Back to School with Baby
You may be expecting an article all about how to successfully navigate going back to school with a baby in tow, but what this post is all about is actually getting your children ready to go back to school …
When you've just had a baby.
For those of you mothers out there, who, like me, have a baby due and older children starting school at the same time, September is looking like a pretty rough month indeed.
And while I've had my share of panic attacks, stress burnouts, and, yes, even a few tears, I am here bringing the message that we can do this.
I could give you a practical list of how exactly you (and I) can accomplish this monumental feat—stuff like book a babysitter to come for a few hours a week to help you with the school runs, buy a good baby carrier, learn to love online shopping, stock up on freezer meals, and implement an all-kids-help-with-laundry rule—but the truth is, at this point, I'm throwing all my advice out the window.
Because really, there's only one thing that we can do at this point:
Let go of any and all expectations.
I admit that this is going to be ridiculously hard for me. I live for routine; I thrive on my organized schedules and to-do lists and knowing what is coming with a baby is incredibly hard for me to wrap my mind around. The complete lack of any routine at all makes me anxious just thinking about it. Throw breastfeeding in the mix, and I just can't imagine how I will get anything done, let alone work, exercise, or get some sort of dinner on the table.
But I've come to a place of strange peacefulness about it.
Because no matter how much running around and scrambling to get things ready I can do in the next four days, nothing will make me completely ready for life with four kids 6 and under at the start of back-to-school season. All I can do is be OK with what is to come and learn to take the good with the bad.
Be OK with clothes that don't fit for now.
Be OK with haphazard ponytails by a well-meaning husband.
Be OK with taking on a little less.
Be OK with spending more on take-out dinners, because it won't last forever.
Be OK with whole days spent feeding a baby on the couch.
Be OK with doing nothing but watching for baby smiles.
Be OK with not being “Classroom Mom of The Year.”
Be OK with recycled school supplies and maybe not a pair of brand-new everything right now.
Because it will really be OK.
And in fact, it will be better than OK.
Because we will have our baby.
And that's all that matters.
Are you due in the back to school season? How do you plan on coping?