Back to Stress


A mom getting her kids ready for school.The end of summer is bittersweet. Long, hot days spent building sand castles with our kids and daily trips to Starbucks for Pink Dragon Fruit Refreshers are sadly over. As the beaches and pools close for the season, we welcome fall once again – whether we like it or not.

When you think of Autumn, images of pumpkins, foliage, and cute Halloween décor may fill your mind. Regardless, fall gets mixed reviews. Some of us are already stocking up on cozy blankets and investing in faux pumpkins to adorn our homes. Some may have even switched from the refresher to the infamous PSL.

Others loathe the season (guilty as charged). The thought of hot and sunny mornings being replaced with chilly gray ones makes me want to hibernate until next summer. We reluctantly trade our flip-flops for footwear that crudely hides our pretty painted toes. Making the transition from warm to cold also affects my wardrobe, forcing me to say goodbye to my favorite denim cut-offs.

Nevertheless, fall rushes in, leaving us no choice but to roll with the punches. As we bid farewell to summer, we welcome the return of a new school year. For most parents, the idea of their kids finally sitting behind a desk instead of their gaming PCs and devices brings joy and pleasant thoughts of having an empty cushion on the couch.

Back to school not only reintroduces our kids to a healthy routine but also gives a sense of freedom to those who have endured a long season of stressful vacation planning and extra loads of laundry (consisting primarily of beach towels). It’s also nice to have the kids out of the house to do something productive.

As we all know, every situation has positives and negatives, and back to school is no exception. Preparing for a new school year can be very overwhelming for parents, especially those with more than one child. Parents thrive on routines, and although it’s nice not having to race the clock to make a school bus in the morning, the time has come to buckle down and get serious.

For example, learning the online portal is a job in itself. Yes, everything is stored in one hub, but there is so much information that it takes time to navigate through it all. It can most definitely be a challenge for anti-tech people or most grandparents. Whatever happened to paper and pencil? There are hardly any paper notices or reminders that go home in our kids’ backpacks, so unless we compulsively check the portal as often as we check Instagram, we won’t know what is happening.

Another big stressor associated with going back to school is the supply list. The list gets more and more detailed every year. Thank goodness for the premade kits that can be ordered before school starts! Times have changed since I was in school. Crayons, markers, and a few notebooks were all you needed, and you didn’t have to color-coordinate specific folders and subjects unless you wanted to. For the brave souls who choose to go old school with it, more power to you. I can only imagine the hours spent in a store, list in hand, searching for a protractor.

You will also install at least 3-5 apps on your phone to communicate and receive the same parent/teacher message from three different platforms. With technology at the forefront, a paper backup should still be in place. I’m all for saving the trees, but if my kid misses a doctor’s appointment due to a glitch in the system, that will be a problem because we all know how hard it is to schedule those appointments.

Ready or not, back to stress is here, and it’s only the beginning. My advice is to buckle up and be prepared for turbulence and delays. Stay ahead of the game because time waits for no one. Back to school can be enjoyable if you go with the flow and not swim against the current. Here’s to another year filled with good grades, good friends, and a fully charged device.