The Best and Worst of Back to School Season

The weeks have piled up and, at long last, back-to-school season is upon us! Whether you love every second with your kids or dread your summer role as the full-time family cruise ship director, there’s no delaying the return to academics. Here’s our score of the best and worst things about the season:

The worst of…
#3 – Routine is king. Yep, this one makes the best and worst list. While my kids (and I) thrive in routine, the obligations that accompany it can be a pain. Your youngest picks the wrong day to sleep in, the oldest can’t get to bed on time, you forgot to pack lunches the night before… for routine to be routine, things need to happen in a certain way, and when they don’t, we can easily get thrown for a loop. Take a deep breath, delegate where possible, and focus on the priorities.
#2 – You lose a bit of your kid. Anyone else find that their kid always makes a friend or two you’d rather they not make when school returns? You lose a bit of control over who they socialize with and which behaviors and phrases get repeated. We’re so grateful for teachers, but with 20+ kids at a time, they just can’t catch it all the same as we can.
#1 – Bye bye flexibility. We’ve enjoyed movie nights, spontaneous getaways, and last-minute decisions and plans to the fullest this summer. With the return to school, much of that goes away. I know education is incredibly important and that there are so many great things around the corner for my kids to learn and explore… but I’m going to miss the spontaneous snuggle sessions and lie-ins, for sure.

The best of…
#3 – Freedom! It’s hard to get away with much under the constant purvey of young eyes. So while we don’t recommend picking up all those bad habits you’ve worked so hard all summer to hide, you can at least breathe a bit easier if some creep back in.
#2 – Routine is king. There is something to be said about not living by the alarm clock every moment. But if your kids are anything like mine, there is a direct correlation between the length of summer break and the amount of attitude and whine that comes out of their mouths (it’s a pretty perfect line up on a line graph). I’ve found that, historically, the return to school gets all of us back in check – myself included – something which I chalk up to routine. I’ll be the first to admit that in summer, routine goes out the window… but my kids thrive in it, so getting back to the norm is almost always a good thing around here.
#1 – All the things we love come back. I’m talking primetime TV, athletics and extra curriculars, the approach of the holiday season… there are so many stressors that surround back-to-school, but really, the end of summer/ beginning of fall is filled with just so much goodness, it’s hard not to get a bit excited!

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