Back to school, back to stressin’ like a mother


Credit: Getty Images

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV)- It’s back to school which means back to anxiety for this mom and many just like me. You know what I mean, right?

First and foremost the the weekend preceding back to school has been “X’d” of the calendar for months. Under no circumstance could I plan anything knowing we have lots to prepare before the first day. Can we come to a BBQ? No. Can we come swimming? No. camping? Nope. We are getting ready for back to school, why doesn’t anyone understand?!

I feel like this one day a year where every dish is done, every piece of laundry is clean, beds are made and we are up and ready on time and out the door with time to spare.

It’s a glorious moment of “mom success” for me. But it’s fleeting…. because, “What? I have to keep this up for the next 180+ days?”

I certainly don’t have that kind of stamina. Who does? I think usually by the first round of parent teacher conferences is when I have my first mommy meltdown of the year because I just can’t keep up. Raise your hand if you’re with me!

Seriously, instead of enjoying a sunny and 80 degree summer Sunday, I behaved like a mad woman prepping lunches, healthy dinners for the week, packing bags, doing 8 (yes 8) loads of laundry, coloring back to school photo boards until midnight, scrubbing toilets and organizing closets. Why?

Back to school photo board project

I asked myself that question a lot as my brain went crazy in 100 different directions. Why do we as moms feel the need to have perfection during these transition times of the year?

Certainly having the laundry done and neatly put away helped this morning instead of having to sift through a basket to find clean underwear. But what about the rest of the year?

After completing all 500 tasks I had created for myself I still felt disappointed that I didn’t get the basement cleaned or the landscaping cut and the weeds pulled. Seriously? Instead of feeling proud of what I accomplished I continued to pile on the task list.

When can us moms start enjoying every day life instead of having to prepare for it? I spend so much time preparing for the “next thing” I find it hard to enjoy the here and now.

I ask myself, what would have happened if I didn’t make their first day photo boards until midnight? Nothing! I would have taken their pics and they would have been just as special. What if that laundry was still sitting in the basement in baskets? Nothing! Everyone was wearing new clothes today anyway. What would have happened if the bathroom didn’t get cleaned? Nothing! The makeup and blue toothpaste would have still stained it up this morning.

Meal prep time

As moms we put so much pressure on ourselves to make things perfect for our families at the sake of our own sanity and happiness. Does knowing this change how we’ll do things tomorrow? Not necessarily. I do however think it’s important to share these struggles so we know we’re not alone.

I know the school year will bring more structure, more memories and without a doubt more stress. Stress about friends, choices, schedules and so much more.

I will look back and try to remember the carefree days of summer where we all got to sleep a little longer, snuggle a little more and stay up a little bit later. The days where ice cream dripped on our chins and we lived in our flip flops. Where Sundays were spent at the neighbor’s pool and the laundry piled up for another day.

Summer bliss

As you push forward in your “new routine” with your family, take a breath. Try your best and find moments where you can let it go. Put yourself out there and tell another mom that you watched another episode of Bachelor in Paradise while the laundry basket sat unfolded next to you. Bond over your imperfections. Your tribe will understand and love you anyway.

Cheers to the crazy ride ahead for you and your family this school year.

Back to school

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About Carly Munoz

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