Sep 03 , 2013

Beat the Back-to-School Blues

Going back to school sits fenced somewhere between pure elation and complete terror. In this household, the children are generally elated and the mother terrified (Who is going to fold the laundry? And hold the baby so I can shower?).

To keep the return to routine something to be celebrated, we have a party.  Some years that party includes printables and pom poms and pats on the back for the mother-of-the-year.  Others we simply scarf down dinner, drink some soda pop and call it a party. Ambition is a mighty fickle thing friends. Regardless, the intention is the same: to tuck the kids into bed the night before school feeling armed for success. Confident. Prepared. Ready.

To accomplish this, we ensure a few things happen on party night:

  1. The kids assemble five outfits for the first week of school.  We then turn on some very loud (and probably questionable) music, get the iPhones rocking the strobe lights, and cheer obnoxiously as each child struts their stuff down the hallway adorned in their new duds.  It's exciting (and are FOUR child!!! Where did you learn to do that with your body?!? Do NOT ever do that again!!).  Guaranteed: the only five mornings of the year I will not have to hear, "Mom, what should I wear today?" Promptly followed by, "Ewww.  No.  I hate that outfit.  What else should I wear today?"  Every.  Single. Time.
  2. We do our final review of the school supply list, I mutter something about how Target is lucky I keep them in business, we get the backpacks packed, and I promise the children I will buy them the 14 missing highlighters and 63 missing pencils tomorrow.
  3. We make dinner.  But not just any dinner.  A carefully planned-by-the-children dinner. A couple nights prior, I put 3 strips of paper in a hat (I currently have 3 kids in school) labeled: main dish, 2 sides and dessert.  The kids select their strip then make the coordinating dining decisions.  This year our meal featured pepperoni pizza, garlic bread, mashed potatoes and zucchini bread.  It was a carb coma (Note: I said I tucked my kids into bed feeling properly prepared.  Never did I mention being well fed).
In the end, whether I donned decorations or if my walls were bare, we spent the evening together as a family.  We gave the children are undivided attention.  We showed them our "I love you." Because knowing we are unconditionally loved creates some unmatched kind of confidence.  And confidence will always overcome fear.

 **What are your tried-and-true Back-to-School traditions??  Do your kids approach the return to school with trepidation or arms wide open?  Let us know in the comment section.

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