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How Do Parents Really Feel About Back to School?

I'm super thrilled that back to school is finally here. But some other parents don't feel quite as excited as me .....

Me? I’m thrilled that my kids are starting school.

I mean the summer was fantastic for my kids. Even though they had to be out of the house an hour earlier (than our usual school-time mornings) to get the bus to camp, their days were filled with fun and exploration. Each afternoon, they came home exhausted, filthy and happy. They ate their body weight in food for dinner each night, guzzled their milk and slept like babies. I absolutely believe they both grew a foot in height and gained a virtual pint of confidence and joie de vivre. Their bodies are toned, they have gorgeous tan lines and their hair is bleached. I look at them and see perfection, as only a mother does.

But I am beyond ready for a return to the regular routine of the school week. Our whole family needs the structure that the school week provides. My son in particular, given the latitude of the summer months and his tendency to take a mile if given an inch, really needs the grounding infrastructure – dare I say restraint? – of school: for him, the order and discipline of school helps to amplify and reinforce the behaviors we expect from him at home. For my daughter, starting kindergarten cannot come soon enough. She is extremely ready for this next stage in her journey. She is hungry to learn, eager to become “a big girl.” I am so incredibly excited for her.

And I wondered how other parents feel about this time of the year. Relieved and eager like me, I presumed? After all, I’ve seen tweets aplenty from other Moms expressing their bittersweet farewells to summer and their welcome embrace of the return to school.

So I decided to conduct some very informal, unscientific research among my networks and was actually surprised by the variety of responses. I asked parents to express from 1-10 how they feel about back to school, with 10 being the superlative (where I’m at.) Here’s some of what I heard:

 

0 ... downright miserable:

I want them home with us and not have to get them up (which is torture for all of us) and then homework and routine and then we cannot go on trips and then we have to deal with the schools and then bus and I could go on, and the cold weather …

5 … reluctantly returning to reality:

The summer went by too fast! I want to play some more! I also don’t want to get back to the routine of rushing in the mornings, homework, sports and reality…..

8 … super excited:

I am super excited because my children are looking forward to school. It also gives one of the best people in my life some one on one time with my littlest one and hopefully more time for her to get everything that she wants to do, done ….

15 … (remember the scale was 1-10!):

The time has come. We need some structure back into our lives.

So, Moms and Dads, how do you feel? Will you be whooping and cheering as the school bus drives off or grumbling through the next few days?

 

Samantha McGarry is a working Mom, juggling family, career and life one crazy day at a time - with a smile on her face. She blogs at Keeping the Glass Half Full.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Kristen Nason August 30, 2012 at 01:22 PM
Great blog Samantha! I am a probably a weak "4" on the scale. I dread giving them back to the "world" and seriously dead the routine! When my daughter proclaimed, AFTER her first day in grade 3, "I can't wait to go back to school tomorrow!", it reinforced the notion that the time has come. We enjoyed summer to the max! Challenged ourselves with some new adventures, visited relatives and friends, renewed our souls at the sea and strengthened our confidence at camp. Summer break did its job.Those weary June brains are refreshed and ready to learn. It is "Time to get those thinking caps back on",as my elementary teachers used to say! Good luck to all students, teachers, and most of all, good luck to the parents!
Samantha McGarry August 30, 2012 at 02:09 PM
Thanks for commenting. Summer should be time for fun. letting loose and all that. And it's great that your daughter couldn't wait to go back to school - it's our jobs now to sustain that enthusiasm!

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