I recently discovered a HILARIOUS and stunningly accurate article written by blogger, Jen Hatmaker, "Worst End of School Year Mom Ever." It is a therapeutic, laugh-hard-out-loud, highly entertaining read. As several friends have been sharing links to this article, clearly her message is connecting with Moms everywhere. Whether you have preschool, grade school, or high school students, I am sure you can relate to the end of school year fatigue she so fantastically describes.
Yet, I would like to take this phenomenon she discusses a step further. As if this end of school year Mom fatigue isn't enough, I feel that our CHILDREN are simultaneously shutting down as well. Never mind that their summer fever has derailed homework completion, they cannot seem to focus on anything! Furthermore, it is as if they no longer even understand the MEANING of good versus bad behavior. I even found myself hosting a question-and-answer session with my kids this evening to see if they could guess the 'good' versus 'bad' behavior response in various given situations...hmmm.
And, as quickly as our winter melted into summer, they have suddenly become popsicle/ice cream addicts. Upon withdrawal, they are scavenging for any source of sugar imaginable...even if reduced to locking (hiding) themselves inside your car and consuming (yes swallowing) an entire 50-piece cup-holder-friendly container of bubble gum. Or, they decide it is appropriate to shed all of their clothing and sprint down the sidewalk, dropping in on neighbors, and streaking like Frank the Tank from Old School. Don't get me wrong, I am excited about summer's arrival as much as they are, but come ON...some CLOTHING PLEASE!
|"Naked gardening is more fun"|
Whether they were fighting over the table, then chairs in which to sit, pointing and screaming about which boat (in the nearby marina) was their favorite, OR racing back and forth across the deck, literally fist-fighting over who won....we created QUITE a spectacle to say the least. It was so deflating and exhausting, I was tempted to leave before our food even arrived. Needless to say, we skipped the ice cream 'treat' previously promised, and headed straight home.
|"That one is MY favorite boat, no MY favorite, no MY favorite!"|
|"Can we sit at this table instead!?"|
In my finest of Mommy moments, after screaming at them most of the drive home, I decided to give myself my own "Mommy Time Out" (MTO) by locking myself in my bedroom and suggesting that they put themselves to bed. Yeah, right. Wouldn't that be lovely? After my MTO, I begrudgingly resurfaced, and gave in to the bedtime stand-off, after my littlest climbed up onto my lap and said, "Mommy, stop being mad. I am going to love you for the next 100 thousand days!!" It was just too cute an attempt at reconciliation, and just like that, her little "I am sorry" kisses seemed to erase the nightmare dinner, with a hope that tomorrow will bring a better day.
It seems that the reality is, we ALL need to re-charge our batteries from time to time. Sometimes it is our physical batteries (too long a celebratory weekend). Sometimes it is our mental batteries (too intense a work or home project). Sometimes, it is our psychological batteries (Mommy burn-out)...Sometimes, it is ALL of the above. But, we need to remember that our children do to.
After a long year of daily school schedules, deadlines, homework, and extracurricular activities, it is time for a break. Perhaps summer is THE time when we ALL get the opportunity to take a step back, relax, and re-charge our batteries....(at least until swim team, baseball, BayArts, and nature center camps begin) Only then, can we can feel saner, breathe deeper, behave better, and treat one another with the kindness and respect we deserve (specifically, Mommy so she doesn't drive off a cliff someday).
Hopefully, this is exactly what summer will bring ; )
|"Yeah, summer is finally here!"|
|My three amigos racing around the neighborhood...never mind only 2 out of 3 are appropriately wearing their helmets....|
|Heading down to the beach...|
|Discussing sea-glass-hunting strategies...|
|Mom's helpers on a trip to Lowe's|
|Excited to ride his hand-me-down bike from a buddy currently expatriating in Switzerland...|
|"Where the Sidewalk (Literally) Ends"|
|"Lemonade for Sale!"|
|My Favorite Summer View...|