Y’all. I sooo needed this laugh today. If you follow me on Instagram you know that yesterday I took my boys to the aquarium. My oldest son, Jonovan, has been studying ocean life in preschool and their end-of-year trip involved all of the parents and siblings meeting up at this really sweet aquarium in Connecticut and having a grand ol’ time. It was hella, hella fun and Jonovan and Jovelle nearly lost their minds over all the sharks, turtles, and– of course– the “Nemo” and “Dory” fish tank was a big hit. And then when we got home I was friggen exhausted, as it occurred to me that I’d been up cah-razy late coming back from a screening in the city (Now You See Me was really fun), and then I’d gotten up cah-razy early to write some things since I’d be gone all morning, and then I’d chased two small people around an aquarium, and come home with lots more work to do. I was, like, angry-tired… lmao. And I know some of y’all feel me out there. So I was thrilled to read this post that’s been making it’s way ’round my Facebook feed, about a mom who is also DONE OFF, particularly with the end of the school year. Click inside for more!
So I’m gonna give a disclaimer here. I love this post. I don’t identify with alll aspects (mainly because my oldest son is just now finishing up his first year in school, and it’s preschool, and it’s a half-day program), but I get it. The vision you have of yourself as a Mom– and as a parent actively involved in your child’s education– just doesn’t always mesh up with the reality of being more exhausted than you ever thought you could be, ever in life. Ever. Some people totally missed that what this woman wrote was supposed to be funny, and really went in on her and the many, MANY moms who applauded her for saying what they didn’t want to admit about themselves. Anyway, I completely get that she’s partly joking/partly serious, and I think it’s hilarious. Here are a few excerpts from her post, which you can read in full HERE:
You know the Beginning of School Enthusiasm? When the pencils are fresh and the notebooks are new and the kids’ backpacks don’t look like they lined the den of a pack of filthy hyenas? Moms, remember how you packed innovative and nutritional lunches and laid clothes out the night before and labeled shelves for each child’s work and school correspondence and completed homework in a timely manner?
I am exactly still like that at the end of school, except the opposite.
We are limping, limping across the finish line, folks. I tapped out somewhere in April and at this point, it is a miracle my kids are still even going to school. I haven’t checked homework folders in three weeks, because, well, I just can’t. Cannot. Can. Not. I can’t look at the homework in the folder. Is there homework in the folder? I don’t even know. Are other moms still looking in the homework folder? I don’t even care.
I feel like any sort of school energy required at this point is pure oppression, like the universe is trying to destroy me. I’m so tiiiiiiiiired and I have five kids and that is just too many to educate well. I can only handle around two, so I’m going with Sydney and Caleb because they both like to read and the other three are just going to have to enroll in Life Skills Class one day and develop a trade.
Yesterday Remy brought her books to me at bedtime – an hour notable for its propensity to incite rage and trauma – and chirped, “We need to read for 20 minutes!” and a little part of my soul died.
“No, we don’t have to read tonight.”
“YES WE DO!!! MRS. BURKE SAID!!! WE HAAAAVE TO!!!”
“We already read.”
“NO WE DIDN’T!!! YOU ARE FAKING ME, MOM?”
“When I talk to you during the day, that’s like reading. You have to listen to the words I am saying and then make sense of them. It’s really hard work for you. It’s called auditory reading. We’ve been practicing all day. I’ll write the minutes down in your log.”
My friend Glennon over at Momastery described nighttime reading like this: “The little one wants to ‘help read’ her book. So, let’s see. It takes her about six minutes to sound out each word, and so if the book is one hundred words, well, I don’t specialize in math but I am telling you that I am stuck in that room FOREVER. It feels like I will be reading that book with Amma until I die.”
UNTIL WE DIE. Children should not be allowed to learn to read until they are already good at it. And why do we have to do this at bedtime when I’m one click away from becoming that scary under-the-bed-mother in “Mama” (GO TO BED OR I AM ACTUALLY GOING TO DIE AND THEN HAUNT YOU FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE AS A TERRIFYING CLOWN). I know having an emerging reader is exciting. Because of the reading! And the literacy! But at the end of the school year, when I’ve logged approximately 688 million hours with such gripping plots like The mother and the brother went to the store, which takes 12 minutes to decode, then I have to look at the ceiling and sing hymns in my brain to get through it.
I’m sorry, but I was rooolllllllling over this! Wait, no. I’m not sorry. I kid you not, I totally started crying a few weeks ago when my GENIUS son Jonovan (age FOUR) started reading Green Eggs And Ham with his mommy. Like. With me! He wanted to read all of the lines that started with “I” and all of the lines that started with the word “Not.” So, in case y’all forgot, half of Green Eggs And Ham sounds like this:
Not in a box.
Not with a fox.
Not in a house.
Not with a mouse.
I would not eat them here or there.
I would not eat them anywhere.
I would not eat green eggs and ham.
I do not like them, Sam-I-am.
So now when we read it, it obviously takes an extra 12-15 minutes… which is AMAZING because OMG my son is reading!!!! And when it’s like 9:00 p.m. and I’m kicking myself for starting dinner late, and getting him into bed late, and oh now he wants to read Green Eggs And Ham, but I can’t plow through it like my body wants me to because he’s officially starting to read. Yeah. No. Hilarious.
So the blogger (who goes by Jen Hatmaker) goes on to give examples of her other kids and what they’re doing at the end of the year and how hard she’s failing at it. It’s adorable. But she closes with this:
So, Mom out there sending Lunchables with your kid, making her wear shoes with holes because we’re.almost.there, practicing “auditory reading” with your 1st grader, I got your back, sister. We were awesome back in October; don’t you forget that. We used to care, and that counts for something. Next year’s teachers will get a fresher version of us in August, and they won’t even know the levels of suckage we will succumb to by May. Hang in there, Mama. Just a few more days until summer, when approximately 19 minutes into our glorious respite from homework, liberated from the crush of it all, ready to party like it’s 1999, our precious children, having whooped and celebrated and “graduated” and squealed all the way home will announce:
Do yourself a favor and read the whole, epic piece HERE. Like I said, I kinda needed something like this today and maybe some of y’all do too :)