08/14/2014 03:29 pm ET Updated Oct 14, 2014

What This Mom Does on the First Day of School

So we all dream about it -- ahhh, all the great things we'll get to do the minute those darlings go back to school. After a busy summer of trying to keep them busy, it's now OUR time, right moms? So, what first -- nails, lunch with girlfriends, a little rest or shopping? Maybe the haircut you put off all summer because your kids couldn't bear to sit at the salon for 30 minutes while you get your hair done, or because you used that extra few dollars towards something they wanted to do instead? Hmm.... where will I go, what will I do? Chances are you're asking yourself. Catch up on days worth of favorite TV shows on the DVR you haven't had time to watch, catch a movie with friends that doesn't include turtles or dragons. Or maybe sit and read the book that has been in your beach bag all summer which you never got around to reading because someone was constantly next to you yapping. For working moms it might be those few stolen moments in the morning when they head to the bus, or after work with the school year's earlier bedtimes. Extra sleep! Relaxation!

It all sounds delightful but hang on, we all know as moms about the reality check that comes with back to school. What really happens is that we'll be waking up early making sure that their first day of school clothes are ready to go, backpacks prepped with all their supplies for the school year, and then dropping them off. Then it's spending the next hour baffled about where the years have gone. How could my peanut be in fifth grade?? And the milestone years -- the last grade before middle school, junior high, high school -- hitting you especially hard. Gigi's going to be a big girl then! So once you're done crying in the car and having that make-yourself-feel-better Egg McMuffin or double latte, you head home to straighten up the house that looks like a pack of wild animals have been living in it. Endless summer activities, little hands on the sliding glass door -- it's nearly two days worth of attention. Plus with putting off all the errands and things you need to do, all the necessities you've needed but ignored.

By the time you've gotten through all of this, it's lunch time. It's a ritual here to always bring Gigi and a few of her friends lunch of her choice to school on the first day of the school year, her birthday and the last day of school -- I am happy to report that she is still into it and hasn't hit the stage where having mom bring lunch isn't cool. Getting lunch will remind you that you need to figure out what you're going to eat between digging the house out from summer vacation and finally restocking all those household and family items you've been able to ignore. Which reminds you that you probably need to go grocery shopping, and all the other errands that you need done before it's time for school pickup. Then out they rush to tell you all the stories of who's in class, what all the kids did and what the other girls wore. There'll be the endless chatter from the backseat and at the dinner table about how the teacher is, and in reality it's no different than if they were on summer break minus their sweet voices yapping along. And I'll hang onto every minute of it since fifth grade is the pivotal year where mom and daughter relationships take the turn into her next stage. Though I have to admit I love the school scuttlebutt!

So, there goes the first day of school and it's over as soon as it started along with all of the dreams of how we would spend that day, when in reality it's spent being MOM! And here you thought kids heading back to school meant you'd finally have time for you! Yet we love every minute of it, because before long they're going to be off to junior high, then high school and college and we'll be dreaming not of the days they'll be in class but of when they were little ones spending time with us all summer long.