The top things parents can’t wait to do now that the kids are back in school

If you’re relieved the kids are back in school, then you’re not alone: Sixty-seven percent of parents think children’s summer vacation is too long.

A new study of 2,000 American parents with school-aged children found that, by the time summer ends, 57 percent are left wishing for a weekend alone without the kids.

Getting back into the back-to-school routine doesn’t happen overnight. It takes almost half (49 percent) of parents two to three weeks for the routine to feel “normal” again.

The survey, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Mixbook, revealed 77 percent said they have more time to themselves once school is in session, while 79 percent said they get more alone time with their partner.

That’s not all parents are getting up to while the kids are in class. Half of parents (55 percent) admitted they love to watch a TV show or movie that they can’t when the children are around.

Other activities parents want to check off their back-to-school bucket list were a spa day (38 percent), catching up with family and friends (34 percent) and organizing all those photos from the summer (41 percent).

After organizing all those pics they took this summer, 73 percent planned to create a photo book from their summer vacation photos.

“Photos capture a moment in time that could otherwise be forgotten,” said Leslie Albertson, director of marketing from Mixbook. “Capturing those moments in print is incredibly powerful for our memory. We recall so much more from our experiences when we can flip through a photo book together, creating deeper connections with the ones we love.”

Looking back over those summer photos can bring up a lot of emotions for parents.

When parents were asked how they felt about it being time for school again, excitement topped the list of most common fall feelings, with 63 percent feeling this way.

A third (37 percent) revealed they even felt overwhelmed with the start of another school year, while 42 percent said they felt anxious.

Over half of parents (54 percent) admitted to feeling relieved to have some time away from the kids — and maybe the relief comes from all those pesky questions kids seem to have.

When parents were asked what were the most cringe-worthy phrases kids said, “are we there yet?” topped the list with 41 percent.

Other classics include, “what’s for dinner” (39 percent), “when is dinner?” (33 percent), “Mom!” and “do we have any food?” (both 30 percent), as well as “I don’t want to go!” (27 percent).

“The best memories can often times be the most difficult moments. When your five-year old cuts their hair, covers the house in mud or colors the walls with permanent marker, it can feel like you’re barely going to make it through the moment,” added Leslie Albertson for Mixbook. “And, kids have these moments on a daily basis so it’s impossible for parents to remember them all. That’s why photos, the good and the bad, are so impactful for our memories and experiences as a family. They show the power of love and perseverance.”


  1. Watch TV/movies I can’t with the kids 55%
  2. Weekend getaway with my partner 44%
  3. Organize summer vacation photos 41%
  4. Create a photo book 34%
  5. Spa day 38%
  6. Catch up with friends and family 34%
  7. Exercise 33%
  8. Print summer photos/take walks outside 29%
  9. Have a sit down meal without the kids 25%


  1. Are we there yet? 41%
  2. What’s for dinner? 39%
  3. When is dinner? 33%
  4. Mom!/Do we have any food? 30%
  5. I don’t want to go! 27%
  6. Where are the good snacks?/Can I play with your phone? 25%
  7. Dad! 23%
  8. Can I go to [friend]’s house? 22%
  9. Can [friend] sleepover/stay for dinner?/Can I have that? 20%
  10. Can I get a treat?/Five/ten more minutes 19%
  11. I’m not tired 17%


  1. Excitement 63%
  2. Relief 54%
  3. Anticipation 48%
  4. Anxious 42%
  5. Overwhelmed 37%
  6. Sadness 31%


  1. Vacation 66%
  2. Beach 61%
  3. Family reunion/birthday 56%
  4. Pool/restaurant 47%
  5. Sporting event 36%
  6. Concert 34%
  7. Mini golf 25%
  8. Bowling 24%

>> Download the video & infographic for this research story <<

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