Inspired by my friend Erin, a new family tradition has emerged: The Back to School Party.
For us, it is a simple affair. I scavenge my home for rogue party decorations, put out a pretty tablecloth, cut some flowers from the garden, and…most importantly, BREAKFAST FOR DINNER.
Erin has a much more elaborate party, and chooses a word for the year for the family to focus on…such a great idea. (You can see her fantastic parties here and here.) I might adopt that in a few years when the kids are a little older. Assuming I remember in advance.
But for me, my goal is a simple tribute to the end of summer, and the beginning of a school year. A shift in focus. A change in priorities.
For us, it’s especially important to have the entire family make that mental transition since we do a hybrid homeschool. The lazy days of doing whatever, playing in the kiddie pool, and riding bikes are mostly over. Sure, there’s still plenty of time for play…but we have work to get done now too. We have places to be. Schedules to keep. Routines to maintain.
In a lot of ways, I think that the night before back to school is more important than New Year’s eve. And frankly, it’s almost more for ME than it is for the kids.
Going back to school can be a time of anxiety and stress…especially for moms. The list of supplies that must be bought is miles long…and the emails!…oh the emails!…that start pouring in. Enough to make me lose. my. mind.
And then you realize that the kids need some new clothes…you suddenly remember that Henry left his lunch bag with a banana in your car at the end of last year and it was so foul, you literally just threw it away…which means, he needs a new one…and don’t forget the paperwork and registration and I DON’T EVEN KNOW. It’s just a lot. (Btw, I don’t remember my parents running around like chickens with their heads cut off like this. Is this new or did I just not notice?)
You would think that with the never ending list of things to do, adding a “party” is the last thing you would want to do.
But it’s really perfect.
You can go as fancy and Pinterest worthy as you want, or you can just use whatever you might already have. Maybe you don’t have a drawer of party decorations to pull from (doesn’t everyone?!)…light a couple of candles and cook your family’s favorite comfort food. My family loves breakfast for dinner…even more than breakfast for breakfast. On last night’s menu: french toast, scrambled eggs, sausage and hash browns. Easy, quick, belly filling and smile producing.
If the idea of a Back to School Party appeals to you, don’t allow it to become another stressor. If you want to go all out and plan in advance with a set theme and a fancy menu, go for it! But if you know that’s just going to add to your Crazy, keep it simple. It isn’t about pulling out all the stops so much as it is about marking the end of summer and the beginning of school. Maybe that’s popcorn and family movie night. Or a special dessert. It really can be anything.
I literally started “decorating” at 5:00 last night. I was done by 5:18.
This picture cracks me up.
I cannot tell you how many meals this child eats with his helmet on. I love that this is one of the ways I will remember his childhood. So busy riding some wheeled thing or another, he doesn’t even realize he’s still wearing his helmet.
It turns out that I’m not the only parent in America trying to keep the stress of back to school at bay:
• According to a recent survey by the makers of Excedrin®, more than one-third of parents* cite
getting themselves (41%) and their children (43%) back on a schedule at the top of the list of
things that might cause their headaches during the back to school season.
• In addition, more than one-third (35%) of parents* say shopping for school supplies might give
them a headache. With all the pencils, folders and notebooks, parents should remember to put
Excedrin® on their back to school shopping list.
• 85% think their schools are in need of new or upgraded supplies such as pencils and paper and computers
or software and gym/sporting equipment. And that’s because with every purchase of Excedrin®,
parents can enter for a chance to win $10,000 for their child’s school.
Did you catch that sweepstakes wording?
Enter to win on of five $10,000 donations to a school of your choice HERE. (Sweepstakes ends September 2 so hurry!)
*Disclosure: I am a paid Excedrin® Migraine blog ambassador. Compensation has been provided by Novartis Consumer Health, Inc., the makers of Excedrin® Migraine; my journey for a migraine-free experience is my own.