Stop! Read This Sign

We are back to school, people!
A little late, I know, but I am still all aglow....

Hurray! Huzzah! I know, I'm the worst mom ever - but I love back to school. When I was a full time teacher, (and before I was a mom) I did not quite understand. I would listen to those with kids, off for the summer, and wonder at their complaining. I would think, all self-righteously, that when I had kids and they were home for ten weeks on end, I would absolutely love it! We would have so much fun! 

Flash forward 9 years. I have two kids. A just starting fourth grader and a just starting second grader. And they are great! And we DO have so much fun! But I now realize that those "complaining" moms from before I knew what I was talking about were really just speaking about the exhaustion of having to be ON 24 hours a day, for 10 weeks on end, and constantly cleaning up and organizing things for their people. But I have also discovered, 10 weeks and 7 days  - that's the number of days we've been back - late that the need to be ON 24 hours a day, and especially taking on the responsibility of all the cleaning and organizing is totally completely and utterly my own fault.


I admit it.

I created my summer monster and now I have to wait 180+ school days to try and fix it.

Here's is why back to school rules: because there is structure to it! You wake up at a certain time, follow morning routines, send your little ones off, take care of your own stuff or go to work, come home, afternoon activities/homework/dinner, night-time routines and bed. And then you repeat, repeat repeat. It's bliss. It's wonderful. Do you know why? Because you don't have to think about it! You don't have to create an elaborate "what are we going to do today" plan. You just work the plan you have! Genius. Whoever thought of this thing really knew what they were doing. And I was reminded of it while sitting in my daughter's back to school night. The teacher started talking about the morning routines, how the kids come in...put away their backpacks...sign in...make a lunch morning work, and on and on. It makes her days smooth, it makes it easier for the kids to learn and guess what? The kids LIKE it!

It's not how I want to live every moment, trust me. We all need a Saturday that we stay in our pjs and watch mind-numbing TV all wrapped up in blankets with a bowl of homemade popcorn between us. I'm all about that. But I need to do a better job of teaching my kids how to be responsible for their own entertainment, as well as teaching them how to be active and responsible members of our family unit.

And I'm not waiting until next summer. We're starting now. With little things, like the sign at the beginning of this post. Here it is again:

It's hand-written on a piece of scrap paper and taped to the back door with painter's tape. No Pinterest sign here. (I only have time to pin, not actually make any of that great stuff). I also don't have to be the crazy mom, running around looking for all the last minute things that they need for the day - getting angry that all 180 school days of each of the 6 years we've been doing this, it's the same script. I merely point to the door. If they forget after that, oops. They'll remember tomorrow.

here's to a step in the right direction!


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