End of Summer: How Moms Feel at Back-to-School

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The end of summer approaches. We moms can feel a mix of emotions. JessieLeigh unpacks the bittersweet back-to-school feelings.

End of Summer: How Moms Feel

Notebooks– 4 for $1!
Glue Sticks… only 10 cents!
Free backpack with $20 back-to-school purchase!

If we hadn’t already known it, the fliers are quick to remind us– back-to-school is just over the horizon.

End of Summer: How Moms Feel

Back-to-school time brings with it a wide array of emotions. You’ve likely heard a few different examples of this among your social circle. See if any of these sound familiar:

“I cannot WAIT for them to be back in school! This is about the time they start to drive me CRAZY!!”

This is the mom who is at her wit’s end with bored children. The days loom long and unstructured and it’s becoming more and more challenging to keep them off the electronics day-in and day-out. Whether you work-at-home, stay-at-home, work-outside-the-home, or otherwise, having children at home 24/7 can bring unique challenges that don’t exist during the school year.

This isn’t to say it’s necessarily good or bad; it’s just different. And, by the time August and the end of summer approach, that “different” can become exhausting. So, not surprisingly, some of us really, really crave the routine that comes with going back to school.

End of Summer: How Moms Feel

“I’m already dreading the end of summer! I’m trying to cram something special into each and every day because it’ll be over before we know it!”

This is probably the “Summer Bucket List” mom. She plans for fun and has oodles of great ideas. Knowing that summer days don’t last forever, she’s trying to squeeze in every ounce of joy that she can because, all too soon, it will come to a grinding halt with the start of the school year.

There are lots of wonderful things about summertime. Long, lingering sunshine tends to lead to later bedtimes and more hours to play. Mornings aren’t typically rushed and chaotic and it’s a treasure to laze around a bit and only get dressed when it’s time to put on the swimsuit. It makes sense that some of us would cling to this with everything we have.

And, finally…

“I can’t believe how fast it’s gone. I always think summer is going to feel all long and lazy, but it never really does. It’s busier than I expected.”

This mom made it through the madness that is the last month of school– concerts, orientations, shows, sporting events, etc.– and couldn’t wait for the “lazy” days of summer. She knew she was caught up in a maelstrom of crazy and couldn’t wait for the light at the end of the tunnel.

When she got there, however, she realized that it wasn’t, in fact, a peaceful abyss. Rather, it was just a different kind of busy. Swimming lessons, ball games, science camp, art classes, play dates, forgotten well-child and dental appointments, and more fill the days. They go by in a whirl, albeit a fun one, and, before she knows it… it’s almost the end of summer vacation.

Sound familiar?

I’d be willing to bet we all know at least one person who falls into each category. Maybe you see one that fits you, too. Or, maybe you feel like you overlap a couple.

And you know what? Whichever way you happen to be feeling?

It’s totally normal.

End of Summer: How Moms Feel

For what it’s worth, I’m in that last camp. Every single year, I seem blind-sided by how busy we actually are. I never think I’m over-scheduling us but, nonetheless, we zip from one thing to the next at a dizzying speed sometimes. It’s not all bad. I honestly like to be busy and they’re all good things. Still, it does leave me wondering where exactly our “break” went sometimes.

If you can’t wait to get back in the routine? That’s okay. Don’t let anyone make you feel bad for that. It certainly doesn’t mean you don’t like your kids or enjoy their company. It means that you’ve realized how structure benefits your family. Most of us feel that way, even if we don’t vocalize it.

If you’re trying to cram in the joy? Oh, bless you, mama. It’s a beautiful thing to want to stuff the summer with happy activities. Just make sure you’re not killing your own joy in the process. Sometimes the happiest memory is just reading a book under a tree with a juice box by your side. Breathe in the fresh air and know that just because the summer is ending, it’s no reason to despair. Happy times happen all throughout the year.

Back-to-school is right around the corner, and there’s really nothing we can do about it. No matter how you’re feeling about it, I think we can agree that it can be a very bittersweet time for children and parents alike. It’s a little circle of life.

How do you feel about the end of summer and heading back to school?

