It’s a strange time of year for both kids and parents alike. Sure, it is still summer, but back-to-school is looming and we are starting the feel the pressure. August 1st is the beginning of the month long downward spiral leading up to September aka the REAL New Year.
Shock and Denial: It always starts the same way. “August? It can’t be August already.” We deny the reality of the loss of our summer and for maybe a week, we refuse to accept reality.
Pain and Guilt: Once you move past the shock, it is quickly replaced by unbelievable pain. While this pain may feel almost unbearable, it is important to fully experience it. Let the BTS pain consume you and be sure to let your kids know it is okay for them to be sad, for a while.
Anger and Bargaining: Tantrums, out bursts and home schooling requests are all likely at this stage in the back-to-school process.
Depression: This is the point when those around you (especially those without kids) will think you should start to return to “normal”. Your kids will retreat to their rooms and you will retreat to a glass of good wine and possibly a Netflix binge. Embrace this time, it is all a part of the healing process.
The Upward Turn: This is the point when you realize life isn’t over, that back-to-school is a necessary evil that will ultimate result in an organized life with (dare we say it) a bit more you time.
Reconstruction and Working Through It: You start your back-to-school shopping, your kids decide on their first day outfits and they are getting excited to see their friends again. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and this year it is called September 2nd.
Acceptance and Hope: Backpacks are packed, lunches are made and the kids are out the door. You can finally take in the joy of the new school year, the happiness of seeing the kids embarking on what, for them, is their newest, exciting journey. Breathe deep and remember you have approximately 365 days until the back-to-school grieving process will start again.