By Anastasia Gavalas

The rampage of “first day of school” photo-sharing on social media is inevitable these days and often teeters on the verge of nauseam. So, after everyone is done capturing their children’s picture-perfect, back-to-school moments and wiping away the tears consider all the benefits moms get when they send their children off to school.

Sure summer is fun and notorious in helping parents loosen up and create lifestyles that are more unplanned and relaxed. But, after two plus months filled with screaming children, constant feedings, unceasing commotion, kids running in and out of the house, kitchen messes, sibling squabbles and multiple tumbles and scraps, most hands-on moms I know would give anything for a few hours of uninterrupted alone time. Not to forgo the whiny pangs from children who claim to be bored just moments after having been entertained from sunset to sundown.

When your children return to school this year, and the house becomes a bit more tranquil, relish in the space that those initial days provide. It’s so easy for all the newfound time to get swallowed up by other family life “to-dos.” So, consider what you really want for your life and make a plan. Women, in particular, need to fiercely protect any time they acquire at the start of every school year long enough to have it become part of their daily routines. This not only promotes balance for individuals but also for entire families. Here are five other really awesome benefits moms get when kids go back to school.

  1. Summer doesn’t have to end for moms. Savor that laid-back, relaxed mode as long as possible by setting up a few “staycations” of your own. Enjoy the beauty and stillness of your own home, start a restorative morning routine, or pack a chair and a good book and go to the beach for the day.
  2. Children grow more independent. Each year provides a chance to shorten the list of tasks moms naturally take on.
  3. Regular sleep schedules for everyone. Sleep is critical for our well being, especially growing little ones. More sleep makes everyone naturally happier.
  4. The house stays clean for more than 10 minutes at a time… Need I say more?!?
  5. New opportunities to meet other moms and make new friends.

Summer is wonderful. But, the start of school for kids brings new beginnings for moms as well. It’s the perfect time for them to focus on their own wellbeing and have courageous conversations about what they need to feel inspired and fulfilled. And, once moms recognize these benefits, we’ll probably see more sharing of first-day-of-school “happy mom” photos.