15 Thoughts Every Parent Secretly Has About Back to School

Summer is full of late nights, cool treats, and hopefully some bonding time camping, glamping or just chilling in the yard with the kiddie pool. But even the most relaxed parent will admit there’s more than one reason we are looking forward to these lazy, hazy days of summer coming to an end. Here are a few of ours.

1. Two words: earlier bedtime

Now that the kids are actually asleep BEFORE 10 p.m. (8 if you’re lucky) you get a little me time. And by me time, we mean binge-watching all those abandoned shows in your Netflix queue.

photo: iStock

2. School lunches, baby.

For the first time in almost three months, someone else will be responsible for feeding your constantly hungry pack. If you’re the lunch maker in the house, take heart. After a summer of being eaten out of house and home, making a lunch per kid will seem like a treat. At least at first.

3. We can stop worrying about “summer slide” and “brain drain.”

And get back to worrying about our kids' homework! Oh, and enforcing those earlier bedtimes. 

4. We get the pool to ourselves.

What? It’s still hot out (Your pool looks just like this, right?). 

5. We get to do things uninterrupted without kids.

Not everything. But some things. Like not have to use your lunch break to shuttle kids from camp to sitter. Or getting in and out of the grocery store in less than 20 minutes (and not having to say “no” 25 times per child). Or actually reading a book in silence without having to lock yourself in the bathroom.

6. We get to hang out with other parent-friends at school drop off.

Because if you don’t actually get to talk to a grown-up person who isn’t explaining Minecraft or LOL Surprise dolls for hours on end, you just might forget how to speak in complete sentences.

7. And, conversely, you get to chill in the pick-up line.

You’ll have plenty of time to catch up on your social media feeds while waiting for the final bell to ring. Or maybe listen to your favorite NPR show or podcast. It’s okay to admit this is why we all get there 10 minutes early and sit in our cars. After all, we said hi and arranged playdates at drop-off.

photo: iStock

8. Speaking of which, playdate season is back!

Despite your best intentions, most of those end-of-the-year promises for epic playdates all summer long probably went unrealized. But now that you see your parent BFFs (and the kids see theirs) more often, it’s just easier to coordinate.

9. We get to return to our “regular” routines.

Nothing's better than getting back from vacation and restarting regular routines—and dressing appropriately for the appropriate task. And we’re not saying yoga pants aren’t appropriate for most of those. But if you want to wear pants with pockets, you go girl!

10. There’s a good reason to drink more coffee.

Early morning wake-up calls mean you don’t have to explain that second (or third or fifth) cup of coffee. To anyone (that includes yourself). 

11. The school bus reappears.

Like a golden beacon, the school bus arrives. If your kid takes the bus, heading back to the classroom means you won’t spend precious minutes going the opposite direction of your work each morning. Save that for the after-school activities.

12. Your kids start bathing again.

Missing the bath or shower was adorable when summer started. But you’re ready to see what your kid actually looks like under all the grime. And glitter. And paint.

13. You don't have to volunteer (yet).

Of course, you'll help out in the coming months (ahem), but because the year just started, you get to cut yourself some slack. No judgments.

14. We get to spend our daylight hours (or minutes) doing stuff that doesn't involve occupying a kid.

Yes, there’s housework and office work to be done. But, as we mentioned, you also get the pool to yourself, right?

15. We get to remind our kids how bored they said they were all summer.

Sorry, not sorry.

—Kipp Jarecke-Cheng with Gabby Cullen & Amber Guetebier
Memes created by Kipp Jarecke-Cheng


8 Ways to Make Homework Fun (Seriously!)

That First Day of School Is Full of Big Feelings for You & Your Kid

10 Ways to Help Your Kids Master the Morning Routine

Feature photo: iStock