Make breakfast, pack lunches, fill out contact sheets, sign up for PTA committees, sign field trip permission forms, get the kids dressed, tell them to brush their teeth, get myself dressed, gather all the school supplies, pack the backpacks, pack my work bag, remind the kids to brush their teeth (again), gather our things, run to school, get them settled in their classrooms, run to the subway, go to work, come home, begin the dinner routine, begin the bedtime routine, and collapse. That's what the first day of school will look like in my home, where I have two children starting a new school year in a few weeks. And then we get to wake up and do it all again the next day (hopefully with fewer toothbrushing reminders).
But someone forgot to tell the advertising executives behind Nine West's Fall shoe campaign what life's really like for the modern mom. Yes, we believe we can juggle it all (we'll save that discussion for another time). Yes, we can do it all in a pair of killer shoes (I'm looking at you, peep-toe booties pictured in the ad). And yes, some of us will be wiping away "happy-sad tears" on the first day of school (my youngest is entering kindergarten, so you can be sure there will be tears on my end).
But we don't, I repeat, we don't "have the weeks off" now that our children are in school! If anything, life only becomes more complicated. For full-time working moms like me, it becomes a game of jugging school activities, PTA meetings, parent-teacher conferences, and extracurricular practices with an eight- to 10-hour workday that has some travel thrown into the mix for good measure. For stay-at-home moms, the school year often means hours upon hours of volunteer work at their children's schools (because god knows schools are starving for involved parents these days) and in the community along with the juggle of meetings, conferences, and after-school activities.
To say that parents have the day off because their kids are in school for six hours a day insinuates that we sit around eating bonbons all day (in our trendy Nine West shoes, of course) because we have nothing better to do with our time. I don't know about you, but I don't know a single mom who can afford — money- or time-wise — to do that. Think about that before coming up with your next campaign, Nine West ad copy writers. And don't even get me started on your "Starter husband hunting" ad . . .