A Proud Member of the Worst End of the School Year Mom Ever Club

Yesterday no fewer than five people sent me a link to a blog post and said, "Jen you MUST read this!"

Yesterday was the last day of school for Gomer and Adolpha. You know how sometimes you get to Friday and you say, "God, this week took forever!"?? Yeah, not this week. Every night this week I was like, "Wait tomorrow is _____??? Shit. I can't forget to sign Gomer's reading log so he can get it turned in and claim his reward, he wants a special pen for yearbook signing, I'm supposed to help out at both of their end of the year parties, I'm chaperoning a field trip (WTF? Why did they schedule the last Kindergarten field trip the day before their last day?? Even the teachers who scheduled it were regretting it that day. There were many dedicated teachers up in the wee hours of that next morning putting the finishing touches on end of the year [tear jerker!] slide shows.), I'm in charge of the class gift for Adolpha's teacher, and I need to vote on that last minute PTO thing before Thursday. Plus, I'm probably forgetting six other things."

I would open the blog post and I would get the first paragraph read and I'd be pulled away for another million reasons.


It's now 3:30 in the morning and I finally got the chance to sit down and read Jen Hatmaker's Worst End of the School Year Mom Ever fully and everyone who sent it to me was right. I couldn't stop what I was doing to read this post, because I was far too busy living what this post is all about! I had the Hubs rolling his eyes at me telling me to "blow" stuff off too, but as a mom I just can't. I can phone in a lot of stuff like letting everyone buy lunch all week long instead of me making lunch, scrounging around for and finding a simple red pen that I can then convince Gomer is a "really cool and amazing pen that will look terrific when you sign yearbooks with it!" and digging through Adolpha's closet to find her (probably dirty) field trip shirt, because she will be embarrassed if she's the only one not wearing one. I can dial it back and I have no qualms giving gift cards as teacher's end of the year gifts instead of something really personal and unique that took me months to think of or having a PTO vote over email instead of convening a real live meeting.
I'll be happy to take a C+ on my end of the year skills. It's better than failing.
I was not the mother posting Last Day of School pictures on Facebook along with side by sides of the First Day of School pictures. (When did this become a thing? WTF! I can't keep up!) I was feeling overwhelmed and half assed, because my kids looked like ass on the last day of school. I gave up trying to dress them months ago. On the last day of school I'm pretty sure Adolpha wore a striped shirt with a polka dot headband and argyle knee socks and Gomer has taken to dressing like he's ready to be subbed into a professional soccer game at any moment. Who wants a picture of this??

I was feeling overwhelmed and half-assed, but then I took a looked at my kids. They didn't think I was half-assing it. Gomer was thrilled with his super cool red pen and Adolpha loves to flex her style muscles without any interference. They enjoy having me at their class parties and chaperoning their field trips. I'm lucky, I have the job(s) that I have so that I can have the flexibility to do that kind of stuff. There aren't too many more years left that they're going to want me around.

Jen and I might feel like the Worst End of the School Year Moms Ever, but at least our kids didn't notice and everyone passed to the next grade, so we must not be screwing things up too badly!

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20 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was amazed at all the moms who were posting and tweeting about attacking their children with water balloons and squirt guns as they got off the bus to "celebrate" the end of the school year. Talk about when did this become a thing! I even saw that one mom put together a gift basket for her son to kick off summer.

I can't. I just can't.

mom keck said...

did you get your end of the year parent grade from your children's teacher or is your school an old-fashion pass/fail system. And if you fail your parent assignments do you have to repeat being the science project mentor, the costume maker, the snack provider, or whatever the school assigned you without your permission and sometimes without your knowledge over and over again. Or is your student graded down whenever mom doesn't do her assignment to unknown standards.

RachRiot said...

Oh, shit- I forgot about the teacher's gifts! Thanks for the reminder, from one half-assed mama to another. *searches pantry for unopened box of Fiddle Faddle*

Sheree said...

At least your kids end of year didn't end up like this kindergarten's class graduation. http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57587076/fight-erupts-between-parents-at-kindergarten-graduation/

What happen to common sense?

Trashy Blog said...

We all rock this shit hard. Because we're awesome moms and bloggers and pretty much everything else. You did great. :)

Anonymous said...

I am not a perfect mom. I never was. I STILL feel incredibily guilty when I think of all the things I DID NOT do for my oldest when he was in elementary...yes I attended field days and the customary Texas tradition of rodeo day. I even went in place of OTHER kids parents who couldn't go because they worked and square danced my ass off but I have NEVER been a "check the homework" folder kind of mom. I didn't spend hours reading and helping with homework. I made it THEIR responsibilty from early on.
I always have said if you see me at their school something is WRONG.
I joined the PTO one yr and just couldn't do it. I finally just sent a nice copied note to school for my kids teachers saying basically; I love my kids. I do. But it is their job to teach them. I will not ever say "not my child..." I will ALWAYS back them up and make sure they are respected as teachers but I will not be cutting cute shapes out of construction paper or working the school store. I will be their silent partner at home. If things run amuck call me and I will make sure my child tows the line. If they miss an assignment don't call me. Tell THEM. If they get a zero, an F or a D...that is on them. This is their education not mine. Let them take their bumps. It teachs character. I promised I won't call them freaking out our yell at the principal about it. I wanted them to grow up to be self sufficient. To take responsibility for themselves. To be good, kind and moral people and part of that is learning the hard lessons while in school.
I am very proud of my children. No they aren't perfect. My oldest works and goes to community college to get his basics out of the way before transferring to a 4yr for his teaching certification. He wants to be a science teacher. Meanwhile he works with kids everyday. He makes lesson plans and safety drills and does way more than a 20 yr old in his first job ever would for minimum wage.
Middle is an ABC student. One who also just mixed up two of the three questions on his EOC for this year and will have to retake the test. I HATE standardized tests...but he took responsibility and is making arrangements to retake it...ALL ON HIS OWN.
Little is my 6th grader. Struggling to find his place. He plays in band and loves it. He has high expectations for himself and rarely brings in less than a B. He doesn't really work hard at it...it just flows. It helps he pays attention in class so he really doesn't need to do much at home based on the way his school teaches.
Am I lucky? HELL YEAH!
If even one of these three numnuts goes amuck we are in trouble...because I won't fix it. I won't make it all better. They will take it as it comes and I will stand back and watch even though it hurts. There are valuable lessons that helicopter moms and dads are forcing their kids to miss out on. Real LIFE LESSONS.
I think even if though I haven't seen a homework folder in ages...they will turn out just fine.

