Back to School Blues and Whole Cloves

I love the summer because my brain takes a mental break, of sorts. But once school is back, that constant worry returns – that nagging question always throbbing in the back of my head of “what am I forgetting?”

My family has laughed at the following story for as long as I can remember. And when my mom tells it she can barely get through it without laughing so hard she cries, as if it’s the very first time its ever been told.

Back in the day, we didn’t have Renuzit or nifty sweet-smelling Glade-hanging-things. No, we took an apple and stabbed it with thousands of whole cloves, hung it from our closets, only to make our clothes smell something like pumpkin pie and rotting fruit.

At the time of this story, my oldest sister (who happens to be our fabulous Marketing Director) was in elementary school. And yes, it was time in her class to recycle that lovely apple-clove craft.

My sister came home from school, told our Mom she needed to bring whole cloves to school the next day. My Mom wasn’t sure exactly what she said, so Mom asked, “ You mean OLD CLOTHES?”  My sister said, “No, Mom, I said WHOLE CLOVES!”

“OK.” Mom said, “I thought you said ‘old clothes’. But we have some whole cloves you can take, no problem.”

However, the next day my sister forgot to bring her whole cloves to school so she called from school and asked my mom to bring them to her. “Ok,” said Mom “ I will bring them to the school.”

So, yes, you guessed it, my mom proceeded to go get a brown paper bag, fill it up with OLD CLOTHES, and marched them right down to the school office!  My poor Mom – her own five kids and the back to school blues had gotten the best of her. To this day, when someone in my family refers to having a “WHOLE CLOVE” moment, no explanation is needed.

Little did I know that hearing that story for years only prepared me for the many “WHOLE CLOVE” moments I would commit with my very own children.  And I probably have many more of those moments to come.

It’s difficult to keep up with everything once school hits and its in full force again. The best remedy I know to dodge those “WHOLE CLOVE’’ moments is to apply my favorite motto: SIMPLIFY, SIMPLIFY, SIMPLIFY.

Whatever tool you can find to simplify your life, minimize the chaos and rein in your family life, use it! So for goodness sakes, be sure to print off your E-Mealz menu and grocery list to at least simplify dinner. That is one huge task checked off the daily to-do list that plagues your over-taxed brain.

My Mom needed E-Mealz. Not because she wasn’t a fabulous cook who pulled off dinner night after night anyway, and on a shoestring. No, that poor woman just needed a break!

I owe so much to my Mom, the permission she gave me to have “WHOLE CLOVE” moments, and then to laugh about them for years. And I also live with great appreciation for all the helps, props, and tools I can find like E-Mealz to help me be a better parent and to enter each new school year as prepared and sane as possible!

If you are dreading the impending pressure of getting your kids ready to head back to the classroom, the E-Mealz team has prepared our Back-to-School Checklist to help you wrap your head around the details that can slip past you in the final weeks of summer. It is a free download from the left nav bar of our website. Here’s to banning the back to school blues and avoiding “WHOLE CLOVE” moments!

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