With only two years of grade school parenting under my belt, I am quite far from being an expert. One thing I have swiftly learned is that there is much to detest with the start of a new school year. I am a full-time outside-of-the-home working mom so most of our daily routine is unchanged during the summer as I still have to be out the door early in the morning and I still have tiny people to drop off at camp or daycare. However, summer life with grade school children is infinitely easier for me than school year life.
Don't get me wrong- I do love school and learning and I am thrilled to see what this year will bring with our little guy starting kindergarten and our daughter being a "big kid" second grader. I love seeing how they grow and change. However, there is still a lot about school starting up again that makes me groan. See below and groan with me at these undeniably annoying parts of starting a new school year:
1. Buying Back-To-School Clothes
School shopping should be fun but it can get frustrating. My daughter grows like a weed and when I buy her back-to-school clothes, I have to keep in mind that inside of 2-3 months, the pants will be high-waters and the shirts will start to show her belly when she raises her hand. I might as well burn a few hundred dollars outside of Crazy 8 for all the wear she gets out of her clothing. This year, I have the added bonus of shopping for my son and he is the World's Pickiest when it comes to his wardrobe. I will need All The Alcohol to recover.
2. Gathering The School Supplies
I live in a ginormous school district and there is only one Target and one Wal-mart within many miles. Most of our ten elementary schools have similar lists for each grade level so as soon as I see the school supplies coming out (depressingly, in July) I start to gather what we will need or I will be SOL once mid-August hits and the shelves are picked clean and tumbleweeds are floating through the aisles.
3. Meeting The Teacher
I get nervous for this every year. A bummer of a teacher can really cast a pall on things. We have been very fortunate so far and our daughter has had only wonderful teachers but every school year, I am on pins and needles worrying about what we might be stuck dealing with for nine months.
4. Hearing My Kid Whine About Who Is Or Isn't In Her Class
This is recent for me- last year, my daughter didn't really seem concerned about who was in her class and obviously, she didn't know any better in kindergarten. This year, she is not only adamant that she wants a certain teacher, she also has a laundry list of friends she wants to be in her class. I know she will get over it if things don't go her way but ugh, I am tired of hearing about it already.
Homework is a pain in the ass for parents, let's be honest. I understand it's purpose, blah blah blah, but I can still whine about it. Luckily, she likes doing it and is a good little student but checking her folder every night and signing off on spelling tests and reading logs is just one more thing for me to remember in my endless list of things to remember. Only five more weeks until I am beholden to The Folder again. Oh, and our son will have one now too, so double duty. Le Sigh.
6. Activities Start Up Again
I know some families do sports and lessons year-round but we do not. We go away a lot during the summer and like to keep life as easy as we can- the kids are not involved in anything right now and it is a wonderful break. With fall, we will have a brief Fall Ball season for baseball and also, soccer. Practices, uniforms, games- oh my!
7. Being Asked To Sell Crappy Shit
I feel like the start of the school year is the worst with the fundraisers. The PTA is all raring to roll and we get one flyer after another of different things we need to raise money for. I love helping out my children's school but I also hate feeling pressured to sell my family $16 tubs of cookie dough so my kid's can have a "better life" at school. Being a resident of NY state, I would love to think my tax dollars are enough but that's another post for another day.
8. Fielding Play Date Requests
Summer is a nice break from so many things and one of those things is the dreaded Play Date. My daughter comes home from school almost every day blathering on about making plans with so many different kids. Her social life makes my head spin.
9. Having To Beat The Bus
This one is very specific to working parents who have to leave the house so they don't get stuck behind the stupid bus. When I hear the high school bus come roaring past my house my heart starts to pound because I am running late and once I get out the door, I am likely to be stuck behind the bus for a good mile or two making me even more late. Driving to work in the summer is a breeze in comparison.
10. The End Of Good Weather
You will only understand this if you are like me and like in a climate with 6-month winters. The end of summer means school starts and Snow Season begins. I am already shaking in my ugly winter boots.