Back To School: Blues Or Bliss?

by natalie fitzgerald


Recently it was brought to my attention that as parents, we “get 18 summers with our kids at home” - and the advice to follow sounded something like “make the most of them.” I keep reminding myself of this when my kids are bickering and these summer days seem to never end.

Parenting young ones can be tough! As much as I love the slow-going flow of summertime, beach days, spontaneous adventures with the kids, and later bedtimes, I’m looking forward to getting back into our school routine. I had my three little ones (all under the age of 6) home with me all summer and there will be no back to school blues for this mama!

So with that said, back to school is on my brain! I know many of you hard-working mamas out there are thinking about the next season upon us – school supplies, homework, sports seasons, and the beloved lunch-packing. Do you have the back to school blues, or is it more like “back to school bliss” (like it is for me!)? How do you transition from the lazy days of summer, to bell schedules and after-school practices? I’d love to hear what helps your family successfully adjust to the more structured routine that comes along with the start of a new school year.

For us, the start of school means more structured afternoons and earlier weeknight bedtimes. To successfully transition my kids back to this routine, I try to start about two weeks before the first day of school. Most kids usually do best when they have time to adjust, and a couple of weeks always gives us a nice window to slow down our plans and ease back into our normal evening rituals.

I gradually get them back to their early bedtimes by shifting their bedtime about 10-15min each day for a week or so. I also make sure their rooms are nice and dark (thanks to blackout shades), so there is no confusion as to why we are getting ready for bed before it’s completely dark outside. This can help if you have an early riser too!


Wherever you are on your parenting journey this summer, whether you’re in your first summer of 18,
or your 15th, I’m raising my glass to you. Cheers mamas, and wishing you a wonderful start to a new school year!


Natalie Fitzgerald is a Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant and Postpartum Doula.

Natalie’s approach to sleep training is tailored to each family she works with, meeting them exactly where they are and developing a customized plan to help them reach their sleep goals, based on their unique baby’s needs and their parenting style. Natalie walks alongside families during the time they need the most support, encouraging parents and helping them find a rhythm that works best with their baby and lifestyle.

Natalie is also a member of the Postpartum Health Alliance, a non-profit dedicated to raising awareness about Postpartum Mood and Anxiety Disorders.
She lives in San Diego with her little ones: Connor (7yrs), Kate (4yrs), and Makenna (1.5yrs).

You can follow Natalie or reach out to her with questions on Instagram and Facebook.

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