Thursday, July 1, 2010

Confessions of a School Mom

I don't like the summer this year.  There I said it out loud.  Or at least wrote it. I am a school mom in a summer hell, and if I didn't think it would traumatize the children, I would make a paper chain of days left until they go back to school.  Danika asked me what has happened to me.  My blogging has dropped off completely; no pics, no witticisms, and nothing thoughtful.  How can I explain that - mainly due to this massive inconvenience to my life - I can barely keep it all together, let alone THINK.

The house looks like it has been tumbled through the dryer, and I have to fight for the will to sit in my kids room and tell them, again, to pick it up.  Make their bed.  Get those toys off the floor. Put your clothes ON. *siiiigh* Of course, I didn't know that there was a difference between a "school mom" and a "summer mom" until I took an innocuous survey that would tell you; it basically tests whether you like your days scheduled and structured, or more free flowing and spontaneous. After 10 incredibly "scientific" questions the result was overwhelming. *angelic chorus*  I am a 97% Bonified School Mom.  Why?

Because I love the school time of year.  I love that we all have to get up, get dressed, and have to GO somewhere. I can make a quick early morning stop at the store, right after the last kiddo springs merrily off to class.  The small kids take naps as scheduled, and in that peace and quiet of the morning I can BLOG, get the laundry going, pad about the house picking up stuff without anyone undoing it, start the dishwasher, wipe off the counter, and thoughtfully prepare for dinner and what the afternoon will bring.  I make phone calls during this quiet time - either to make appointments, research, or call a friend to catch up without being peppered by children's tattling, and questions about whether they can have some juice RIGHT NOW, and random screaming.  I am organizing, recharging, and putting my little world to rights.

Summer is none of these things.  And with a newborn babe, a busy road by my house, and young kids not old enough to self-supervise, it is ESPECIALLY none of these things.  I sat in a friends house yesterday, and confessed my hatred of Otter pops.  She has 6 of her own kids and said, "Oh I KNOW!  The clipped ends all over, the drippy syrup, sticky fingers, sticky faces and stained clothes!  I told my husband that if he ever brings them home again, he's dead meat!!"  Oh soul sister.  Thank you.  I didn't have to say it.

You see, when other mothers beam about the delights of having their kids home for the summer, I have always felt a particular guilt that either I was a rotten mom, or that I had rotten kids.  Now I understand that it is neither of those things.  I am a great mom - 9 months out of the year!  My kids have homework done on time, projects completed, and an awesome "Market Day" entrepreneurial experience!  They wear clean clothes, have early morning scripture study, get to school.... pretty close to on time, with their backpack, lunch and permission slip signed!  Later on, we have a sit down dinner at the table.  With a fruit, vegetable, and  A CLEAN TABLE CLOTH!

I scream A LOT less during those months....

But for now, it is summer.  It is hot.  We are home.  All of us.  All the time.  We are sick of each other.  Everything fun requires time and money, but worst of all it requires getting everyone dressed and into the car.  And I don't want to take a newborn to the pool and simultaneously try to keep the 2 yr old from drowning.  Grocery trips are a nightmare for all of us.  I hate the germs (and the food) associated with the play land.  It is not fun for me to keep having to do a head count to make sure no one is being molested. The vegetable project is a failure; meaning that the strawberry plants died, but the pumpkins and weeds are growing like gangbusters.  Every time I pull into the garage I think that we should organize it, followed immediately by the thought that it is too hot to organize it right now.

I am weary.  I am out of synch.  There is cereal on the counters and the floor.  The spot of toothpaste that I meant to get up off the carpet has been upgraded to "needs the carpet cleaner" status.  And I would do it, if the kids could ever stop tromping on the hallway carpet.  I am just not a summer mom.  This is not fun for me, and I will be glad when it is all over. And when it is you will see me blogging once more and doing this:


Danika said...

I'm seriously laughing so hard I'm crying right now! You summed it up perfectly and that video is priceless. I'm totally stealing it to post when school starts here!

I wasn't trying to make you feel guilty about not blogging. I just miss reading all your awesome posts - they are always spot on!

I am 100% school mom. And I always feel that same guilt when people tell me how much they LOVE having their kids home during the summer...good for them, do they want mine too?!? :)

Sarah E. said...

I love that video too! Though I like summer (most of the time)my house will not be deep cleaned, or anything close to it for 5 more weeks (you read that right. 5 weeks!) I have tried, again and again to take the kids grocery shopping.I can't stand it. It is usually those days that after Jonathon gets home and everyone is fed that I stand up, announce that I am leaving and will return promptly when the kids are in bed and the house is quiet. (Shocked the pants off Jonathon too!) Heck, start that paper chain countdown. Just don't tell anyone what it is for, then relish in the joy of tearing one off each day!

CUTE baby boy you've made there!

Danika said...

Hooray! A post from you!!! I totally sympathize with needing structure and schedule. I'm honestly thrilled Ireland seems to consistently want to be fed at 3AM because I can count on it :)

Alisha and Josh said...

Hey-I am a school mom too- all the way but last year I put together a calendar of an activity we would do each day. It gave me some structure with what I wanted to accomplish and it gave the kids something to look forward too. I had swimming on one day and visits to the library on another. Email me at brandonfam at cox dot net and I will send them to you- at least it will give you some ideas to go off of. Good luck my dear :)

scyp said...

My child being under the age of 3 and always home along with 2 others under the age of 2 I really don't know yet if I'm a school mom or not yet, but I do like structure and when it is nap time the two youngest tired or not go down for a nap. Then Clayton gets his down time activities and mom either naps or does something more productive. (lately its naps)
I do know though that kids really do like structure as well. So they don't have to keep guessing. All my education classes taught me that. So perhaps they need a schedual and on it somewhere is mommys recess. :) At which time a new law is put in place where your oldest watches your 2 year old and does some thing on their own. ??? Don't know if it would work but it sure sounds good. Good luck getting through the summer!

Kirsten said...

My friend you are not alone. I didn't know there was a scientific test out there. I am not a summer mom either. I go crazy in the summer and have had many of those upseting gulity feelings before. I am only the entertainer for about three days and than school can not come soon enough. I am counting down the days and we have exactly 24 week days until school starts again! I can't wait! Structure is one of my favorite things in life :)!

Reggs said...

HA HA HA HA HA!! Makes me wonder why it isn't the MOM who is prancing around the Staples store!