I don’t watch Game of Thrones. I know people are obsessed, hubby included, and I know super popular and brilliant, but I feel like if I give in and watch it, then I am screaming, “Hi, I’m middle aged, my life is over.”
But I do know a line from the show. “Winter is coming.” I’m assuming it means something bad is coming soon. and I am pretty sure I can assume that the writers of the show have kids about to go to school. But “School is coming” probably wouldn’t have made sense in a mythical show about dragons.
Yet I have found myself in early August repeating this to myself over and over. And it is scaring the shit out of me.
“Come on, Jen, you complain about this all the time, and you’ve had almost three months of summer. Isn’t that enough?”
Check out, A Mom Gets Smart For The School Year
My answer to you. No fucking way. It has flown by. I haven’t felt any stress. And I’d like to keep it that way. I’m sure you’ve noticed I haven’t written much over the summer. Not that writing is stressful. But in the, summer I like to turn into someone else.
Imagine the laziest person you met in high school. The person that you knew would never amount to anything. That’s me in the summer. But I’m also super fun, like to travel, I like to drink in a way that Tara Reid would be embarrassed to drink with me. I like to marathon watch shows like I am getting paid to review them. I like to eat everything I see. I enjoy my friends. I am nice to new people. And I even have sex at night!!
And I don’t go to grocery stores, I don’t go to the dry cleaners and my husband is wearing his old Syracuse t-shirts to work. Basically, I am not responsible in the summer. I am the female Jeff Spicoli without the illegal activity.
To be fair, my kids are away at camp for a good amount of it. But now, Winter is coming. I have started with the shortness of breath. The other morning I woke up in a sweat because I had a dream that I forgot to get my son to his first day of high school, and he didn’t have lunch either, so I was driving around looking for a Subway to get his lunch. I woke up terrified because they told me they only had Baked Lays.
So… for the past few days I have tortured my poor husband, made my friends nutty, and stress ate an entire Dominos thin crust pizza. Which would also be the item I would do crazy things for in prison(BTW I watched Orange is the New Black season 3)
This is kind of my modus operandi. I stress for a few days, then I get rational.
Yes, school/kids/activities stressful. But it’s life. And we can handle it. There are just better ways to deal with the stress.
-Information is best defense against stress. Stay informed. Know your kids schedules at school, their teachers, their homework. If you know what supplies they need now, get them. Don’t wait for the first day of school. Today I went to parent orientation. In the past, sometimes I haven’t. But I felt so much better after the session. The unknown is stressful.
-Get on email lists with teachers and school. This way you always know what’s up. Surprises are stressful. And your kids rarely tell you everything.
-At the start of each school year, set your ground rules with the kids. I haven’t done this and when my kids get home, they too will understand the phrase “Winter is Coming”. I’ll throw a little love, a little Tiger Mom in there. Here are my most important. No phones with you when you are doing work. Every day you have homework even if you don’t think you do. No television until everything done, work your hardest, and I don’t care about the grade. Oh, and tell me I’m pretty. If kids know there are rules and consequences, then no surprises. No surprises, no stress for them either.
Those are my basics. Everyone has their own way of managing school. I am pretty relaxed most of the time because I think the kids feel the stress too. When I saw Bad Moms a few days ago, I didn’t love it, but I did think the message about our kids being so stressed out was dead on. And that’s really the most important job I can do. Let me kids enjoy school, enjoy life, and teach them early on that life can be stressful, but manageable.
Have a great first day at school.
And Look out for my next article coming soon, Back To School Shopping, Moms Need Shit Too!