The Expectation vs Reality of Kids Going Back to School

In just a few short days, my darling little monsters will be heading back to school. I’ll spare you the exact amount of time we have left of summer, but you know I have it calculated down to the last goddamn minute. We’ve had a great summer! We’ve gone on trips, had lots of play dates, and we’ve all gotten to sleep in on most mornings. There have been baseball games, birthday parties, amusement parks, and dance competitions. I feel like we made summer our bitch, and as such, I am 100% ready for them to GTFO of my house come Monday.

Listen: I love my girls, but I’ve spent every waking moment of everyday with them for the last 8ish weeks, and I’m done. I’ve been looking forward to back to school for a while, and in my head, it’s going to be glorious! But in reality, it will probably be more stressful than any part of our summer has been. Starting school means early alarms, packing lunches, and tight schedules. It means very little free time, even for me. While I will relish the quiet, I’m not looking forward to the big reality check coming my way.

The expectation vs reality of back to school can be brutal. Expectation: it’s going to be so quiet! Reality: it’s going to be a little too quiet.

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I do well with some background noise. Just enough to force me to focus and shut it out, if that makes sense. It’s a weird think for a work-from-home mom to say, I know. I tend to work well when my kids are around! With them both gone, it’s just going to be me and the dogs. And when it’s quiet and I don’t have distractions, my mind tends to wander. I don’t know why I am the way I am, I am clearly broken.

Expectation of back to school: so much free time! Reality: LOL, with all the driving around, what free time?

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I’ve got two kids in two different school with two different start times and two different dismissal times. During school, I practically live in my car. Drop off the oldest, drop off the youngest, pick up the youngest, pick up the oldest. I leave my house no less than four times a day. So my free time is basically the two hours in the morning between dropping off and picking up the little one. You can’t do jackshit in two hours.

Expectation: with all the school and activities, my kids are going to be exhausted at the end of the day! Reality: they’re going to be whiny little shits ALL FUCKING DAY.

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Back to school is going to hit my kids like a goddamn freight train. These monsters have been staying up till 11 every night, and waking up at 10 or 11 every morning. Sorry, kiddos! Alarms will be set for the ass-crack of dawn from now on! Go spend several hours at school, then dance at the studio for a few hours everyday after school, and come home to do a bunch of shit they don’t like to do even when they’re in a good mood. But will they go to bed without a fight? OF COURSE THEY WON’T BECAUSE THEY’RE RUDE.

Expectation of going back to school: my kids are going to learn so much! Reality: they’re going to need my help with subjects I haven’t thought about in 30 fucking years.

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Siiiiiiiigh. I hate school work and homework. Fuck math. Just … fuck it so hard. “Didn’t your teacher go over this in class?” “Yeah, but I forgot.” Well, that’s incredibly unfortunate for you because I have no fucking idea what any of this means.

Expectation: I won’t need to spend so much money on snacks for them to graze on during the day. Reality: packing lunches they won’t eat so I collect starving kids at the end of the day.

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I will painstakingly pack their lunch every night, and will throw most of it away in a rage at the end of the day. Can someone explain to me why they love the same fucking food at home that they refuse to eat at school? Why are they like that?

Expectation: our weekends will mean so much more now. Family time! Reality: bitch, I have so much to catch up on from the week, don’t even look at me over the weekend.

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We are going from 7 days of family time, to just the weekend. But I will be running around like a chicken with its head cut off Monday – Friday now just trying to get everything done, and I won’t get it all done. Do we ever get it all done? No, no we do not. So if my kids want clean clothes to wear to school, they’re going to have to entertain themselves over the weekend so I can make it happen.

I really am excited for them to go back to school, but I’m also trying to keep my expectations REALLY low. At least until we get settled into our new routine. I know it’s going to be a shitshow, but it’s sort of always a shitshow, so at least it’ll be a shitshow where I have two hours to myself everyday.

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