Spin spin spin. Six hours of spin. Every. single. day. Spin spin spin. Six hours of spin. That’s what “back to school” time looks like for me.

Six hours. Four days a week. Six hours to change the world. Get my life (and theirs) in order. Plan. Prepare. Run. Rest. Repeat. Faster. More.

Six hours alone. To focus. To work. To relax. To connect. To welcome everyone back after six hours as the absolute best version of myself so that I can bring out the best versions of themselves. Do it all. Make it all. Fold it all. Clean it all. Reset it all. Renew it all.

Six hours is what I get.

I don’t feel relieved when they leave. I feel pressure. The gunshot has gone off. The race has begun. I’m not clinking mimosas with friends. I’m scrambling to get home to clean up breakfast, down another cup of coffee, and maybe guilt myself into a quick work out. Don’t forget to note it all in the pretty planner.

Get it over with. Move on with it. Faster. Hurry. Move. Six hours.

I just want to drive away. Because when those six hours ends, I’m angry. Frustrated. I want more time. It’s not enough. Never enough. I didn’t get it all done. But yet it’s time. Time for me to be “on” again for everyone.

All the hats go piling back on. They are heavy and uncomfortable. Awkward and always half-on and half-falling off. “Hold onto your hats,” I say to my kids in the car when we make a turn. Who am I kidding, I’m the only one that needs to be holding on. Tight.

All the hats. The happy mom, the sweet mom, the “just made these for you, sweetheart” mom, the firm but fair mom, the “bad guy” mom, the enforcer mom, the master chef, the cleaning lady, the nurse, the sort-of-your-friend but not-really-your-friend mom, oh and don’t forget supportive, doting, SEXY wife.

Six hours until the show begins. Where’s my understudy?

There is quiet in these six hours yet my head is so very loud. Annoyed. Angry. Pounding. Irritated by everything. Paralyzed to inaction. Long sigh. Take another swig of coffee, you’re going to need it.

I don’t get it. Yet I do. This is all my own doing. 1000% So why is it so hard to undo? Why is it so hard to just stop? Turn it off. “Stop thinking about the things that are making you feel this way! YOU ARE IN CONTROL!” I silently scream to myself.

I want to blame them, anyone, someone, for making me feel this way. Making me. But it’s a painful thing when I realize that it’s nobody’s fault but my own. I’m in control yet completely out of control here. So I spin spin spin. Six hours of spin.

Forget the cute photos of kids with signs, this is what back to school actually looks like for me. And I don’t know about you, but this mom needs to be renewed again. In a bad way.

Hold onto your hats mama, school is back in session.

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Renata Musial

Renata is the founder and creator of Renewing Mom, an online community and series of in-person experiences that help moms stay connected to who they are as women and individuals. A recovering attorney, Renata lives in the suburbs of Chicago with her husband and three young kids.

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