My kids are back to school this morning! Hence the picture of me sliding through the kitchen with my coffee cup raised like a trophy. Getting through that last hurdle of summer always feels like a massive win. Then there's the whirlwind of shopping for school supplies and haircuts and who gets which backpack, and no you can't have two lunch boxes, and I will turn this car around and then nobody gets mechanical pencils!
All of it can be exhausting.
Which is why the first day of school always feels like a huge relief- an exhale of breath I didn't know I was holding. But along with that relief, also comes anxiety.
Having kids in school feels stressful for me. There are three little people with totally different schedules to keep track of. There's paperwork: both the kind that accumulates in massive piles in the first couple of weeks back and the loose leaf permission slips and sign up forms that I find shoved down deep in backpacks throughout the year. Also, school lunches. I'm pretty regimented about using a system to keep lunches organized. But now that the boys are older they want to have lunch at school sometimes, but only on specific days. So now we're tracking the cafeteria calendar like it's our part time job, and making sure our lunch cards have enough money on them to get the teriyaki chicken this Thursday. There are field trips and performances. There are bake sales and carnivals. There are drop offs and picks ups and banking days where they get out an hour early and if Jackson (God bless him!) didn't remind me I'd likely forget every single one. There are so many things to remember, and I guess what ultimately stresses me out is the idea that the other moms (at school or out there in the wild world) are somehow way better at this than I am.
I am one of the most organized people I have ever met, and even with all my planning I still feel like I'm constantly forgetting things. Or, remembering them at midnight the night before they're due. And no matter what I do or create or volunteer for, some mythical other mom at school has done it better. "Yes mommy you can buy the t-shirt we need for make-your-own-t-shirt-day, but Micheal's mom grew organic cotton plants, and she hand-separated the seed from the fiber before spinning it into yarn for the shirt she sewed him herself."
I can't even begin to keep up, and the stress of trying is making me anxious about the first day of fourth grade in a school I don't even attend!
So this year I've made a big decision. I'm over it...
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