Great news! It’s almost back to school time! After a lazy summer, aren’t we all ready to get back to normal? (LOL, maybe this is normal in the Twilight Zone!) This year things are different, aren’t they? Here in New York State, we just got the green light from Governor Cuomo that school can start this fall. Cue the collective cheers, “Yay!” Wait, but what does that mean?
Like me, many of you shift gears during the summer to focus on your family. A less-hectic schedule means more time for good meals, long walks, and late nights sitting by campfires. While we have definitely done these things this year, there was no escaping the looming anxiety that COVID-19 has brought to our house. This is especially true when we’ve considered what the new school year will look like.
As an adjunct instructor at a local college, my “return to school” plan has been clearer than most of the other educators I know. Now, however, I get to add my children’s schedules into the puzzle. This is going to take some acrobatics and a lot of help from my husband. I bet things are going to be a bit chaotic in your house too.
However, let’s take a look on the bright side! While we are all riddled with anxiety about the prospect of our children going back to school, there is some great news. We can all benefit from the schedule changes ahead.
5 Things to Look Forward to (and to Take Advantage of) When Our Kids Go Back to School
1) If Your Life Has Seemed Like an Endless Cycle of Dish Doing and Food Prep, Your Break is Coming!
OMG, hasn’t this been a marathon, ladies? I never envisioned doing so much cooking and cleaning in my life! My new catchphrase around the house is, “You know, I didn’t get my master’s degree to be anyone’s maid. Yet, here I am!”
These non-stop moming days are going to SLOW DOWN in the fall! I dream about the days where I can focus on something other than picking up my house and deciding what’s for dinner right after breakfast dishes are done. Less cleaning, less cooking, ahhh! It sounds like a perverse fantasy. LOL, I’m ALL In on that one.
2) You Just Got a Lot More Bandwidth to Work With!
Now that you have all that newfound time, guess what else you’ll have at home? Grrl, you are going to be amazed at how fast your Internet now is. When everyone in my house is streaming at the same time, my Internet cannot take the load. This might not be such a big problem where you live, but mamma, out here in the country I can hear all my #momfriends throwing jazz hands like crazy right now. We’re so excited!
Imagine under interrupted connections to the Internet, and actually being productive for the few hours that you’ve blocked off to get your #mombusiness work done! Sounds like another strange fantasy, doesn’t it. LOL, it’s no fantasy, my friends. In a few weeks, it will be our reality! 😊
3) Remember Those Clothes You Loved? It’s Time to Rock the School Drop-Off Line!
As if a sink free of dishes and a non-laggy Zoom call weren’t enough, We Get to Wear Nice Clothes Again, ladies! (OMG, I just realized that I might do my makeup too!)
Mammas, it’s time to bust open that closet of yours, and get your wardrobe ready, because you will have somewhere to be each day! (I realize some of you might be ROFL right now, but seriously, this is the first time that many of us have had an organize reason to appear in public!
If you’re like me, get those clothes ready, because they’ve been missing you.
4) Speaking of Clothes, How About Loving Stress-free Back-to-School Shopping?!?
Watch out world, because it’s not just you who’s going to be seen in public, your kiddos are gearing up for seeing friends they haven’t seen in months! Back-to-school shopping is ON! This year.
OK, I realize you’re probably thinking that back-to-school shopping looks a bit different this year too. You might be thinking, “Cool your jets, lady! What do the kids actually need in order to make this year doable?” Well, you’re right; there’s no need to overwhelm the kids with the scratchy, still clothes we jam them into for the perfect first day and the flawless class photos. Instead, let’s get clothes and accessories that make this term bearable for them.
I’ve been brainstorming a list of must haves, and I’ll share it below. If you can think of something that I missed, please share it in the comments below. I will update this post to include them, so we all have a great list to work from! (I appreciate that, Mamma!)
- Fashionable, but comfortable face masks.
(I got these really cute Red Sox® facemasks from Etsy that the boys have been wearing all summer. They JUST informed me that they are itchy! OK, well, itchy works for our 5-minute jaunts to the store, but itchy is NOT going to work for school! Thankfully, there are tons of choices out there now. My friends have been raving about these Old Navy masks. We just purchased gators for our boys on Amazon. Personally, I like the thickness of the face mask more, but I have to be realistic about what my kids are going to be comfortable wearing all day. My kiddos love a video game called Destiny®, so we picked up a couple of masks that had images of the game on them. (Remember that you will probably want multiple masks for each kiddo. I’ve found it easiest to keep some in the car, but now I might just keep an extra in their backpacks too.)
- T-shirts and Comfortable Leg Wear.
I have boys, so this means shorts for the foreseeable future. 🤣 Lol. I know the girls like to wear leggings. Seriously, for the actual clothes, I think we’re after cute, loose fitting, and comfortable. The kids can all rock high fashion once this phase of our lives is complete.
- Sneakers it is!
I’ve got to throw up some praise hands 🙌 here, Mammas. I will NOT buy fancy shoes this year for the first time in my kiddos lives. 🙌 I refuse to purchase something they are not going to wear. Until things have cleared up, my children will not be at huge functions and will not be wearing fancy shoes! YAY! (There is no worse sound than listening to a boy complain about foot pain. Holy moly, hey boys, welcome to the world of women! Foot pain, wah wah.)
- Antibacterial Gel
I know you’ve probably already thought about this, but… When you see it, make sure to scoop up a bottle or two. Our teachers always put antibacterial wipes on our supply list. Since you can only buy those on the black market 😯 now my guess is that they will turn their attention to gel or spray. (However, be careful which brand of antibacterial gel you purchase, I’ve read that a bunch are being recalled. You can find that information here; they continue to update this list as new gels are recalled.)
5) Use Those Pockets of Quiet Time, To Reinvest in Yourself and Your Business!
As if all the above were not enough reasons to help you to see the bright side of the kids’ returning to school maybe this will: You Will Have Time for YOU!
I agree, it’s not like it’s oodles of time. You’re not going on a two-week Caribbean vacation or anything, but it is something. Something is always better than nothing. If we are taking steps forward, no matter how small they are, they are steps forward. So, pencil yourself in, Mamma. You can get back to what you’ve been dreaming of accomplishing before COVID took over our lives!
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