Happy? Sad? Overwhelmed? Let’s chat in the comments.

JessieLeigh - 125– A mother of three, including a 24 week preemie, JessieLeigh is a determined advocate for even the tiniest of babies. She can be found celebrating life’s (sometimes unexpected) miracles and blessings at Parenting Miracles.

You can read all of Jessie Leigh’s posts for Life as MOM here.

About Jessica Fisher

I believe you can get great meals on the table -- and still keep that pretty smile on your face.

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  1. mrs.p says

    Oh I so not ready for school to start. My youngest start high school at a new school. Last year she did it online at home. We had no drama, no homework. It was nice and relaxing but this year going to be way different. But with God grace we will get by.

  2. CarolAnn Eppens says

    I am a teacher & a mom so back to school brings lots of different feelings for me. This year I have many emotions: 1. Excitement mixed with nervousness for the new school year. Every year I look forward to the start of a new year with a new group; not matter the difficulty or challenges this class may have; we will get through it. But even after 25 years of teaching, I still get nervous like it is my first year. 2. Sadness mixed with joy & pride. My youngest will be a senior so everything will be her last. I am very proud of how much she has accomplished in her 17 years thus far despite some of the obstacles she has had to overcome. 3. Pride & Confidence that my oldest will be a junior in college and now living in her own place. Also extremely proud that she has decided to follow in her mother’s footsteps and is studying to be a teacher. Confident that she will find her own way and be successful & leave her struggles from the last year behind her. This summer has been a difficult one for me..it was my first summer without both of my girls at home. I am trying to find a new normal. 🙂

  3. Laura says

    I am a teacher so back to school is a bit different for me! This year I am retuning to the classroom after being a SAHM for the last two years. My daughter will be in my class this year so I am excited about that and my little guy will be with me one morning a week and with Meme or a friend the other two mornings. I would say as a mom I fall into the latter group of expecting a relaxing summer and then feeling like a crazy person half the time driving all over the place! My two are young still, but each summer gets busier and busier!!

  4. I always am eager to get back into the school routine. This year we have so many changes starting in the fall that I’m feeling excited and nervous to see it all play out. My husband starts seminary full time, I start working part time, and my kids are going to public school, after 6 years of homeschooling. I’m excited to see how God works it all out.

  5. I am getting to the point where I am eager for some routine. My husband is a teacher, so we are ALL five at home during the summer in our little apartment and it can feel crowded at times. But this summer has also been really great. I think we found balance between busy and camps and VBS and then having time at home relaxing. We have traveled but not excessively, we had a great vacation and several family trips.

    I am a little bit oh no we were never all home enough to do some of the things I wanted to do – the cheap kid movies, bowling, playgrounds, etc. But still, for the first time I feel happy with how our summer has gone. And I think we’ll be ready for school to start (in three weeks!!).


  6. I’ve noticed I’ve changed as my children got older; once they could drive, they had a certain freedom that kept them from being underfoot.

    But this year?? I launch my youngest to college. I’m facing empty nest. I’m not exactly dreading it (because I’m happy my babies are thriving and doing all the things I hoped they would when they were young), but I’m bracing myself for the quiet.

    It WILL be different….

    Lovely things to think about here….

  7. I am so totally in that last camp! I love this post. No matter which “camp” we fall in, it’s all in the range of normal. 🙂 I am looking forward to routine, but I really do love the lazy days of summer.

  8. Theresa says

    I actually cringe mid July at the thought of summer drawing to an end. I treasure my summers home with each of my three children. I truly believe we take in and make the most of each and every day and yet, I am sad in August. I don’t want to give up on summer… isn’t there something I can do? hit the rewind button? get a time machine and travel back? alas, there’s no stopping it. I just know our time is so precious and while I am grateful for the opportunity to share my summers off with them, I just cannot bear returning to school ( these feelings are no stranger to me…happens every August …insert huge sigh!) Anyhow, thanks for your post and I am thankful to share my feelings with other moms. I look forward to a new year of wonderful and exciting things for my family… just wishing summer wasn’t ending is all…

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