Back to School Blues

I am pretty sure that I have got it.  I have never had it before but I have heard laments from friends when I was in elementary and high school describing their bout with it.  I would nod and smile, attempt apathy with a shrug of my shoulders and mumble something to the effect of “yeah, school sucks.”

But it was a lie.  I never thought that school sucked.  I was the kid who shopped for school supplies at the beginning of July.  I colour-coded all of my binders with neatly labeled dividers and between each section a healthy stack of fresh lined paper waited to be scribbled on.

By mid-July I wanted to get back to class.  I wanted to be surrounded by my friends.  I wanted to read the literary classic that was waiting to be discussed for English.  I wanted to learn.

Years later I painstakingly set up my own classroom.  An impressive library to entice my fifth grade readers, posters of famous Canadians tacked to the walls and the schedule for the day neatly written out on cue cards and displayed on the blackboard with the help of thin magnetic strips.

Never in all of those years did I feel the back to school blues.

This year is different.  The overwhelming drop-offs and pick-ups scheduled between my three boys at two different schools have left me a sweaty mess.  Scrambling around to get groceries and indoor shoes in the hour that I kiss goodbye to one and kiss hello to the others.

Meals are hastily thrown together and then inhaled at lightening speed to ensure we make it back to school in the forty-five minutes allotted for lunch and a half-sleeping toddler is dragged from his bed to make it in time to hear the last school bell of the day.

Wrestling dinner with homework and baths leaves me feeling depleted and exhausted while crawling into my own bed after reading Good Night Moon for the third time.

A quick search of the internet reveals that kids, thousand of them, suffer from back to school blues but there is not much to be found about parents dreading the return to the stressful monotony of the school routine.

The few articles that I did find wrote about mothers feeling sad, lonely and almost like an empty nester now that their school-age children are back in the confines of the classroom.  The experts suggest relishing “me time” instead of “mom time” and not to feel guilty for enjoying the peace and quiet.

Me time?  Peace and quiet?  Guilty?!?

I wish I had the chance to feel guilty for some peace and quiet and “me” time.  In fact, I would relish it but I am too busy rushing from home to school and back again to find much “me” time to feel guilty about.

How about you?  Are you suffering from the back to school blues too?


10 thoughts on “Back to School Blues

  1. So true BA! I`m lucky enough to have 2.5 hours from drop off to pick up but running back and forth and getting toddlers down for a nap it might as well be 20 minutes! I feel your pain. I can`t wait till the first PA day:)

  2. My 4th Baby started school this year – Having worked as a teacher until this last baby I have treasured these short years while she was at home. But off she went and left me to my hard won ‘peace and quiet’ – It was very quiet indeed.
    A week later I had started the writing project (my Blog I had been planning. Sorted the office and painted the spare room.
    I love the quiet moments now – they are short and then they end with the delight of rediscovery at the end of the school day – I think I like my children more when I get that little bit of thinking time without them.

  3. I have three children as well and their ages are 10,4 and 3. My oldest goes to a public school in grade 5 and my younger two go to a private school for JK and Preschool. The running around is crazy enough but I also miss having my little people around,the freedom of deciding what we are going to do with our days and just watching them grow. I know they need school to let them grow even more but it still leaves me kinda blue when Sepetember rolls around. As for having the time to feel guilty or have this thing you call me time?? I think I lost that 2 children ago but I wouldn’t change a thing!

  4. I’m so not looking forward to this. I stress on Sunday and Thursday nights laying out clothes for my twins’ 3 hour a day 2 day a week preschool.

  5. My friend with 3 boys would love this post! She thought that with 2 of her 3 boys in full-day school, life would be a breeze. Not so. With the drop off in the morning, the pick up and bring-back at lunch and then the end of the day pick-up, she’s finding herself busier than ever. The school also had pickups at opposite ends of the schoool so she was literally racing through the stroller crowds, trying not to have her son be the last to get picked up everyday. They have sinced scheduled the timing of the pickups to make it easier but I think if one more person says to her “it must be so easy with only 1 at home”, she might hit them over the head with her purse. Or I might just do it for her.

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