Moms approach the start of the new school year with a mixture of elation and dread. Elation because for the love of all that is good and holy, those noisy, bickering, Popsicle-snarfing small humans are O-U-T of your house for the majority of the day again. You will have quiet. Everything won’t be sticky or smudged all the time — at least, that’s what you tell yourself.
Dread because the new routine will throw everyone off their game and because getting ready for the first day of school comes with an absurdly long to-do list. You’re jolted from the lazier pace of summer into a race against the clock to do all the things necessary before your little snowflakes set their brand-new squeaky-sneakered feet into their new classrooms.
“This year will be different,” you’ll tell yourself. You’ll do more of this and less of that. You’ll be organized. You’ll be on time. Maybe you’ll even do that whole mindfulness thing everyone’s talking about.
Here are some realistic, achievable goals for moms to pin on their back-to-school Pinterest board (you know you made one) as we roll full-steam ahead into the new school year. Resolutions of sorts. Get out your planner and fire up your very best list-making apps. You’ve got this, Mama.
No, really — you’ve got this. This list of back-to-school resolutions for moms is so doable. Trust me, the bar is pretty low.
I will not wait until the weekend before school starts and frantically plow my cart through the picked-over, disheveled crap. I will not throw an elbow as I try to dive for that last red two-pocket folder without brads. Without brads. I will shop from the comfort of my own home, where no one minds that I’m not wearing pants.
I will not snidely ask the teacher if she’s planning to have the class construct a full-scale model of the Mars rover with glue and craft paper. I will not bitch to the cashier at Target, the lady who waxes my eyebrows or the UPS man about the insane freaking amount of glue sticks my child needs to attend public school. I will buy the glue in silence and reward myself with an extra splash of wine.
I’ll tell myself that feeding my kids Pop Tarts is “retro” and I won’t beat myself up if I have to resort to drill sergeant tactics to get my kids’ lazy butts out of bed. The psychological damage from being awakened by your mom beating on a trashcan with a headless Barbie and calling you a maggot is really pretty minimal.
Said pants need not have zippers or buttons but they have to be able to pass the “unexpected egress from the minivan” test. You’re probably slacking on a lot of levels, but don’t make your child endure teasing for the rest of the year because you marched into the attendance office in pajama bottoms with a hole in the butt. See also: underwear might be a good idea.
It's tempting, right? Try to hold off until after Thanksgiving.
Attend PTA meetings. Ask the teacher how you can help. You’ll stay connected to your child and meet other like-minded parents. See also: spy on your kids and know who’s not going to talk trash about you for putting “a little something extra” in your travel mug to get you through those PTA meetings
Never make eye contact with the woman at the PTA meeting who carries the clipboard. Just. Don’t. Do. It.
Don’t be that mom who starts the year crafting beautiful, visually appealing lunches. Don’t stay up late trying to make carrots look like flowers or any such bullshit. That’s just giving in to silliness. You’re only going to disappoint yourself when you resort to baloney and cheese Lunchables mid-year. Find some pins on Pinterest that your kid will actually eat and accept that you'll be making them a lot. Best to aim for marginal from the get-go.
You’ve got a lot to do, mamas. Aim low and stifle those overachiever urges. You’ll thank me later.
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