Summer break is an odd time, it seems to equal parts fly by and drag on forever—just when you’ve broken in the bathing suit, stores start pushing Back to School aisles with fervor. Yes, the return of the never-ending to-do list that goes with a new school year can be overwhelming, but there’s always a silver lining. We came up with 13 reasons to rejoice when the first day of school arrives, keep reading to see them all.

1. New year, new adventures! 
With each new year comes new opportunities and exciting new milestones. Every new school year offers so many new adventures whether it’s mastering new skills, joining a new sports team, going to their first dance or starting a new school. It’s one more step on their stairway to the amazing adults they will someday be!

2. Because you’re officially out of ideas.
Whether you’ve shuttled them between camps or ran your very own Mom Camp, there are no more zoos, museums, play gyms or pool days you can take. You’re officially Summered out and frankly, so are they, even if they won’t admit it. Let’s hear it for Fall!

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3. Your home can finally be clean again! Kind of! 
Basically, by Day 5 of summer, your home resembled a Demolition Zone, and it’s been an uphill battle ever since. Frankly, you’ve given up. Now there’s that small glimmer of hope your home can actually be clean or at least passable for maybe forty-eight hours in the middle of the week. Your living room has never looked so glorious!

4. They can finally break up with their iPad!
...or other electronic devices. Let’s face it, the most well-meaning mom among us sometimes have to call it in the name of getting things done and let the kids grab more screen time than maybe we wish. Especially on the long hot days of summer where hours seem to go on end. So long screen time, time to reunite with book time!

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5. Peace and quiet 
What’s that I hear? NOTHING!? Silence!? It can’t be. Kids are many things ... sweet, funny, smart ... but one thing they most assuredly are not is quiet. If for even just a few minutes, take it in ... bask in that sweet beautiful silence. It won’t last long!

6. More real field trips, fewer field trips to the grocery store
Everyone knows doing anything with kids takes 10x longer. When it comes to the grocery store, it also gets 10x more expensive. All summer, you’ve been that mom terrorizing the aisles with a small posse in tow. Your first grocery run after school’s back in feels like a trip to Paris. Errands are yours again!

photo: iStock

7. Finally having a routine.
Despite saying they hate it, kids love and, more importantly, need a routine and structure. So getting them back to their old routine (and yours) is something that helps the whole family thrive. There's a reason why teachers have a daily schedule breaking down every minute of the day. Children thrive from knowing what's expected from them, and planning ahead helps them better handle transitions. Structure is your friend!

9. Time to work out that brain again.
Try as you may to check off that summer reading list and keep up with their writing journal, kids are known to have a backslide on the things they've learned in what researchers call Summer Learning Loss. So while the kids have had a much-deserved break—so has their developing brain. Time to start exercising that muscle again!

10. This "Momcierge" is off the clock.
Once they're back to school, you can stop being their glorified snack servant. Seriously, how many snacks can a person eat in a day? Your pantries and bank account have never seemed so bare by the time they're done with it. If you think about it that way, packing just one little lunch every day doesn't seem so bad.

11. It's independence day.
As parents, we always want to take care of our children and be there for them. Sometimes that makes it easy to slide into doing TOO much for them. Going to school helps them foster independence that they need to help them grow up and take on the world alone. Plus, fostering independence has also been proven to help kids also care for kids around them. It's a great foundation for a bright future!

12. Teachers to the rescue.
Oh, teachers, we’ve missed you so! Your intelligence, your support of our children, your seemingly never-ending patience. We all know teachers deserve way more than they get, and by the first day of school, we’ve never been more convinced. Thank you for all you do—here’s my kid!

13. Oh, the places they'll go!
If you're one of the many moms sending your little one to preschool, pre-K or Kindergarten for the first time, the thought can be overwhelming, and even scary. They're nervous, you're nervous—it's a big change! It may seem sad kissing the younger at-home days behind, but these days are special too, and so many amazing things await them. So give them that big hug, wave them goodbye, and stand back and marvel at all the amazing things they'll do.

—Heather Millen with Janelle Connor

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Feature photo: Adobe stock