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It’s a Woman Thing: Getting in the Back to School Swing of Things

I cannot believe it is that time of year again!  The summer has gone by way too fast! After the school year ends, we still have plenty to do with travel lacrosse tournaments for my daughters and travel baseball tournaments for my son!  We really do not slow down until July and now it is already three weeks from the beginning of school!  I feel like I am just settling into the pace of the summer routine, which means I get up in the morning and only have to be responsible for myself and the dog!

In just a short time, the “rat race” will begin, and this year the school start time has changed as a result of adding an additional school within the district. This means 20 minutes will be cut off our routine in the morning. OUCH! That is going to hurt.  What it also means is that my kids are going to have to step-up their game!  We have had the conversation many times thus far about how pivotal 8th grade is. I tell them that this is their last chance to really get it right. Study habits, organization, sleep habits, etc. Next year, it all counts toward that forever important GPA.  They already know the expectation that college is in their future so good grades are absolutely required.

Streamline the Routine

The morning routine is going to have to be more streamlined; I already get up 30-45 minutes earlier than they do on school days just to walk the dog and pack the lunches! With the loss of 20 minutes this year, I have put out the edict that if they want a packed lunch, they are more than capable of doing it themselves. And thus, the expectation is that they can pack the night before or the day of!  Also, I think that they are capable of waking up to their own alarms! One reason I love that they have a cell phone!

Getting ready for back to school has morphed over the years.  No more cute folders, equally cute lunch boxes, cute clothes from Heart Strings, or pencil boxes.  Now it is Roxy back packs, Vera Bradley lunch boxes, Abercrombie and Fitch, Quiet Storm, Nike, and Sierra Moon!  And, in addition, it’s not cool to get your supplies at Walmart anymore; we have to go to Staples!  It’s a challenge to get it all done!  Over the last few years, I divide and conquer. No way can I take three kids at the same time!  So, I usually try to either get the girls together as their tastes are more similar, add in a nice lunch or Starbucks visit and then I take my son another day. He loves to shop and enjoys the 1:1 time with me.  We also will also do lunch at Chipotle – his favorite.

I am so blessed that my children have generous grandparents who love to contribute!  There was a time when they were younger and their grandmother and their Godmother would take them school shopping but once their tastes and preferences were more individual, that became a more challenging task!  Now they like to give them money! This year, the kids want to go shopping on their own. They asked last night if I would just drop them off at the outlets (insert surprised emoji!!)  I actually think that is a great idea!  They are exercising some independence which I believe is good for them; I do not need to micro-manage their purchases.

Pray They Do Their Best

We received the school schedules in the mail the other day! It is really entertaining to watch how this unfolds! Immediately they are on their phones texting friends, snap-chatting the schedules, who’s in what class, who is on A side or B side!  It’s crazy!  There was some frustration with my one daughter who wanted me to call the school and change her homeroom!  I told her to call!  I reminded them that when I was in school you didn’t know whose class you were in until you arrived and looked for your name on the front door of the school!  We have consciously separated the triplets since kindergarten as they are so different from one another and we wanted them to not compete with each other in class.  I was shocked when for the first time my one daughter, in her request to get her homeroom changed, asked to be placed with her sister!  WOW.

So, it’s time, the start of the school year is around the corner, we’ve shopped, done the open house, met the teachers, bought the supplies, bought some new clothes, figured out which friends are where: A side or B side, sports physicals done, hoping to go to the beach one last time, started hockey try outs, etc… and I’m ok with it all!

I pray that they go to bed on time, wake up on time, get out the door on time, and thrive! It is a parent’s privilege to watch them grow, encourage them to do their best, teach them not to sweat the small stuff, and be a witness to their lives.

In the meantime, I will keep breathing, enjoy the last bits of summer and wake up on September 5th to the dawn of a new school year and hopefully a smooth morning routine!


Bridget Buckaloo

Bridget Buckaloo

Bridget Buckaloo, MSN, is Executive Director of Women's Health Services at Beebe Healthcare.