• Wed. Sep 28th, 2022

Real Life Mama: Just a sample of things to come

ByRandall B. Phelps

Sep 3, 2022

I’ve always found it so odd that we’d go back to school the week before Labor Day, try to get back into a routine, and then immediately get a three-day weekend. Like, what’s the point? Start right after Labor Day!

But guys, I don’t know if there was as much going on at work as back-to-school, but this year I finally got it. After rushing to do all the things to get ready for day one, not only am I looking forward to this long weekend, but I need it!

Phew. I guess I forgot how crazy this week can be. I mean, I had like three months to prepare everything – but, let’s be honest, this is me we’re talking about and hey, do I work better under pressure? Yeah, we’re going with that.

But for real, who needs 48 pencils? Look, I’ve met school-aged babies when it was common to label EVERY… SINGLE… ONE with an encouraging phrase. Well, I can’t not do at least what I did the year before. But two children multiplied by 48 pencils – you’re out of words! This year, at least, I enlisted help from my family — especially my mom and sister — to get them tagged. But, phew, what a job!

And, can we go back to Open House in the evening – when we all go at the same time – and it’s a cluster, but we drop off the school supplies and leave? Yes, I want to do all these applications online – but just send me a paper. I don’t need to take a course on how we connect. Ha! But again, I’m sure if I don’t I’ll message you in about 2 weeks asking for help!

So, of course, the middle of a Monday morning would be the perfect time to go – it’s definitely not my busiest time at work. I love coming back from a weekend feeling behind. Just juggling all the hats I’m wearing here. But, let’s be honest, I’ll choose these baby girls every time.

And on the eve of the big day, we have to lay out the clothes, read our favorite books (highly recommend “The Kissing Hand” by Audrey Penn), say our prayers, talk about our anxieties about starting a new year, completely miss my goal of bedtime, cuddles, fighting sleep – you know, normal.

At this time, a mom is exhausted. Everything is ready – I don’t know if I’m more excited for the first day to be here or to be finished! I’m almost there, mom, you get it.

Then the morning arrives – much earlier than expected – but with a little more pep in the process because it’s the first day. Or, for Reagan, an impromptu dance that definitely brings all the energy, and I try to soak it all up, not half annoyed that the bus is 15 minutes late (which I’ve known for years because we crazy moms need all the pictures) but also, I have to get to work!

Eventually, they get on that bus. And I’m telling you, after that, everything that was ever dangerous in school crossed my mind, and I wanted to chase the bus and rip them off. Once I suppressed all those thoughts, I moved on to sadness – those girls left – another year. And I just wanted to cry. Where are my babies? How did it happen so fast?

Anxiously, I waited all day to hear about their first date. They said how fabulous it was – they kept saying how much they loved it and then… Reagan hit his peak of fatigue. And she decided she didn’t want to go back the next day.

Uh, wait, what? You’ve been waiting for it, you loved it, and now this? She wanted to stay home with mom – which totally broke my heart, but baby, I’ve been working your whole life – that wasn’t even a thing.

And when I thought I got over the anger to get them back to school, I didn’t. Lots of hugs, pep talks, reminding her that mom works to support her and her sister, and that she can and should choose her attitude about it; the first night of back to school went, well, we’ll call it, great.

So yes, thank you the school system for sending us away before a three-day weekend. Because the good Lord knows that my children and I – we will need this extended time to refresh and replenish ourselves before diving deep into this school year.

But no matter what, we will get there, because we always do.

Sarah (Pitson) Shrader was born and raised in Lima. She is Catholic from Lima Central and graduated from Tiffin University. Sarah is a full-time working mom who enjoys writing about her somewhat crazy and always adventurous life as a mother. She lives in Bath Township with her daughters and writing inspirations, Maylie and Reagan.