Honesty is the best policy—unless you’re trying to comfort yourself amidst the madness of back-to-school. Moms are the worst offenders because we’ll assure ourselves of pretty much anything in order to check something off of our To Do Lists. We are the planet’s biggest optimists until the first day of school is actually happening, because that is when the web of lies to ourselves comes crashing down, burying us with new problems to solve.
Here are some of the lies we tell ourselves, along with the truth bombs that follow (you know, if you’re into facing reality and stuff like that). Happy first day back!
LIE: The kids have been waking up early all summer long, so they’ll absolutely have no problem being on time the first day.
REALITY: Have we not met any kids before? School-aged children only get up early on their own accord when they don’t need to. Those are the rules. Time to invest in the loudest, most obnoxious alarm clocks created!
LIE: I’ll get all the back-to-school shopping done from the school list in one fell swoop.
REALITY: Or each teacher will say, “Just kidding!” about the items on the general list posted on the school’s website, making sure to hand your kid a new and more accurate list of supplies they needed yesterday. (This is why no receipt should ever, ever get thrown away.)
LIE: The chalkboard and chalk are exactly where they should be, so taking the First Day photo will only take a minute, tops.
REALITY: The chalkboard and chalk are nowhere to be found, so the First Day photo will be a blurry one taken while everyone’s shrugging on their overloaded backpacks on the way out the door.
LIE: It’s still cool; she can totally use the same backpack as last year.
REALITY: Or not, because it takes precisely one class period for your kid to discover that retro popsicles were SO LAST YEAR, and this year it’s rainbow glitter unicorns or bust. DUH, MOM.
LIE: The principal did a stellar job sending out a map and clear instructions on how drop-off and pick-up will go. There is no way parents and carpools will screw it up this year.
REALITY: Within two minutes of approaching the line, you’ll see at least one car going the wrong way, get honked at, and mutter terrible things about a fellow parent’s driving skills under your breath.
LIE: I can wait a little longer before getting my kid a smartphone.
REALITY: The teachers will send assignments and homework reminders via one app, expect research to be done in class with another, and your kid’s sports team and extracurricular activity club will manage practices, meets, and events through two others. Good luck making all of that happen on a grandma-friendly flip phone.
LIE: My kid will fit into her spring coat this fall. She’ll be fine until the winter chill hits.
REALITY: False. We turned our backs and the summer sunshine made all youths grow 4″ taller, so their coats will look like they belong on a Barbie doll.
LIE: We did the morning routine 180 times last year, so there’s no way they can’t get this right.
REALITY: LOL no. That’s not how this works.
LIE: New year, new you! We’re so not going to raise our voices in the morning. We’re going to be calm, safe places full of positivity and encouragement.
REALITY: Pretty sure that growling, “For the love of cheese and crackers how did you already lose the brand new sneakers we left by the door LAST NIGHT?” as your kid tears up the place in their socks hunting for footwear is neither calm nor positive.
LIE: We’re thrilled that our kids are getting older, more independent. We’re going to be nothing but happy to see them off on their first day of the next grade up. Birds are supposed to leave the nest, right?
REALITY: Showers are now for crying over how big our babies are getting. Computers are now for looking at old baby pictures and wondering where the heck the time has gone. It will take a minimum of one full school day to get our emotions under control. (And that’s 100% okay.)