Ever since I was a child, I’ve loved back-to-school time. For me it used to signify a fresh start and an exciting new school year. Now, as a mother, it signifies a fresh start and well needed breathing space.


Working primarily from my home for the first time since my kids were tots, I found this summer to be both a blessing and a challenge. It was wonderful to have the opportunity to spend more time with them, but it was also difficult getting all my work done without losing my marbles.


Turns out, I’m not that productive with a house full of kids who have ten times the energy I do.


If you’re reading this column for the first time you might be wondering how many children I have. Okay, so I’m not exactly Octomom with her 14″¦ or even Kate Gosselin with her eight. I only have two. But listen, kids multiply.


“Can I call a friend to come over and play?” my eight year old daughter would ask every morning before she even had breakfast.


“You have Sam,” I said early in the summer, referring to her 11 year old brother with whom she had tons of fun. “That’s why we had two children”¦ so you’d have a built-in friend.”


“I can’t play with him,” she said, scrunching up her nose. “He likes playing video games. And boy stuff!”


Oh yeah, I thought, remembering my beloved brother and his unexplainable obsession with Lego and sports when we were younger. Yuck.


So, this summer, I had a house full of kids on most days. And, just to be clear, in my mind a house full of kids is anything more than two.


“Wouldn’t you all like to play at someone else’s house for awhile?” I’d find myself asking on occasion, particularly when there were more than five of them flying around like wild monkeys in the jungle.


“No, we’re good,” was quite often their happy reply.


As much as I wanted them out of my hair at times like this, I recognized that I’d created what I always wanted: a home where my kids wanted to hang with their friends. If only they could do it in silence.


But silence is what I’ll be getting soon that glorious day after Labour Day when the kids are back in school. 


With time to miss them I’m looking forward to returning to civilization, getting back into our regular routine and having some breathing space again.


“Summer vacation was invented by a man who didn’t have children,” my friend just said when I ran into her at the grocery store. Clearly I’m not the only one anxious for the school year to start. To see how others feel about back-to-school time, click below: