Not excited about going back to school? Newsflash, kids: NEITHER ARE WE. The lunches, the PTO meetings, the projects, the sports schedules, the annoyingly perfect moms who have the school supplies ready and labeled on day one—puh-lease. Sure it’s nice to have a few kid-free hours to do all the glamorous things we moms do, like grocery shop and fold laundry. But is the tradeoff really worth it? As our children are whining and complaining about having to go back to school, let’s just remember who is truly suffering here.

The Lunches. No, we didn’t spend the summer skipping an entire meal for our children, but there’s something about having to plan it out, make sure it’s somewhat healthy (you know those teachers are judging), and pack it hours before it is going to be consumed (or, let’s be honest, brought right back home) that is just dreadful. The only thing worse is the snacks. Since when have kids become incapable of going three hours without eating? The amount of food my children carry to school each day could feed a small country. They may as well keep mini fridges next to their desks that parents can keep stocked. In fact, I won’t be surprised if that’s the next PTO fundraiser.

The Alarms. My mom always told me never to wake a sleeping baby. We would tip toe around for hours, shut off all TVs, hyperventilate if the doorbell rang, I mean breathing itself became optional just so our precious little angels would sleep. Now, suddenly, we have to wake blissfully quiet children on purpose…Every. Single. Day. There are so many levels of wrong in this concept. I propose a rolling schedule for school—when your REM cycle has adequately finished, and you wake up happily and on your own, off you go.

The Bus Stop. Not only do the children have to be up and dressed with their hair brushed, but SO DO I! After dragging my children from bed, reminding them 19 times to brush their teeth, pack their back packs and get their shoes on (apparently this is an extremely complex concept), now I have to go have a competition with eight other parents about who had the hardest time getting Sally to the bus stop this morning. How about I just stay in bed, and you win?

The Schedules. In college, life was so easy—when you had a class, it wasn’t even humanly possible to schedule another at the same time. It was one neat little class at a time with 15 carefree minutes to meander from one classroom to another. Yet another way college tricked you into thinking you were prepared for life. If they would have offered all required classes at the exact same time, on the opposite sides of campus it would have given a more accurate feel for parenthood. No calendar or vehicle exists to make all of your children’s extra curricular activities humanly possible, so here’s to another year of forgetting a kid on a field!

Laurie Larsh

Laurie Larsh is a freelance writer & travel blogger. She has paraglided in the Swiss Alps, hiked a glacier in Norway and jumped off a 1,400-year-old Italian bridge--none of which have prepared her for parenting tweens. Check out her travel insights for adults and kids at