Monday, September 5, 2011
Monday Vent - School Started!
So, my girlfriend S-) wrote a Bright Side Friday post about school starting. Hopefully, you had a chance to read it. When I read it, I was reminded once again, that even though S-) and I are good friends, we are not the same. Perhaps that is partly why we are such good friends. But honestly, I could not share in her optimistic view of school starting. At the time of her post, I promised a Monday Vent with the opposing view. I think it speaks volumes that it took me another week to finally be able to write this.
When school starts at my house, chaos starts. It doesn't just mark the beginning of the school year, it marks the start of a million other things too. S-) is happy for the routine, while I'm frazzled by the additional places and things we are expected to be at or do at certain times.
- Sleep: I like staying up late. The kids and I slipped bedtime a bit later over the summer. Convincing my tweens that it is time to go to bed is super difficult, when they are not tired and I want to stay up and watch my late night shows. This becomes a bigger problem when it comes time to wake them up and I don't feel like waking up at 6:00 a.m. This past week, my internal clock has been waking me up a few minutes before my alarm, but I'm not happy about it. They have been better than me at jumping out of bed to get ready for the day.
- Packing lunches: I always have to feed my kids, but now I have to make sure that we have their packable lunch items. Do I have fresh fruit for today? Do I have fresh lunch meat for today? Did we run out of bread? Any non-school day, no big deal if we do or don't. On school days, I need to provide my kids with a decent lunch, that they'll eat AND will keep them energized for the school day. As I'm typing this, I am remembering that I need to buy apples for tomorrow... ugg!!!
- Soccer: I volunteer to coach soccer every year. This is obviously something that is optional for me, but I enjoy the sport and spending time with the kids. Problem? It starts the same week school starts. What's the rush? Oh yes, we play late into November! This becomes a 2-3 time/week responsibility. Thankfully, I'm co-coaching this year, so it's a bit more flexible.
- PTO: I am on the school PTO Board. Most of the year, I have very little to do. However, the first week of school is insanely busy. Again, another volunteer position that I could have just said "no" to, but I didn't. In another moment of weakness, I agreed to take over their e-mailings to the families of the district. Of course, a ton of those happen at the beginning of the year too.
- Homework: This ultimately should be my kids' responsibility, I am aware of that. Some how I still needed for setting up projects to be printed, purchasing supplies for projects, helping with the confusing questions, and reminding them (on weekends) to get their work done. Then I worry how they are doing, encourage them when they are worried about tests and quizzes, and become their cheerleader.
- Band: This also starts at the beginning of the school year. Of course, they both needed things for their instruments and I had to make a special trip to the only music store open late on a Sunday so they would have it. Back to "encouraging" them to practice and remembering to put their instruments at the front door and music in their backpacks. Again, it should be their responsibility, but I really don't feel like making the drive to school when they call and say "Mom! I need my instrument!" And I could, do the whole "natural consequences" thing, where if they forget it, they just don't have it that day. However, my kids get thrown so easily. Not being prepared for even something as simple as band, would mentally screw them up for their entire school day. Just not worth it in my book.
- Bus: Making the bus is something that my older son wants to do daily. The younger one would love it if I drove him to school everyday. I encourage making the bus. Mostly because, aside from it being a huge waste of gas, I'm usually still in flannel pants at that point. I have been there, where I thought, "who will see me?" Only to have to get out of the car with my uncombed hair, flannel pants and over sized t-shirt because my kid needed me to sign him in. Awesome. Just don't speak, or they'll know you didn't brush your teeth either.
So, there you have it. I am probably one of the few moms that don't look forward to school starting. I love being able to relax and have fun with my kids. I like letting them do their own thing or to up and do something cool just because we have time to do it. When school starts, all of that changes. I get the same sick feeling in my stomach that I did when I was a kid and the school year was starting.
When's our next day off?
p.s. The photo is from our fun, relaxing, no-schedule, trip this summer to the U.P. of Michigan. That's the stuff that summers are made of.
Now it's your turn. What's your Bright Side? Is the start of school a Vent or a Bright Side at your house?