to share.
Ultimately, she hopes that by capturing these common experiences, she can bring some lightness and laughs to people’s days.
“If back-to-school time is hard, you’re definitely not alone. Let’s come together to commiserate and share a chuckle,” Hedger said.
The mom also offered a message to people who can relate to her comics: “Good luck to all the families out there starting a new school year! Remember to look for the humor! We will get through this if we can laugh together.”
Keep scrolling for more of Hedger’s back-to-school comics.