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Tuesday is Back to School for Moms, Too

Life in the Mom Lane columnist Christine MacKenzie explains how she gets back into the routine of the new school year.

Well, here we are again.

Another summer is winding down and another fall is almost underway. It's allmost time to replace trips to the beach with afternoons at the farm and switch from ice cream to apple cider for a treat.

Most of all, in a mom’s world, the end of summertime means its time for the kids to go back to school. For some moms it’s the happiest time of the year and for others, like me, back to school is more of a bittersweet ending to my favorite season. I guess it all depends on just how you look at it.

Love it or hate it, however, back to school means adjusting to a new schedule, a new routine and a lot of different responsibilities. As a mom you aren’t actually going back to school yourself but, frankly, it really does feel like you are sometimes.

I can’t lie. I am absolutely, positively, dreading the . I’m not dreading it because I have to get on it. I am, however, dreading it because it comes at 6:40 a.m. I’m dreading it because making sure my son is on it is a very difficult task.

I’m not a morning person. I get up early, I leave for the gym early, I manage to function early but I simply don’t communicate early. Truth be told I’m very happy to not utter a single word or crack a smile until I’ve had coffee; lots and lots of coffee. The only thing that truly saves those around me in the early morning is a coffee pot with a timer.   

That being said, my son is no better. As a matter of fact he is worse. He doesn’t wake up happy, he doesn’t move quickly and he doesn’t function well at all. Not a good mother/son combination before the sun comes up. Somehow, however, we get through it and, in a few weeks, it will all seem routine. For now though, I can barely stand to think about how it’s going to go.

Homework, on the other hand, never gets any easier. I’ll admit it I am in no way, shape or form smarter than a seventh grader. As a matter of fact when it comes to certain subjects I’m convinced that I’m still functioning around grade three. Nothing, but nothing, strikes fear in my heart quite as much as one simple sentence; “Mom, I need help with math!”

I was an English major in college. Today I am a freelance writer. Math is, and has always been, a mystery to me. I am embarrassed to admit it but I can’t even tip a waitress without using the calculator on my cell phone. Math homework truly frightens me.

A dear friend who, like me, isn’t exactly a math protégé herself gave me a book a few years ago entitled “Painless Algebra” in hopes of helping me through homework. Yes, it helps but, no, it doesn’t exactly make it painless! Each and every one of us moms has things we excel at.  Unfortunately we also have things we just plain do not do well!

As school begins and the lazy days of summer end its easy to feel a bit overwhelmed. In addition to bus routes and homework us moms find ourselves juggling sports, after school activities and, of course, homework. 

Is it easy?  Of course not. Is it possible? Well, one thing that all moms know is that anything is possible. Whether we look forward to back to school or not we moms have a funny way of figuring it all out and making it work no matter what!

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