I once heard the month of June described as the “gateway to summer.” I can appreciate that sentiment, for sure. But, as the parent of a graduating high school senior, I find myself thinking about how June is the gateway to so much more.

To me, June is truly a season of beginnings and endings. It’s a time to celebrate so many things, like weddings, graduations, and even just the arrival of summer! But each of these wonderful occasions represent a time of transition, and all transition brings some challenge and stress.

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Now that I have a kid on the brink of leaving the nest, I look back and remember, somewhat remorsefully, how I often let the arrival of summer cause our family stress. After the busyness of a long school year, the transition into a less-structured summer routine brings sometimes unexpected challenges. Finding a good balance between wanting to create fun summer memories, yet maintaining some semblance of order and productivity for our kids, all while maintaining our own professional lives—it’s hard. Add to that the fact that no matter how old your kids are, having more people in the house for more hours a day obviously will translate to more messes and more things to clean.

Now that my youngest son is about to graduate and move on to college, I long for those simpler kinds of challenges. This transition is much more monumental. On the one hand, it’s a sentimental, nostalgic time for a parent; if you’ve ever made a graduation party slideshow, you know the strange combination of tears and joy and pride that come with looking back at how your child has changed over the years in this way; it’s hard to let go of the past.

On the other hand, I also have to admit to having developed a serious case of “senioritis” right along with my son. The last half of senior year in particular is so crazy, so hectic, so up and down, between college acceptances, AP tests, senior nights, banquets, ceremonies, Prom, finals, graduation parties, dorm essentials shopping— it’s a lot of big stuff packed into a relatively short amount of time. I will be ready to celebrate the end of that madness for sure.

This intersection of sentimentality about the passing of time and the relief of putting some things behind us, mixed with the excitement of watching the future unfold— that’s what we will be celebrating this month. And you know, I think that’s true for almost everyone, whether you have a child graduating from preschool, a son or daughter getting ready to walk down the aisle, or a loved one with a big upcoming birthday or anniversary. Although this can seem like a chaotic time, it’s important to take time to reflect and celebrate together; it really does make those transitions easier.

Of course, there are stresses that come with the prospect of throwing a party. Don’t let worrying about cleaning your house be one of those stresses. Immaculate Clean can help you with their “Summer Stress Relief” offer! During month of June and July, book a One Time Pre and/or Post Party Clean and receive $40 off! (Some restrictions apply.)