Your kids have zero enthusiasm for the pool.
Your idea of “acceptable” screen time is increasing daily.
You’re not sure you can handle one more “but her half is bigger than mine!”
All of these sound like bad signs, right? Each one of them seems like an indicator that summer has gone off the rails.
Well, here’s the good news: IT HAS!
That’s right, just about the time you start googling things like “minimum number of weekly baths for kids,” summer break has come to a close. Yes, FINALLY, it’s ovah. Your kids will head back into the classroom sharing every detail of the summer they insisted was super boring.
But what about YOU? You’re about to experience — infomercial voice — total freedom! Sure, it’s hard to picture it right now (your children may be actively pummeling each other right this second) but here’s a sneak peek at all the good stuff coming your way, sister.
One day you’re wondering how you’re going to survive the summer and the next — BAM! — it’s over.
Some people are full-on crying. And we get it. But the rest of us are burning moderate rubber to love our kids from a distance.
One of the many, many things you don’t think about as you’re choosing the color scheme for that first baby’s room is that you will one day want to grocery shop alone. You will wish for this so fervently, so feverishly that you can almost taste it. And you’re about to be able to wander the aisles of Kroger all by yourself again!
Pro tip: Go somewhere without a kids’ menu.
Like shopping alone, this is one of those things you never imagined you would want so badly. When they were babies and everyone told you “nap when they nap,” you didn’t do it, did you? DO IT NOW.
Admittedly, this may not immediately stand out as something you’d love to do. But when you start to think about how many summer “dinners” were stale chips with a side of applesauce, the prospect of sitting down and actually reading all those recipes you tore out of waiting room magazines sounds amaaaaazing.
If you’ve gotten this far in parenting (congrats, you have school-age kids!) you know how challenging it can be knowing they’re watching every move you make. So the absolute freedom of listening to music with cuss words or stuffing your face with your secret favorite junk food is pretty dang special.
Think of it: steaming up the bathroom while you sing, space out, exfoliate — basically do whatever you want for as long as the hot water lasts. Go for it! No one is going to burst in to tell you their brother looked at them the wrong way.
It’s not always easy to find time for self-care when the kids are home 24/7. So to finally be able to get back to your practice — whether it’s yoga, meditation, tai chi, or just managing to sit quietly for five minutes — is a pretty incredible feeling.
When the kids are home, you’ve got to be a role model (see above) for responsible internet use. You can’t really justify spending hours going down a rabbit hole of favorite music videos from eighth grade. But now you can!
Once kids become verbal, they floor it onto the Information Highway. Which, by the way, is YOU. Kids love to ask questions, and they can start some really interesting conversations. But let’s be honest, it’s a blessed relief to be able to just take a few hours to come up with new answers.
Freedom feels so good. And as happy as you’ll be to get a little time to yourself, there’s one more reaction you’ll have.
It may not happen that very first day back, but it will happen. You’ll start to realize you really enjoy the company of those tiny humans.
[Kroger back-to-school sponsor blurb with call-to-action links]