Thousands of students began a new school year in Alabama today, and parents across the state are filled with mixed emotions. The first day of school is basically an emotional rollercoaster--and traffic is so terrible you're left wondering if you're in the carpool lane or an extra in Mad Max: Fury Road.

What's it like? Here's a list of the ## thoughts parents have on the first day of school.

PRIDE: Seeing your child grow and develop into a bright child, teen, and young adult is incredible.

SADNESS: I'm going out on a limb here and saying it's like 60% pride and 40% sadness. Each new year means your kiddo is one step closer to college and independence. You look at your smiling little kindergartner/middle/high schooler, and you remember when she was teeny tiny--and you miss those days. THIS IS WHY YOU WEAR WATERPROOF MASCARA ON THE FIRST DAY.

STRESS: Trying to get your kid ready for school is always stressful, but it's a thousand times worse on the first day. You want to get him in a cute outfit so you can take photos--but then he makes a mess eating breakfast and ruins his new polo shirt. You spend 20 minutes packing a perfect bento box lunch with a handwritten note tucked inside--and then she leaves it on the counter. It's enough to make the Pope cuss.

ANGER: Tuscaloosa road construction + first day of school traffic = rage stroke

INADEQUACY: No matter how prepared you think you are, you still can't shake the feeling you forgot something. Did you pack enough pencils? Why are you running 20 minutes late even though you got up an hour early?

EXHAUSTION: You've spent the past three months entertaining and caring for your kids and spent the past two hours cleaning, packing, and prepping for their first day. No wonder you feel as if you need a nap (or three).

RELIEF: Anyone who tells you she doesn't give a little sigh of relief after she drops the kids off is a straight up L-I-A-R. The kids are back in school, and that means a) you no longer have to spend a small fortune on child care b) you don't have to listen to them whine about summer boredom anymore and c) you may finally get some time to yourself--no promises, though.


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