Moms and Media · September 2, 2015

Back to School

By Edison Research

By: Laura Silvia

As much as the majority of moms have enjoyed having kids out of school for the summer, back-to-school time is upon us. And there is no shortage of articles and posts about it, from the heart-wrenching to the informative and everything in between.

We at The Research Moms asked our sample of moms who have a child in school from Kindergarten through 12th grade about their stress level at back-to-school time, and 63% said they have “a little bit” of stress, while 7% said their stress level is “off the charts.”  That’s 70% of moms feeling some level of stress about their children heading back into the classroom.

And that stress is understandable. Schedules are changing and calendars are filling up.  There are supplies that need to be purchased, forms that need to be filled out, and alternative care that may need to be arranged before or after school. There may be a transfer to a different school or the first time riding the bus. All of these items – and more – add to mom’s stress level at back-to-school time.

Back To School (1)

One of the biggest contributors to mom’s stress may likely be the stress level of her children.  Moms are typically right on the pulse of their children’s emotions. A mom can often decipher how her children are feeling from a single look or a one-word answer (maybe not so much for teenagers, but that’s a different story). If her children are feeling stressed or apprehensive about the school year, mom is going to feel it.  Most of us have felt some amount of fear or anxiety at back-to-school time as kids, and so moms can relate to what their children are feeling. If children are feeling stressed about going back to school, that compounds mom’s stress level.  Lunches will get figured out, bags will get packed, but there isn’t a quick or easy way to alleviate children’s fears or anxieties about school. Much of that is in the hands of their teachers, and it can be difficult on moms to hand over their children – and their control of the situation. But it has to be done.

The good news is that this is likely temporary. By the time everyone settles into the new routine, these stresses are a distant memory.  Steer clear of reporters who may make them cry, arm them (and yourself) with information if they are nervous about the adjustment, and keep doing the best job you can.  And to the 7% of moms whose stress level is “off the charts,” there’s always chocolate.

School bus cover image from

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