Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Back to School - The Keeping It Real Version

Today is the first day back for public schools in Ontario, and right across the province parents are rejoicing, or getting weepy, or feeling conflicted. I saw a cross-section of all reactions this morning at drop-off.  Me? I am in the rejoicing crowd. I LOVE having Boo home with me, I really do. But I also need to work, which has been difficult this summer. He's been mostly on electronics while I work, and that has given me time, but then I feel guilty that I'm not giving him enough attention or keeping him active enough. And when we do fun things I feel guilty that I am not working on my latest contract. Argh! But now I've handed him off to his teacher, and it's back to regular programming here in the home office.
Here he is this morning. He was pretty stoked, and actually woke up on his own before 7am, which he hasn't done since June. This will not last, I assure you. His first day outfit? The only new piece is the bow tie, because he specifically wanted to wear a tie on his first day. Shirt, shorts, shoes - all from last year. Backpack, lunch bag, water bottle, pencil case - all from last year. Actually, he wore these same shorts the first day back last year:

Full disclosure - I have done zero back to school shopping. Zero.

There are two reasons for this. The first being that I prefer to wait on purchasing supplies until the teacher tells me what he actually needs. We have been extra blessed so far, as JK-grade 3 required no purchased supplies; everything has been supplied by the school. I think that changes this year though. The second reason is that there was nothing wrong with the stuff he had last year. His backpack and lunch bag were in fine shape. His shoes still fit. He has plenty of clothes. Why shop?

I must admit I felt a little guilty when we bumped into a couple of his friends last week, and they were super excited that they'd gotten their new school sneakers already. I had a brief moment where I felt like a huge mom fail, but I got over it. Maybe their shoes were worn out, or maybe they'd grown out of them. Boo's are from the spring and were fine. I couldn't justify replacing them. I'm a practical sort of gal.

And then there is his lunch. School lunches can be a pain, especially when you have a picky kid who is also a slow eater who likes to talk. No matter what I pack for him, most of it usually comes home uneaten. But I still try to get a variety of healthy food groups covered. We use a bento box approach, but you will not see cute shapes and fancy combos here.

Again, in the spirit of full disclosure, and keeping the bar low for other moms too, here is his first day lunch. Tuna sandwich on white bread, grapes (uncut), Pringles, and a Kool-Aid Jammer. Go mom! I should also acknowledge the empty compartment in this lunch box. Just because there is a space, you do not need to fill it. Honest. There is enough (too much probably) food here already. I refuse to stress out about getting all the spaces filled and making things look pretty. I am sure my kid does not care.

None of this is meant to be a dig at those parents who do make fancy lunches, or who did spend tons of time shopping and prepping for back to school. I say, you do whatever works for you, and good on you. This happens to be what works for my family. I guess I strive to be the "good-enough-mom." And with so much of social media filled with images of the amazing and awesome and creative, I thought we could all use a little dose of the not-so-amazing :) See if I can help take the pressure off.

Oh, I should also note - breakfast this morning was a bowl of Lucky Charms.

Keeping it real, and keeping the bar low. That's my new motto :)

Happy Back to School!

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