I am not one if those moms that cry when their kids go back to school, although I understand what they are feeling. And I'm also not the one dancing the whole way back to the car once the kids are safely off to their first day (but I totally get that too!) The first day of school is so full of mixed emotions that I don't really even know how to describe it. After the lazy days of summer, all of a sudden it's rush here, and run there and don't forget to pick up the thing-a-ma-bob at the you-know-what- its-called place. My brain must work funny (and not ha-ha funny) because that's pretty much all I hear when someone tells me what I need to do. I'm just sayin', if it's not written down, then don't expect me to remember it :)
There's a rush of new teachers, new classmates, a new school (for one of my minions this year), new principals, new expectations ... new, new, new All. The. Time. I almost expect the kids to look like new kids when they get off the bus ... but every year they still look like my kids, just a little bit older. I'm still waiting for the moody teenager to come in the door with a smile ... that would definitely be new!
This year, I decided to do things a little different than the past and to simplify as much of the back to school "season" as I possibly could. I made myself a mental list, and since I knew I would lose that :) I then made a real list. And since I knew I would lose that as well, I put the list on my phone. I will probably lose my phone as well, but I least I can call it. Mental lists never seem to pop up when I call them :)
Here's a few things I consciously (or unconsciously as in they never actually made it to a written list but I did them anyway) opted to simplify this year, in no particular order:
- Backpacks - the ones from last year still work so no new backpacks in our house
- Clothes - Aside from a dress I made for Gracie for the first day (and I'll share here on Friday), the kids are wearing the same clothes they wore all summer. Of course, we live in Michigan so I know I will need winter clothes, but I also know I don't need them right now.
- Shoes - Same as clothes and backpacks
- School Supplies - I bought only what I know they need right now, like notebooks and pencils. Then I emailed the teachers and asked them to let me know when they need more supplies for the classroom, and I will go buy them at that time. I'm not sure how a teacher can store 30 boxes of tissues, 30 canisters of anti-bacterial wipes and 30 hand soap pumps in their classroom anyway :)
- Perfection - For this one I basically said screw it. We're not perfect at home, so why set up false expectations for the teachers. Seriously, I actually write this on my list. Nobody else expects me to be perfect, so why do I expect it of myself? Why are moms so hard on themselves? If anyone has an answer to either of those questions, feel free to post in in the comments :)
So the next big question ... why send them at all? I have considered home schooling the kids off and on ... mostly off ... after all I have six kids and I am kind of (questionably) sane. But then I see families with more kids than mine who home school quite successfully (and seem perfectly sane), so I know it must be possible. But there is this elusive quality these successful home schooling parents have that I obviously lack, but since I can barely remember my own name, I always forget to ask them how they do it :)
I know half the kids are missing from this post (I do still remember how many I have!) but the big kids get on the bus before I even get up in the morning, not that they are going to let me take their pictures on the first day anyway :) And the little one isn't going to be going to school for quite some time yet, and possibly never at all. That is if I ever get around to asking home schoolers how they do it :)