Dude, I know you guys are allllllllll pumped up about school starting again. But guess what? Not me. In fact, I’m dreading it.
I think I speak for both sixteen-year-old Janel as well as present-day Janel when I say that school is the fucking worst. Here’s a run-down of why I’m stress-eating and you’re not:
So many schedules: I get it — all your kids probably go to full-day school at the exact same time. But I’m still in that weird in-between phase with my kids, where back-to-school just means the return of coordinating a million different schedules:
- My work schedule
- Rob’s work schedule
- Rob’s school schedule
- Grandma’s school schedule (for babysitting)
- Phaedra’s school schedule
- Bella’s school schedule
- Surrey’s stay-at-home-and-chill schedule
Seriously, someone else needs to learn how to drive in this family.Good enough.
My morning routine is fucked: Right now, if I work in the morning, I can get up thirty minutes before I have to leave, and get myself ready for work while everyone else is sleeping. I don’t have to anybody: just get up and get out. On days that I work in the afternoon, I can sleep as long as the kids will let me, which usually means a bonus hour of sleep. When school starts, I’ll kiss all of that goodbye. I’ll have to get up an hour earlier than I do now to make sure everyone is up, dressed, and fed. Even on days that I don’t have to be up early for work I’ll have to get up and get them all ready and out the door. Not. Fair.
Random expenses: With the new school year comes the constant barrage of demands for money. Book fair, fundraisers, Secret Santa, and the bane of my goddamn existence: Popcorn Day. On Thursdays, you can order popcorn from the PTA for $0.25. The kids turn in their quarter on Thursday, and bring home a little bag of popcorn on Friday. It’s a big fucking deal. But, if your mom never carries cash, let alone change, and she forgets to give you a quarter in the morning when she’s half-conscious and trying to get everyone else including herself ready for the day, you don’t get that little bag of popcorn on Friday, and that is a national disaster. I have sent my daughter into that school holding twenty-five pennies in her hand that I somehow scrounged from my car and purse because I didn’t have any fucks left to give.
Extra-curricular activities can extra-suck-my-balls: Here’s my favorite thing to do on a weeknight about once a month during the school year: come home from work around 5:30pm to a gaggle of cranky, hungry, usually naked, half-tired kids, get them dressed, pack them all up into the car, and drag them around a crowded-ass event that is about 10% as fun as Phaedra pictured it in her mind while the Bella and Surrey cry and complain for an hour and a half because they’re bored, then suddenly start having the time of their lives about five minutes before it’s time to go home, and then spend the next fifteen minutes negotiating them back into the car while everyone cries about having to leave and how terrible life is in general. It’s super fun.
The Big-Rock Laundry Mountain: I have basically taken a hiatus from laundry this summer, making exceptions when I run out of clothes for work or need to wash bathing suits to take to the pool. Plus, being naked about 90% of the time (my kids, not me, although I’ll add that to the list of reasons why I need to start working from home…) really cuts down on the need for clean clothes. Now that two of my kids will have to be dressed in regular clothes every single weekday, the laundry situation is about to get real.
Winter is coming: I live all year round just to make it to the 2.5 months of summer we see up here in Michigan. I just can’t take the cold weather — my body was programmed to function best between 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit. But it was such a cheater of a summer this year, with nonstop rain and only a week of temperatures over 90 degrees (which, I guess in a way was a good thing for us). The beginning of a new school year just means it’s going to be crazy-ass cold again in about a week and a half, and since it was such a mild summer, it’s probably going to be butt-cold all fall and winter and dump a shit-ton of snow on us. COOOOOOOOOOOL.
So if you still feel the need to throw a back-to-school party, by all means, go ahead. I’ll just be over here in the corner scowling and asking the DJ to play Portishead and The Smiths.
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