April 13, 2016 | 1 comment | Humor, Kid Time, Me Time, Parenting Advice

Worst End-of-the-School-Year Mom

Just when I thought my mother-of-the-year attitude couldn’t get any worse, I’ve realized that I’m in an end-of-the-school-year slump. More than ever, I can’t deal with anything because my patience for disruptions to the school schedule, homework, class projects, fieldtrips, activities, graduation ceremonies and the like has officially run out. I know it’s only April, but my four-year-old gets her diploma on May 18th. That’s five weeks away – making it close to the end of the school year for this mama.

It’s pretty strange to be thinking about the end of the school and what lies ahead for the summer when: Spring Break just happened and we had a two-hour delay last week. Yes, a two-hour-delay for an April frost one morning. Hey listen, Principal H, this is Pittsburgh. We can deal with a little winter mix. It’s not like we’ve never driven in inclement weather before. We live in the Mid-West, remember. It’s not like we live in the South East where a forecast with a likelihood of ice would cause the grocery stores to run out of milk, bread, and eggs.

I understand that we have to keep the kids safe. That you are erring on the side of caution, but come on now, it’s April. This wasn’t our first rodeo this season. It wasn’t anything close to a spring blizzard. Our municipalities had plenty of salt on hand because of the relatively easy winter we’d this year. They were out salting early. That, combined with the April SUN, resolved the frost/ice issue. We really should have had a full day of school that day.

Those two-hour delays shatter my already end-of-the-year weak resolve. I lie around in my bed praying my kids sleep in a little, which inevitably never happens. Two hours of missed school in the morning pretty much destroys my writing window. Poof, bye-bye, all gone. I’m sure parents that keep proper office hours at real jobs are even more pissed off. They can’t schedule an early morning meeting during the months October through April because Principal H might call a two-hour delay for FROST.

Speaking of principals pissing off parents, remember that story about how a principal in the UK asked her parents to stop wearing pajamas to school? If not, here’s a nice summary.

I can’t wear pajama pants to school drop off. I have no problem if you do; I don’t judge. But, I used to have a legal career where I wore designer suits to work, in Los Angles. So, I’m a little particular (snobby) about my clothes. I won’t allow myself to wear pajama bottoms to the bus stop, which is literally at the end of my driveway. So, instead, I have a pair of yoga pants sitting next to my shoes which I pull on OVER my pajama bottoms. A long overcoat over my pajama top completes the look. Classy. Somehow that’s acceptable to me. I’m sure that my former colleagues that are having cocktails after work at the Standard roof-top bar would howl at that fashion statement.

Once my son is safely on the bus, I reenter the house to get myself and my preschooler ready for the day. A far cry from the morning schedule that I detailed in one of my previous articles, 10 Ways to Optimize Your Morning Routine, don’t you think? Before you call me a hypocrite (I’m a lawyer and a woman, so talking out of both sides of my mouth comes naturally), I originally wrote that article back in October, when I was still relativity sane and organized. Not so much in April.

Next, let’s talk about the preschool “fieldtrip” that occurred last week at the National Aviary, which happens to be located in our very own beloved Pittsburgh. Now, I love the preschool teachers with all my heart and they are not paid nearly enough for all they do. But, let’s not label these outings “fieldtrips.” There is no school arranged transportation. The parents are each individually responsible for getting their child to the outing, accompanying their child during the outing, and then taking them home a full 3 hours earlier than the regular dismissal time. This is clearly NOT a fieldtrip, but an elaborate play date in place of a regular school day that requires my full participation in which I need to be showered, dressed, and caffeinated, without an option of working any of those hours that I typically do. This is not the first or the last of these “fieldtrips” for the year. Self-reminder: she won’t be four forever.

Finally, I’m officially over the homework for my kindergartener, which we schlep through every, single evening. We’ve been working diligently all year on his reading and finally, finally, he’s beginning to read The Cat in the Hat and other similar literary works. I know that he’s just beginning the process of reading aloud to me and I’m already exhausted from all the work that we’ve put in to get him to this point. I foresee a whole year of stumbling slowly through all 64 pages of Go, Dog. Go. It’s exciting to have an emerging reader. But, it has complicated our bedtime – a process that used to take 30 minutes is now a 60- or more minute routine with all the extra time spent convincing him that he’s ready to read Green Eggs and Ham and him sounding out the word “wh – a – t” each time he sees it as if he’d never seen it before. Self-reminder: he won’t be six forever.

Also, equally terrifying, I have no idea what the next level of reader should be. If you have any suggestions as to what he should be reading after mastering these Dr. Seuss books, please let me know. But no rush, I’m sure we won’t be there for at least another six months. UGGH!

So, that’s been my April, with my husband out of town, of course. And, why I can’t seem to get motivated on my work and why I only find the strength to bitch a little about my lack of time and my end-of-the-school-year blues. And, why my kids’ pants are too short because I don’t want to buy new ones because we’ll be wearing shorts next week.

Because we all know what happens in the summer: hours upon hours of unstructured time for mothers to fill.

Until next week,

Carissa Howard, My Misadventures in Mothering

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1 Comment

  1. Karen

    May 5, 2016 9:17 pm

    I love your blogs, they are so to the point and true. Most mothers won’t admit it but I am sure many feel this way. Love it Carissa keep writing??

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