Dear Moms: It's Time to Get Real About Your Back to School Plans

mom sending daughter on school bus
This is it -- the year you're finally going to be 100 percent prepared for the kids' first day back to school. The last two or three years were almost like dress rehearsals. Now you're ready -- and it's going to be ridiculously easy.


For one thing, you're absolutely not going to wait until the night before school starts to sit down with the kids to do summer homework assignments -- only to realize you were supposed to take out three library books and you don't have nearly enough coffee in the house to get through the math portion. This time, you're starting two weeks in advance. Okay, at least two days.

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And this year, you're going to spend an hour deleting 9,000 photos and videos from your phone so you can take as many photos as you need to on the first morning, without having to delete a slew from Christmas 2013 in between each one.

And you're definitely, totally going to copy last year's emergency forms so you won't have to look up the addresses, cell phone numbers, and email addresses of each relative and doctor again. Just as soon as you remember where you put them. They're probably filed with the 2016 tax returns. Or among all the artwork the kids brought home last year. Or in a drawer with all the old baby shoes. (Why are you keeping those, anyway?)

This year, you're going to make good on that plan to lay out their clothes the night before, so you don't realize 10 minutes before the bus comes that all their undies are in the wash. (Lucky their bathing suits are clean. Hey, it's only one day!)

As for breakfast, you're going to take time to prepare eggs, pancakes, hash browns, milk, juice, and sliced fruit ... as long as you get up on time, and they get up on time, and you clean the dishes you didn't get to last night because you insisted on everyone going to bed early. Okay, a quick Eggo in the microwave won't hurt.

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For this school year, you're going back to insisting on baths or showers every single night, for all three kids. Except maybe on Fridays. And on days it rains. And in months with R's.

And this year you're going to do homework with them for an hour each night, even if they don't get any.

And, well, even if you can't do all those other things, you're finally going to adjust your schedule so you can "enjoy them while they're young" like everyone says -- just as soon as you take the dog for his shots, exchange all the summer clothes for fall clothes, get that urine smell out of the little mat next to the toilet, and figure out the logistics of picking up the kids at two different schools (and piano lessons).

But most importantly, this will be the year you try your best to realize that you are, well, trying your best, and maybe give yourself a break (and by "break" we mean "deep tissue massage").

Wait, one more thing -- this is the year you're definitely NOT going to show up on the wrong day because you glanced quickly at the calendar and thought the teacher in-service day was the first day of school.

Hypothetically speaking, of course.

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