Your little darling just got home from sleep-away camp and brought home a duffle bag full of thrice-worn clothes with ground in dirt and grass stains. He smells like he’s been counting lake swimming as a daily bath, and for some ungodly reason, he’s bouncing off the walls!
The time between getting your kids back from camp and sending them off to school can be challenging for moms. You’ve got a mountain of worn, dirty laundry to spelunk through and a child who suddenly requires your undivided attention as he recounts every day of camp to you. So what’s a mom to do?
Fear not! We’ve got some great tips and tricks to help you maintain your sanity while transitioning your kid between camp and school:
Grab a clothespin for your nose, and dig in. Sort out the barely soiled laundry from the “Oh my… what IS that?” laundry. Then use your arsenal of stain removers as you see fit. Here’s a helpful hint: you can coax out gross armpit stains and other greasy stains with a mixture of dish liquid, baking soda, and hydrogen peroxide. Scrub it in and let it sit.
Clear an evening in your schedule where you make your child’s favorite foods for dinner and welcome him back to the dinner table. Listen aptly to all the crazy stories about his new friends and the pet raccoon he almost brought home. Ask questions. It’s really important that you show interest in his adventures and praise him for handling himself well during his independent time. This will give him more confidence when he becomes a teenager to make good choices when you aren’t there.
Re-acclimating to the normal schedule of chores, errands, and bedtimes will be a challenge for both you and your child, but make it fun. Help him out with his chores, like washing the car, gardening, and doing dishes. Use that time to talk and get to know your child. Chances are he’s grown a lot now that he knows what it’s like to be on his own, and you’re going to have to get used to this young adult in your home. Take some time to evaluate your rules. Is he ready for a later bedtime? Is he ready to take on more responsibility? Ask your child and find out!
Once the laundry’s done, the chores are squared away, and everyone smells fresh as a daisy, enjoy having your family altogether under one roof again. Take a family outing or have a family movie night. All you need is some time spent together before everyone splits off for school.
Congratulations! You survived the transition!