Back to School, Back to Work, Back to You
A Note from the Editor
By Jordan Sapir
The month of September is known for school supply shopping, the beginning of the school year and a fresh start for children. Focusing on getting the kids on track is common amongst families this time of year, but what about all of the changes that come into play for mothers? Getting the kids prepared for the start of a new school or a continuation also leads to new beginnings for moms. Whether your kids are school-aged or not, moms shift focus from lazy summer days, late mornings and leisurely nights to planning, organizing and scheduling.
It’s never easy to convince the kids of any type of change but let’s not forget that mothers also struggle with change. How does mom deal with letting go, but also with organizing, with activity laden days and early bedtime routines?
Behind every ‘First Day of School’ sign and Schultüte is a mom who may be struggling with the idea of entrusting her children to be cared for by another adult, a mother who has so many tasks to accomplish that she can’t see an end or beginning, a mother who is whizzing through the motions, forgetting to cherish the moments. A mom with a newborn who is dreading leaving her child in someone else’s care, a mother who will start working in the fall and balancing a career and family. We all need just a little extra support during this momental season. But how can we stay organized, taxi kids and nourish our own emotions: with the help of our community.
This month on Über Moms Facebook page, I’ve been discussing a 30 day at Home with Mom Challenge. I have planned out a different theme for each week until the first day of school for my kids. We have re-lived our holiday in Greece with a Staycation. We’ve made a photo album, cooked Greek food, watched Greek dancers, listened to Greek music and made frames from the shells we collected on the Mediterranean sandy beaches. This week has been all about Bugs, Berries and Blumen. We ordered caterpillars, visited the florist, planted seeds, searched for bugs, made spider pizza and caterpillar fruit kabobs, and learned more about bugs than I’ve ever wished to learn. We have been reading so many books about the subjects. I’ve learned a lot about myself, as well as the fact that jellyfish don’t have blood, a spine, a heart or a brain, and mommy turtles lay their eggs on the shore and never look back. My kids found this difficult to understand. So did I. Does she plan on meeting them later, tracking them by their scent; will she protect them from danger, or does she just trust in the fact that their genes and instincts that she has provided will protect them and keep them safe; will she miss them?
This mama turtle has also had a realization–I’ll have to let go. I don’t have to leave the shore and never return, but I do have to let them swim on their own. I’ve given them the tools that they need to go out there in social environments, but I have to let go and trust in nature.
After searching for a full year, I was finally able to find childcare for both children. The majority of the time spent at home with my kids was doing chores, running errands and scheduled playdates and activities. In a country where sending kids to childcare at the age of one is common, it’s been a challenge to find other children in a similar situation. I went from looking for childcare as a part time job to finding suitable childcare and having the epiphany that both my children will be gone at the same time and I’ll have an empty house. The thought saddens me. They are so young and will most likely forget the times we’ve shared together at home. I have a two and a four year old, and my youngest won’t have a play pal during the day. I got a touch of her sadness when my oldest went for a week to summer camp. Everyday, her dad took her on his way to work. Every day my youngest cried for lengthy amounts of time, screaming, “Papa no go. Sister no go. Me bye bye. No mommy home. Me bye bye.” That’s when it hit me. This isn’t only going to be a difficult transition for me. This will be challenging for my daughters as well. My oldest feels guilty for leaving her sister, but is clearly excited to start kindergarten. She asks me every night about what will happen there and if the children will be nice. “Will they play with me? Do you know their names? Where are they from? Do they like dinosaurs? Can we go to the playground?” and the inevitable, “What will you and Sissy do while I’m gone?”
We’re all at a crossroads.
It’s a new chapter not just for those going back to school, but for those staying home, those of us who are going back to work and those of us who are realizing for the very first time as mothers that we will harvest the first fruit of our labor. When you see that little rosy-cheeked head turn to wave goodbye, take a second to relish the moment. Take a deep breath in and look around you, jot it down in your memory, because mom, from here on out, this isn’t only a first: this is also a last. The last first day of school this year, the last day at home for siblings and new beginnings for moms.
Join us this month as Über Moms discuss “Back to School, Back to Work, Back to You.”
Jordan Sapir, mother of two glitter-laden girls, 2 and 4, studied Journalism and International Political Science in NYC, a place she once called home. She can slaughter five languages fluently. She has worked in a newsroom or two, walked a catwalk or three, and is all for an impromptu adventure. Having traded in her Prada for pretzels, the founder of Über Moms lives in Munich, where she is a stay at home mom has recently become a triathlete and studying to become a certified nutritionist. She is a mommy on a mission and wants to help fellow mothers raise healthy happy families, and beat a PR here and there.PAGE_BREAK: PageBreak