4 Mom Friends Stage Back-to-School Photos That Capture the Joy This Time of Year

Moms hold up their
Wee Winks Photography

There's no one -- literally no one -- who finds the first day of school more thrilling than a mom. It's her Christmas come early; the day she waits for all summer long with wild anticipation. And when it finally arrives, there's nothing that'll steal her joy. No one knows this better than Bridget Brown, Shawna Genua, Jennifer Patterson, and Robyn Kelly -- four mom friends from Minneola, Florida, who recently staged a hilariously cheerful back-to-school photo shoot that's going viral on Facebook. And once you lay eyes on it, you'll immediately see why.

  • All four women met relatively recently, but became thick as thieves pretty fast.

    They live in a new community development in Minneola, where they each just closed on their homes about six months ago. According to Shawna, they met during the building process, while checking in on the progress of their homes, and just kind of clicked.

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  • Together, the friends have a whopping 18 kids between them (whoa), who range in age from 3 to 36.

    Bridget has eight, Jennifer has six, Shawna has three, and Robyn has one. So it's safe to say, they all had a busy (and tiring) summer, especially since all of the women are working moms, too. It probably comes as no surprise then that they were counting down the days until school started.

    "As much as we love having the kids home for the summer, going on outings, to the beach, parks etc. It does feel good to have a little Mommy time," says Shawna, who owns Wee Winks Photography. "Time to ourselves [and] time to relax and get things done around the house."

    Emphasis on the getting things done part.

    "Its definitely not just time so sit home and relax," she notes. "But also planning for school functions, sports, appointments, getting back into a strict routine and so much more."

    While she admits it's tiring in its own way, getting that little bit of free time in between work and kids and errands does really help.

  • It was with all this is in mind that the idea for the back-to-school photo shoot came to be in the first place.

    Being a photographer, Shawna says she thought it would be hilarious to put a "fun spin" on traditional back-to-school photos (you know, the ones involving the kids) by wrangling the moms together for their own.

    And so, she fired off a text after dinner the night before school, and the idea for the photo shoot came together.

    "We met in Bridget's driveway," she tells CafeMom. "[Then] we ran into the house to grab something that looked like wine, grabbed the chairs and wine glasses ... We filled the glasses with fruit punch and headed outside."

  • Right there in Bridget's driveway, while sitting on lawn chairs beside a chalkboard sign to kick off the school year, the moms unleashed their joy.

    The results of their brief, but truly memorable photo shoot are now going viral, after being shared on Love What Matters, where other parents are sharing their own excitement over back to school.

    "Every year my neighbor and I would have a glass of wine to celebrate the first day of school!" wrote one mom.

    "Every year my husband and I take the day off and go out to breakfast to celebrate the first day of school," wrote another. "It has quickly become one of our most celebrated holidays."

    "These are the back to school pics I’m interested in seeing!" another person commented.

    But these aren't the only mamas who've documented their back-to-school joy this year and found themselves going viral. Lisa DiNoto also went viral after she made a solo trip to Disney World in honor of her kids' first day of school, and blogged about it on The Castle Run.

  • But despite all of the giddiness that comes when sending the kids back to school, Shawna admits it's also a stressful time.

    "We wonder how they are, if they are nervous, if they are making friends and of course we miss them!" she tells CafeMom. "You get used to them being under foot all summer. Reminding you when they are hungry, which seems like always, and telling you when they are bored! But the first day back is usually the most stressful."

    Still, just like all new transitions, they ultimately work themselves out in time.

    "We need to remind ourselves that they are fine, and usually adjust pretty quickly," she adds.

    That they do. (Though maybe not as quickly as Mom does.)