I know who you are, you back-to-school moms. You have relished each lazy morning of summer, (Hello pj’s until 10 am), but those school supply lists were triple checked, and each backpack faithfully packed before the first morning of school. The beach days, and the camping, and the not-ironing-any-clothes were fun, but there’s a time for returning to rhythm, to pattern, to a schedule. Did you exhale as you waved goodbye that morning? 

First day Ritual

For this mom, the back-to-school-ness still involved a kindergartner and gradual entry this year, and staved off a bit of the emptiness crossed with freedom (hello haircuts with no babysitter).

But it did not stop me from partaking in a sort of tradition that has evolved among a few of us. There’s an open door on our way back to our parked cars on back-to-school day. And we count on the coffee and even something coming out of the oven, but most of all we count on some good talking with some other back-to-school-mom friends.

There’s a sadness that summer is over, and the family time, the growth and memory-making, and soul-filling must dial back a bit.

There is joy and anticipation as we eagerly chat about our kids, and the year ahead, the class they’re in, the new chances for relationships, the hopes, the challenges, the growth to come. There MIGHT also be some joy about some much needed mom time.   

Piles, Projects and Baking

This year marks a return for me back to at-home-mom. Sure, I am visiting the Middle School a little (and today’s guest teacher is…), but for the most part, I am a full-time mom now. What am I going to do? Well, there’s the pile of stuff in the home office, and those projects I never finished, and meal-planning, and this year, I plan to bake more, and then there’s the volunteering, and I’d like to help in each child’s class, plus the fieldtrips, the skating times and… 

I admit, I did exhale. I think I even waved my hands in the air on the first full day of kindergarten and said, “Freedom!” 

I know who you are, back-to-school moms. We drop off our kids each day, and we blow kisses, or whisper words of encouragement, or pray quietly or aloud for their day.

Then we exhale.

We turn to the list, to work, to whichever tasks we tackle each day, including refilling and refueling ourselves, so that when we pick those kids up again we can continue to fill their buckets, and encourage them on the road. 

What about you?  Do you exhale?