It's been a great summer, and, frankly, you like having the kids home everyday. So now what? Read on for tips on how to get over your back-to-school blues.
So you've got a case of the back-to-school blues. Well, you can rest assured that you're feelings are completely understandable and normal. "Feeling sadness at a transition time is entirely normal!" says Deborah Gilboa, MD. But why do you have them?
"Our kids still need us during the school year but the roles change. We may play less of a starring role in our kids' lives. Also, the stresses (and perceived stresses) of the school year are greater so this may be a time parents enjoy less than the more relaxed summer time."
Natalie Caine, of Empty Nest Support Services, adds that moms may also be sad because they realize they're one step closer to when kids leave for college. "Mom gets the blues in part because she knows the clock is ticking as far as time together."
Carole Lieberman, M.D., adds another reason for why you might be feeling down. "The more a mom identifies herself only, or predominantly, as a mom, the more likely she is to get the back-to-school blues because it means her identity has been lost, to some extent. Sure, she's still a mom, but her kids aren't around to need her 24/7 now."
Kids are like sponges. What we feel, they often feel. So, while you may have the best intentions behind feeling sad, Deborah Gilboa, M.D., points out how your blues could be affecting them. "There are three concerns when a child knows that they are causing us real pain by moving on to their next developmental stage," says Gilboa.
Alright, so the kids are going back to school whether you like it or not, so now is the time to pick yourself off and start feeling better.
Andrea Weiner, Ed.D., offers these tips:
Weiner adds that she knows exactly how you feel. "As a parent , I can remember each year taking my daughter to school after the summer and each time feeling sad and blue and shedding a few tears. Those lazy days of summer without the pressure of homework and extracurricular activities were a welcomed respite."
"And, I also saw her growing up and then not needing me so much which would shatter my persona as a devoted parent. But then I would remember that my job was to help her learn important life skills both academically and socially which was a gift. And then, I would wipe my tears and smile."
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