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What Kids Think Parents Do When School Starts vs. Reality

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Photograph by Twenty20

It's hard to pinpoint exactly what makes kids so unhappy about going back to school. There's the obvious, of course, such as the dread of studying and exams. But there's also the loss of warm weather, later bedtimes, more freedom and less structure.

Sometimes, though, it seems as if kids have the most anxiety about being away from home from roughly 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day because of major FOMO, as if their parents party like rock stars while they're toiling away in the classroom, which couldn't be further from the truth. You know—except when it's not.

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What Kids Think:

Their parents claim the leftover cupcakes from the Labor Day party were so stale they had to be thrown away, when in fact, Mommy ate them for lunch.

Reality:

Yup.

Kids, it may be hard to believe, but we actually work when you're gone.

What Kids Think:

Their parents go through the house and steal all the Shopkins.

Reality:

We actually put them away, where they belong. It's called cleaning. Try it sometime, kids.

What Kids Think:

Their parents log onto the kids' devices and squander all the gems they worked so hard to earn on the My Little Pony app.

Reality:

Huh?

What Kids Think:

Their parents sit around forlornly, missing the kids terribly all day long.

Reality:

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

What Kids Think:

Their parents go back to bed and watch cartoons in their PJs.

Reality:

Replace cartoons with CNN and add a cup of coffee and you're getting warmer.

What Kids Think:

Their parents post photos of the kids' naked butts on Facebook in between shopping online for stuff like yoga pants and Keurig pods.

Reality:

Is that so wrong?

What Kids Think:

Their parents wait until the kids get on the school bus and then immediately call Santa and the Tooth Fairy and give a report of what happened that morning—even though the incident in the bathroom, in which an older sister allegedly squirted toothpaste on her younger brother, was based solely on heresy and conjecture.

Reality:

Work, kids. It may be hard to believe, but we actually work when you're gone. Because we can actually get stuff done when you're not drowning each other in dental hygiene supplies.

What Kids Think:

Their parents work, if sitting at a desk and staring at a computer is what we're calling work these days.

Reality:

Bless your heart.

What Kids Think:

Their parents stock up on Beanie Boos, eat lunch at McDonald's (and don't even get the Happy Meal toy), and then go to Dave & Buster's for a little afternoon delight.

Reality:

Yes, because if we had that kind of time, that's exactly what we'd be doing.

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What Kids Think:

Their parents call up the teacher and collaborate on new and evil ways to torture the kids when they come home from school.

Reality:

So sorry if the piano lessons you asked for have become synonymous with waterboarding. And homework. Yes, homework is all our fault, too.

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