The back-to-school season is upon us, and honestly? It’s kind of stressful. Not only do you have to pour over supply lists to make sure your kids have everything they need to succeed on day one, but you often have to fight heinous crowds to do so.
Then there’s figuring out the outfits, the lunches, the carpools. There are so many details, and moms are usually the ones to take care of them all. That’s why for many parents, the moment your child steps on that school bus or into that building feels like a huge win.
Shawna Genua captured that feeling of relief in an unforgettable photo that’s now going viral. The photographer from Florida gathered some of her friends to take a picture celebrating that very moment.
In the photo, the ladies are sitting in chairs in the driveway. They are wearing bathrobes and have their hands in the air, each with a glass of wine. Snacks surround the ladies as they toast to the first day of school.
It’s that time of year again. The kids are heading back to school, and no one is more excited than parents. After a long summer of entertaining the kids, parents are sending them back to the classroom where they learn and grow.
For parents, the back-to-school season is the storm before the calm. It’s not easy to get all the items on their supply lists, the perfect back-to-school outfits, and more. Still, year after year, parents somehow make it happen.
One photographer mom, Shawna Genua, decided to celebrate the triumph of the first day of school with a special photo shoot. Robyn Pedretti Kelly, one of the moms from the shoot, told Popsugar how it came together: “Our neighbor Shawna sent a group text out on Sunday night before school started and said, ‘Bring your pajamas and some props! Let’s take a fun photo!'”
“We wanted to do a different take on the whole ‘I’m sad my kids are going back to school’ vibe,” Robyn explained. “We wanted people to know that parents need a break sometimes. Just like when our kids are upset and stressed, we tell them to take a breath. Take a break. We did the same.”
The picture that Shawna put together is flawless. The moms are sitting in chairs in Shawna’s driveway with their hands up and wine glasses (filled with sparkling fruit punch) in hand and snacks on deck. Beside them is a sign that reads “First Day of School 2019 #ByeFelicia.”
The Florida moms never expected that their silly idea would go viral. Of course, they’ve gotten some criticism. But considering that Shawna, Robyn, Bridgett Brown, and Jennifer Patterson have 18 children between them, you can see how back-to-school season is exciting, to say the least.
As the photos have spread, the moms are enjoying how many parents can relate. “They’ve been home since May. We are so ready for them to go back,” Shawna told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
“We got the idea to do the photo because other people were posting sad pictures of their kids going back to school on Facebook,” she continued. “We were like, ‘Why are you sad? We are FREE again!’”
The viral photos have made the ladies very popular among the Florida stay-at-home mom group. “We have ladies wanting to hang out with us and down some wine. We have gotten offers to go to Disney with some,” Shawna told KTVU2.
There were a few people who weren’t too thrilled about the pictures, however. Mainly, it’s the four women’s children.
“[They] think we are crazy. The older ones are now disowning us because of how far these pics are going,” Shawna noted. “We have threatened to walk them to school in our robes.”
These four women aren’t the first to celebrate the kids going back to school, although they might be some of the funniest. Last year, mom blogger Dena Blizzard went viral with a video of a back-to-school rant as she did the supply shopping at Target.
Some other moms shared their hilarious back-to-school traditions with Shawna on her post of the picture. “I’ve hosted the same thing 2 years in a row already! We actually make it a mimosa morning, and others bring breakfast tacos and snacks. I’m glad to know that there are fellow moms with similar genius ideas out there!!! Have fun!” one commenter shared.
While to some, it may seem a little harsh to make the kids feel like such an imposition, to these moms it’s part of keeping their sanity. As Robyn explained to Popsugar, “We love our kids more than life itself, but we also love ourselves and need to take care of US, as much as we take care of our kids.”
“Taking care of US makes us better parents to THEM,” Robyn noted, and we couldn’t agree more. Every parent out there needs some time for themselves, and they shouldn’t feel guilty about that. We have to make sure we’re our best selves so we can help our kids be their best selves.