an ode to back to school.

Happy Monday!  AKA happy day your kids are back in school after holiday break!  AKA happy day the clouds parted and the sun peaked out and you heard the tiny crescendo of angelic singing!  Or maybe that’s just what I call it. 

Seriously though, can we talk about how hard it is when you have pre/school aged children home for an extended school break?  How exhausting and overwhelming and chaotic and stressful it gets?  And how a lot of it is super fun but a lot of it is super NOT fun?  And how nice it feels to send them back on their merry way to have someone else take care of them for a bit?  And how it doesn’t make you a bad parent to feel this way?

I truly feel like I went into winter break with the best of intentions.  Honestly it was really exciting to pick my kids up from their last day of school before break because it was PC (pre-christmas).  We were all just super happy and in great moods and ready for a nice little break to celebrate all the holiday junk.  We had all these sweet little holiday plans as a family plus a ton of extended family events to look forward.  Cut to 3 days into break and we’re all already screaming at the top of our lungs and I’m threatening no Santa and I just realized I’m out of wine.  Cut to 3 WEEKS later and we’re all on emotional life-support. 

There were a lot of factors at play here; my kids age difference, my kids personalities, the holidays, traveling, PRESENTS (good gawd the presents), the weather, the lack of wine… there was just a lot going on.  But really, what it came down to is that it was just a long time to take my kids (and me) out of regular routine.  It felt very chaotic a lot of the time.  There was lots of shouting, lots of tantrums, lots of missed naps and bedtimes… and that was just me and Casey!  Mrah mrah mrah.  

Dropping my kids off this morning, I felt like I had just emerged from a very long, very loud, very malfunctiony car wash… where I had accidentally left my sun roof open.  Now that I’m out of it, I’m relieved, tired, and not even that mad that I have a mess to clean up because I get to do it ALONE.  Between the hours of 9am-1pm Monday through Thursday, that is.

Now, here is the part where I’m supposed to say BUT we also had so much fun! and there were many moments of pure joy! and we made really amazing memories! and the good outweighs the bad blah blah blah!  But you know what?  I just don’t feel like it.  I’m ty-ty. 

Listen, I know you guys love your kids. I saw ALL your instagrams.  I know I love my kids.  And I know that the good parts outweighing the bad parts is the truest of true statements.  If it wasn’t, we wouldn’t survive.  But that’s not the point of today’s show.  Today is for talking about parental freedom.  The sweet sounds of nothing.  The beautiful ability to drink hot coffee.  The joyful triumphance (go with it) of peeing in peace.  And if you’re like me and had a fun and lovely (see, I love my kids!) yet exhausting holiday break…. well to you I say, we did it.  We made it.  Solidarity, compadres. 

For those of you who don’t understand any of this and genuinely love the long winter break with your kids… well to you I say, good for you guys!  

And I hope your kids get mild ear infections.

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