Back-To-School Blues: My Kids Aren’t the Only Ones Bummed That Summer’s Over

The thing is, with the deadlines and the traveling and the packing and unpacking that came with the house sale and the big move, summer was one big whir—but not in the best way. There was no big vacation, no trips to the zoo and the aquarium and the High museum or an extended stay at papa’s house in Virginia. Just a lot of “hurry ups,” “no we can’ts,” and, the worst of all, “we can’t afford that right now.” And, in the middle of the can’t-do-its, in, it seems, the blink of an eye, summer was gone and it was back-to-school time.

This, mind you, is usually the most wonderful time of the year for parents. Like, “The kids are back in school! Bring on the daytime peace and quiet! Bring on the uninterrupted lunch dates! Bring on the adult conversation!” But for me, this year in particular, it felt like the most wonderful time of the year came much too soon, and just when we were getting settled and enjoying our new place and finally getting into the sun, summer came to an abrupt, inglorious end and it was time for early morning car pool lines and PTA meetings and homework challenges and soccer and softball practices and the running and the late nights and the super early mornings. It was time, too, to say goodbye to my babies—to send them to school where someone else gets to enjoy them for the majority of their days.

I won’t admit it to them but I will right here in this very personal space: I wasn’t ready for them to leave just yet. Not now. Because time is ticking and the days and months and years are passing us at warp speed and it’s only a matter of time before Mari is reading college brochures and Lila is on her way to high school and everything… changes. My days with my children feel… numbered. Yes, I know we’ve still got a way to go before my 13-year-old and my 10-year-old head off to their own lives, but honestly, when summers like this pass along so quickly and our time together becomes burdened with school and the extracurriculars and we come up for air in short bursts—a quick Thanksgiving, a Christmas vacay, a short Spring break—I get really clear on just how little time I have left. How little time we have together.

And some days, I wish I could stop time. Just let them stay little. Just a while longer…

Here, a few Instagram shots I captured on my iPhone during our rare quiet time this summer. How are you feeling about your kids going back to school? Tell me in the comments section.







1. Traveling In Color: Finding Diversity and Opening Minds on a Paris Vacation with Kids
2. Wordful Wednesday: Summer in Paris With MyBrownBaby
3. A Great Day In Atlanta: Instagram Pics Of Our Fun Family Day (Wordful Wednesday)
4. {Wordful Wednesday} Black Snow Bunnies: My Babies and their Granddad On Christmas Vacation 

To see more great pictures taken by bloggers who love snapping and sharing,
check out Wordful Wednesday at


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Denene Millner

Mom. NY Times bestselling author. Pop culture ninja. Unapologetic lover of shoes, bacon and babies. Nice with the verbs. Founder of the top black parenting website, MyBrownBaby.


  1. Your girls are beautiful.
    My son is only 2 so I have a little more time to worry about him going to school full-time. He attends a morning pre-school twice a week.
    I feel badly because summer flew by and we didn’t take a vacation – aside from Disney World in April.
    Enjoy the peace & quiet!

  2. Great pictures of your girls. They are so beautiful. No kids for me, but I do wish I had more time to spend with family in general. The time goes by so fast. I try to make every precious moment count. Because it is sure a gift from God to be able to have family and friends to spend time with. Thanks for reminding me to slow down. Congrats on the house!

  3. I just started a new job in October so time off is limited. We didn’t go on vacation this year because soon we will be slaves to the school calendar. I have 1 going into 1st grade and 1 into kindergarten. I feel like they’re getting away from me sometimes. My 6 year old won’t hug or kiss me in public anymore 🙁

  4. I always hate back to school time, because it means taking kids to school, worried about them getting home and ALL the things that can happen during school. This year its a little different, my oldest is going off to college…and by off I mean 40 minutes away and with 17 days left I am already starting the panic attack stage. My middle girl is going into the 10th grade and my youngest, 5th grade. Back to school just keeps me in worry mode.

  5. I actuall am very nervous about Amani and back to school. Mainly because she isn’t go to a public school because I forgot to enroll her in regular school. I applied her for a charter school and was so excited about that that I forgot about plain ole school. The deadline is up to apply her for it but I’ve decided that I’m going to homeschool….well sort of. I’m going to get in touch with her pre-k teacher and get some help on what she needs to know in kindergarten in order for here to be prepared for first grade. I have a ridiculous work schedule(Friday-Tuesday 12-8pm) but I figure I could get some lessons in before I head to work and on my days off. I just hope I don’t screw up!

  6. Thank you so much for being so honest about this. I am in exactly the same place, wondering how our summer was eaten up by work and travel and stress, and not having a lot of memories of down time. I feel like summer is the hardest aspect of being a working mom, because there is somehow this expectation that we make it an epic, idyllic season for our kids while the work is STILL THERE. Hard.

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