When you look at the ads, read blogs or watch the news, it looks like Back to School is all about the kids. Backpacks, notebooks, mechanical pencils, school uniforms, paper towels and Kleenex are all basic needs for the new school year. No matter how much we gripe about purchasing the same things every year, we oblige because we know there’s something big in it for us. When our kids are getting a good education, maintaining good grades and staying out of trouble, they’re more likely to graduate high school, attend college and maybe even go on to grad school.
It’s never too early to start planning and start seeking out scholarship and grant information to ease the financial burden. If all goes as planned, then they will get a job that pays enough for them to be able to pay off any debt they’ve accrued during their four, six, or maybe eight years of college. Maybe they’ll do so well they’ll share their generosity and surprise us with new house, car or fabulous vacation. But I’m not thinking that far ahead. Yes, I want those things for my boys, but most pressing thing I’m looking forward to most is…a good nap.
Think about it. From the time you brought your bundle of joys home you start losing sleep, hours at time. Even when they start sleeping through the night, you won’t ever get those missing hours back. If you go back to work right away, like I did, at my own insistence, you’ll continue to miss sleep because when you get home in the evenings, they need stuff. You’ve got to get them ready for dinner, ready for baths, ready for bed and instead of going to sleep, you stay up to relish the little adult time you have or you hang out with your spouse and then get pregnant again. Am I sharing too much? I think you know where I’m going here.
School …I’m talking all-day school, not that wimpy half-day stuff, is the perfect time for adults to have me time. For parents, summer is just one big interruption of a their lifestyle. Even if your kids have something to do whether it’s summer camp, sports, vacation Bible school, community service (the volunteer kind, not the Chris Brown kind) it’s not the same as their regular school schedule when they’re gone from at least 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. People say children need structure, well, so do parents.
If you’ve ever had the following experiences you can relate to this blog. A. You’re on vacation from work and you’re perfectly content to stay home because your kids are in school. B. You’ve gone home early from work and the school calls and says you need to pick your kid up early because he has a fever. C. You feel totally screwed by the system when you find your multiple children have different schedules so that you’re always with one of them.
I know I’m a good mom. I’m a better mom because of the time I spend with my kids and without them. Because I have to be at work at 4:00 in the morning, I’m home most days before my children get home from school. So imagine how I feel in the summer when I get home and one is playing video games and the other one is on the computer.
Even if you aren’t able to stay home while your kids are in school, I’ll bet there’s a special time you cherish when you’re home alone to do whatever you please in peace and quiet. So, here’s a salute to parents everywhere who appreciate a good nap as much as I do…and aren’t afraid to admit it.