Back to School Blues?

by Sara Marchessault

It’s that special time of year when the air starts to get a little cooler (or in Tallahassee, the love bugs come out, a sure sign that fall is on the way…or maybe that we are in the midst of the dog days of summer), kids everywhere don new clothes and backpacks, lunches are packed, and parents are dropping off their kids at school.

It can be hard when it’s a big first. My four-year old is going five days a week this year when last year she went three. She is doing awesome and has transitioned smoothly.Girl at school

My two-year old is going two days a week this year. He started out strong, but has had a few shaky days. And by shaky, I mean screaming as I leave the room, throwing the nearest toy at me in anger, and slamming his head against the door with a shout after I go.

Note to self. We might want to work on coping skills at home.

Going back to school results in mixed emotions for so many of us. Remember the Staples back to school commercial with the really excited dad and the not so excited kids? The song “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” is playing in the background. Here’s the link in case you need to remember who’s smiling and who isn’t:

When the kids are little, yes, it can be really hard to send them to school. If you are worried that they are in a classroom with a teacher or other kids that is more scary and mean than safe and comfortable, of course you’re going to be worried.

And let’s admit it, if they seem like they’re totally cool and don’t look back, that can sting a little too, right?

The Back to School Blues are easy to get.

But, when things are going well, maybe it doesn’t have to be so blue.

Maybe we can tap into the natural motivation that happens at this time of year and sort of go back to school ourselves. Sign up for a class. Volunteer to do something you’ve never done before. Refocus on the business you put on hold to spend summer with the kids. Finish the scrapbook project of the trip you took to Europe five years ago. Start a journal writing practice.

Yes, we have children, and yes, they are the most important people in our lives.

We can’t forget that we have to take care of ourselves too. And when we do something for ourselves, or give something back to the community, or take a moment to indulge in quiet time with our journal, we teach our kids that self-care is good.

And when they come home from a long day at school, or even just a few hours of being away, they come home to a mom who doesn’t have the Back to School Blues, but a mom who benefitted from the rainbow of opportunity that presents itself when the bell rings for class.

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