Back to school nerves have turned into the grumps for me. For the kids too, I think. Last night, I scrolled through old photos of Oak. Then I shoved my face into the soft couch cushion until it smelled of saliva and wet from tears.
But also last night, the kids danced to Drake and golden curls were chopped into fresh, more mature cuts. Nails are being painted this afternoon. A new/old dresser is being filled this evening. I am ordering groceries, and we’ll enjoy one last summer date with a friend. So, I am ready for this year. And I am not. I am prepared, and also totally dissolving into a mess with sweaty palms.
It’s the start of school, and it’s life. Mine is the life of working and mothering and running a home. School throws us a new routine, and on top of it, it marks an even busier season for me–fashion week, finishing up projects.
But I’ve been leaning on a secret little trick, a way to carve out space on the plate: An Away Message. I have been activating the away message function on my email to curb the time spent on the influx. It’s a way to remind people–especially myself!–that, while work is important, we’re also in a delicate transition out of summer. My email response reads, “Thank you so much for your email! This week, I am focusing on my two young children and helping them adjust to school. This time is imperative to us as a family, so I will be slow to respond. If you have partnership inquires please email Max. Otherwise, take some time this week to find a way to support a working mother in this back-to-school season. With love, LaTonya”
Too much? I don’t think so. Similarly, I’ll be slow to respond to text. Slower than normal! And why do we feel the pressure to respond right away anyway?
I’ve dedicated a lot of this blog space to back-to-school and end-of-summer advice this year. If there’s one piece you take to heart, let it be this one. Move slow, friends.