Unknown said...

"...taken to dressing like he's ready to be subbed into a professional soccer game at any moment." Yes. We have a boy clad in top to bottom shiny polyester over here, too.

Jenna said...

I can totally relate to this post. This week is the last week for my kids' school and it is packed with way too much to do! We have events at the school every night except Wednesday. (No one tries to compete with Wednesday night church service in this town.) I am so mixed up and behind that I forgot to give my youngest son his lunch money today.

KCmomof2 said...

J has taken to dressing like the 6th man on the KU Jayhawks. He has 4 pairs of identical KU shorts that I bought on clearance at Target for $3.19 a pair. It was the find of the century. They have pockets so he can wear them to tennis. He wears them every day of the week. He has taken to doing his own laundry mid-week so they are clean again after he wears the 3rd of 4 pairs. So I am the mom who everyone thinks her kid only has 1 pair of shorts. I make him tell people he has 4 pairs of those shorts when we see them on consecutive days and he is wearing them again. At least he does have approximately 12 shirts he mixes up with them. Not all of them match but that isn't a battle I am fighting.

Anonymous said...

My son will be 1 this month and already all of these new end of the year rituals are starting to freak me out. I can only imagine what it'll be like when he goes to school. Actually, not that I think about it, it gives me the creeps. What's up with all of this crazy over celebrating?

Karen said...

What? The last day of school is for chaperoning parties, taking photos and making special gift bags to kick off summer?

I spent it downing 3 bottles of wine in order to prepare myself for the onslaught.

Abby said...

As a teacher, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I read that blog post and really wanted to laugh, but instead found myself in tears. I'm trying so hard to remember how much I love teaching, but with the constant backlash from students, parents, administration, school boards, and the state (nevermind the federal NCLB travesty), it's hard to make much progress.

It's almost amusing how many stories I could tell in just this year alone for parents who have blamed me or the rest of the school for why their precious angel isn't doing what they are supposed to be doing. (Case in point, we currently are required to email a particular middle schooler's parent on a DAILY basis about homework, behavior, etc. However the work still doesn't come in and the parent is still finding reasons why she can blame us instead of her kid. We are all terrible people who are just "picking on" her kid.)


It's my birthday today and I've spent much of the evening wondering if I am an idiot for devoting my entire life to a career where I am the scapegoat. It's the only thing I have *ever* wanted to do since I was a little girl, but I don't know if it's worth working almost 60 hours a week and be constantly blamed for "not doing more."

There's a reason why our kids keep falling further behind the rest of the world and that reason is closely linked to why about 50% of new teachers leave the profession within the first 5 years...

Unknown said...

These moms don't even make me feel inferior. I look at them and think, it's so great they love their kids. When does school start again?

Unknown said...

You rock. It's just that simple. :)

Nancy said...

PLEASE tell me you are kidding. Is this a real thing?

Nancy said...

Abby, it makes me sad to hear you question the career that you worked so hard to achieve. I am a private music teacher, but I feel a bond to all teachers, because we do what we do because we love to share the knowledge. We love seeing the kids have their "a-ha" moments." It is terribly unfortunate that the parents place so much blame on teachers like your self. I hope that this summer break will help you get some answers. Maybe private teaching or Montessori is an answer? Whatever it is, I wish you many, many years of happiness.

Oh, and...Happy Birthday!

TNMom said...

I have always wondered what genius put teacher appreciation week right at the end of the school year! I mean, I am all for a celebration of our teachers - I love them! I appreciate them all year round and send in EVERY item from the "wish list" every month, but don't they know how hectic the end of school is without having to do a bunch of fancy crap! Put that shit in February when we are still going strong - the teachers will make out like queens!
A few friends of mine sent me this post from Jen too, cause they know how I handle the end of the school year. I LOVE SUMMER! YAY!

Jenna said...

I so agree with you! When my sons were in preschool they had constant celebrations, events, and tons of things they expected parents to show up for and do. I was right to dread what was coming when they actually started school. So I did the only thing I could think of to change it-I joined the school parent organizations so I could influence the school to at least space things out.

Abby said...

Thank you.

Ali said...

This is my last year of the school year morphing quietly into summer, my oldest starts kindergarten next fall, and I'm scared shitless. thanks a lot. ;)

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