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The Emotions of “Back to School”

You’re hot and sticky.  The house is a mess.  The kids are wildly running around the house and yard.  Disorganization and chaos reign.  But wait!  It’s . . . back to school time!  Normalcy in your world is about to be restored.  Are you relieved?  If you’re like most mothers, you’re feeling a host of emotions.  

Relief.  Your household will return to the comparative structure and organization that you are accustomed to eight out of every 12 months.  Your house can be clean (or at least cleaner) again.  You’ll have reduced stress associated with work-life balance (if the children are in school, you can experience less of a “guilty” feeling for being at work rather than at home).  You might even have time to read on some evenings while the children are doing their homework.

Grief.  You will miss spending the extra time with your children.  Sure, it was hectic at times, but it was wonderful at times too.  Your children are precious to you, and summer (for all it’s pros and cons) brings plenty of opportunities for bonding and fun that you and your children can share.

Disbelief.  Where did the summer go?  Did three months really pass that quickly?

Anxiety.  What will change this coming school year?  How will your children like their new teachers?  Will they have a ton of homework?  Will they feel stressed?  How will all their classmates get along?  Will you remember to pack their lunches, sign all their permission slips, etc. while you are getting back into the routine of school and all that comes with it?

Excitement or pride.  What great things will happen this coming year?  Will your children have wonderful new learning opportunities, great successes, and new friends?  Will your children have fun reuniting with friends that they haven’t seen since school got out last spring?  With your increased focus on your job, will you be assigned a stand-out project?  Will you experience a great success?  Will you be promoted?

Guilt.  What if your children don’t want to go to school?  You have to take them to school anyway . . . harder still, you have to leave them there.

Happiness and sadness.  You’re happy that your children’s lives are unfolding as they should.  Going to school each autumn is a normal part of a child’s life.  You’re happy that your children are healthy enough to go to school, learn and grown, and develop friendships with their classmates.  You’re sad that, with each passing year, your children are getting closer to being on their own, no longer needing you as they do now . . . but you’re happy that they will always need and love you because you are their mother.

These are but a few of the emotions that mothers typically experience as they prepare to send their children back to school each autumn. 

Stay tuned.  Our next post at Nannies4hire.com will discuss how to address these emotions optimally.

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