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Back to School Blues

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Image credit: photo by Artur Nasyrov on Unsplash.

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People should be free to find or make for themselves the kinds of educational experiences they want their children to have.

John Holt.

Initially we might think this statement is coming from our children or from teachers who have had the summer off—No. This thought or statement is a frequent one that’s coming from parents.

Suddenly we’re back focusing on our children’s schedule, their homework, their sports practices, their school events, and teacher / parent conferences. The list seems to be never-ending after the more leisurely days of summer break.

Our Busy Lives Become Even Busier

In the summer, we often have the ability to be more flexible with our time. We are able to create and maintain more of a balance in our life between:

  • Parent and child connections.
  • Couple connections.
  • Focusing on ourselves and our own needs.

Now that school has resumed here we are again using a good part of our time, energy, and attention on what our children need and often pushing our own needs aside. Of course, for our children, having them in the focus of our world may feel good and nurturing for them. Isn’t that what we’re supposed to feel as parents, too? 

…Yet What About Us?

So many parents may think this, but many don’t have the courage to verbalize this thought. We are often uncomfortable talking with others about the desire to fulfill our own needs and have our own time for fear of what other parents might think or how they might judge us. 

Back-to-school time is tough not just for kids, but for parents too. Some moms and dads get so caught up dealing with their children’s lives — from helping with homework to fears of bullying —that they have little time, energy or attention to deal with their own problems.

JJudy Kuriansky, Ph.D. Clinical Psychologist.

Will They Judge Me? 

We might fear that verbalizing these personal thoughts may make others think poorly of us as parents and think:

  • We’re selfish.
  • That there’s something wrong with us.
  • That we’re bad parents.

Some may have feelings of unhappiness about missing some of their time with their partner or the loss of some of the “me time” they’ve just started to enjoy over the summer. But somehow it does not feel emotionally safe to talk about this because of concerns about how other parents may perceive our feelings. 

Have You Noticed a Change in Your Emotions?

Yet somehow some parents may not even have the thought about ‘oh no we’re back to school’ and feel as if they’ve made a seamless transition from summer break to back to school. Although sometimes ignoring this transition, in an effort to do it all, may manifest itself in other subtle ways.

Discover more tips on adjusting to the stress of back to school, in my complete article

My wish for you today is that you are able to recognize that it’s okay to step back and take a little time for yourself, and that doing so might improve your emotional health. 

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