Hey, mama…going back to school doesn’t have to be a Pinterest-worthy experience

July 20, 2015

Written By

Tabitha Dumas

I just wrote this out between finishing cleaning up the kitchen and collapsing into bed (eek, I better set all of my usual school-day alarms!!) for my Facebook page then realized it would make a great blog post! Here’s my message (I’m preaching to myself, too, of course)…

going back to school doesn’t have to be a Pinterest-worthy experience.

Here’s my story.

I’m just keeping it real here. We ARE ready for going back to school.

I kept a check-list going (you can download it for FREE right here: Back to School check list from TabithaDumas); did an inventory of the boys’ socks, underwear and clothes; went to “meet the teacher night” last week; shopped for what we needed; planned our meals for the week; bought groceries and even baked oatmeal cookies. We even prayed with the boys before they went to bed. Oh yes we did. We were ON IT.

{read the full scoop on my blog post: Back to School for Moms}

But things aren’t always what they seem. 

Here are a few things to know:

I’ve learned from doing it WRONG for several years.

I had to figure out what worked for me and for them. I’ve procrastinated or forgotten things in years past. Now I know better.

Even with all that planning and hard work, it’s still not picture-perfect.

There is still cereal stuck to the dining room table that just wouldn’t come off. My office is a wreck because I’ve stashed stuff in there and haven’t had time to clean up.

Oh, and it’s been too long since I’ve bathed (“Ain’t nobody got time for that!”).

Soooo…here are my thoughts.

Every year, it gets better. And even with all I’m doing right, I’m still not covering all my bases.

The mom on the first day of school, wearing the cute outfit, standing in her immaculate house with her well-dressed children holding their lunch boxes that match their back packs (and probably a hand-lettered chalkboard sign that says, “First day of 2nd grade” on it)…it’s a myth.

Pick one or two of those and focus on THAT.

The kids can be adorable, so much so that Grandma asks for an 8×10 of their First Day of School picture to frame. And you can take them to school in your yoga pants with your hair in a ponytail. It’s OK.

You can pack them a lunch that includes fruit that looks like Legos and a face made out of olives on their sandwich. And you can leave your kitchen a disaster while you take your toddler to the park.

We mamas have to choose our battles and sometimes that means giving up on every moment being Pinterest (or even photo)-worthy.

My boys have one new “big” item each–we’re reusing one backpack and one lunch box. Their shirts and shoes are new but their shorts aren’t. I’ll get dressed to take them to school, yes, but it won’t be anything I’ll post about on Instagram.

And when I do snap a photo of them before they leave, please ignore the errant Hero Factory leg on the floor, the hand prints on the windows and the dust on the baseboards. I caught up on the dishes and did a quick sweep tonight and that’s good enough.

Hey, mama? You’re amazing. Don’t get overwhelmed with creating a picture-perfect “back-to-school experience” for your kids. A few thoughtful touches are all you need. And if you can’t even get it together enough for that, that’s OK, too.

Being there to hear all about their day when they get home will mean more than all the elaborate lunch box creations in the world.

And maybe after you drop them off, you can get together with a friend for coffee and commiserate about the stuck-on cereal and the messy office. I can guarantee, it’s not just you.

Please pin and share with a mama who could use this reminder!

Hey, mama- Going back to school doesn't have to be a Pinterest-worthy experience. from TabithaDumas.com



  1. The Sweetest Day | Leligdon's Lighthouse - […] Special thanks to my friend Tabitha Dumas for the inspiration to write this entry. She shared a similar message…

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