11 Reasons Why I'm Ecstatic That Summer Break Is Finally Over

It's time to get the family back into a routine.

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I’ve always been the kind of mom who loves when my kids have days off from school. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I giddily look forward to federal holidays and teacher planning days. I jumped for joy when our school district extended Thanksgiving break to a whole week and have even been known to start my countdown to summer on the very day the kids go back to school after winter break. But this summer, things have been a little different. For the first time ever, I am ecstatic that summer break is finally over.

It isn’t that I am ready to wake up at the crack of dawn again or sit in the pick-up line for upwards of an hour each day. I’m not looking forward to packing lunches, the increase in traffic, or the hours of homework. I am especially dreading the stress that comes with standardized testing, college planning, and overall teenage drama. But even so, the kids are heading back to school and here's why I couldn’t be happier.

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My kitchen will get a break.

No one prepared me for the insatiable appetites of teenagers. All summer long, every time I looked into the kitchen, there was someone standing with their head inside the refrigerator. Brand new bags of pretzels, crackers, and boxes of cereal disappeared from the pantry, never to be seen again. There was always something cooking on the stove top, baking in the oven, or being reheated in the microwave. I’m almost certain the dishwasher didn’t stop running from May to August.

Now that my kids have gone back to school, not only will my kitchen appliances take a break, but my grocery budget and electric bill will, too.

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I can get back to work.

Working from home, while convenient, can be a real challenge when kids are home for the summer. During the school year, I work in near silence. But in the summer, I’m easily distracted by the sounds of life surrounding me. It only takes an episode of The Office playing in the next room or the sound of the refrigerator door opening to break my concentration.

I am so ready to finally get back to work, free of most distractions.

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My girlfriends and I can finally meet up for lunch.

Most of my friends have younger kids which makes meeting up over the summer for a quick breakfast or lunch nearly impossible. We’ve tried going out with little ones in tow, but instead of catching up with each other’s lives, we end of focusing on the kids.

With school back in session my girlfriends and I can actually spend some quality time together again.

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I don't feel pressured to make everyday a "fun" day.

I start every summer with big plans. I want to take the kids to the movies, go out to lunch, invite friends over, and maybe take a day trip somewhere. But every year, outside factors get in the way.

Sometimes I have a tight deadline for work, or the kids have to complete volunteer hours for school. Then there are illnesses or family emergencies. This year the bucket list accomplishments were even fewer since my son took summer classes and my daughter had hundreds of pages of AP work to read and annotate.

Now that summer break is over, I can set that bucket list aside and let go of the guilt of not having made every summer day a fun day.

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summer-break-end - mom jogging
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It’s easier to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Although I despise waking up before the sun rises, getting up early during the school year is the best motivation to start working out again. I’ll throw on my exercise clothes first thing in the morning, drop my daughter off at school, and be home in time to walk or jog a couple of miles before work.

It’s also much easier to make better food choices during the school year when I am not tempted by the smell of anyone else’s lunch. I mean, it's hard to enjoy a salad when there’s leftover pizza in the oven.

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summer-break-end - teenage girl sleeping
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Our family has a bedtime again.

I don’t actually give my high schooler a set bedtime, but she knows she needs to be dressed and walking out the door by 6:45 a.m. Add in after school activities and homework to her very early start time, and you can guarantee she won’t stay up past 10 p.m. on school nights. And, because I’m the one who usually drives her to school, I won't either.

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summer-break-end - shopping list
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I’m ready to get back into a routine.

As much as I love the loosey-goosiness of the summertime, my mind and body are craving routine. It’s hard to keep up with meal planning, exercise, or even paying your bills on time when you’re always asking what day it is.

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summer-break-end - homecoming couple
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Homecoming is right around the corner.

I don’t live in one of those Friday Night Lights towns where the world revolves around high school football, but I do look forward to Homecoming Week every year. Local high schools go all out with themed dress-up days, Powder Puff football games, and a skit competition between the grades. Our school even has a yearly choreographed dance performance by the parents of the senior class, which includes carrying giant baby pictures of their soon-to-be graduates across the football field.

The homecoming court, clad in sequined gowns and tuxedos, parades around the field during halftime at the big game, and the next day the whole school gets dolled up for the homecoming dance. My kids have a blast every year, and it’s a tradition I will miss when my youngest is out of high school.

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I can finally catch up with all my TV shows.

My youngest is nearly 17, so by now there aren’t too many TV shows that are technically age-inappropriate. That said, shows such as Orange is the New Black, Big Little Lies, and The Affair have some very steamy scenes that I don’t exactly want to watch while sitting with my teenager.

Now that she’s back at school, I can’t wait to get all caught up with my shows.

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summer-break-end - mom cleaning house
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I get to deep clean the house.

My kids know that going back to school means that one of these days they will come home to organized closets, a rearranged living room, and quite possibly, new curtains. While some moms spring clean, I prefer to “fall clean.” I will download a true crime podcast or historical fiction audiobook, and get to work. It will take me a few days to scour every nook and cranny, but once I am done, my house will be ready for the holidays.

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summer-break-end - beach family boogie board
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Summer break may be over, but summer doesn’t have to be.

Unlike other parts of the country, Floridians don’t officially wrap up their summer on Labor Day. Many water parks stay open until October or later, and the beaches and most community pools are open year-round. Just because summer break is over, doesn’t mean that the swimsuits and boogie boards have to be packed away.

We still have several weeks of beach and pool time available to us, so we might just get to accomplish some of those bucket list activities, after all.

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