Monday, August 18, 2014

for the mom who feels like she failed summer

Dear Mom who feels like a failure at the end of summer,

I know how you’re feeling. We all started the summer with so many grand plans. We had great ideas of activities and learning, and so much adventure. Unfortunately, that never happened. August is dragging, and I cannot take it anymore.

I love my kids, really I do. But for the love all things good and holy, I cannot handle one more minute. So I know what it feels like to hide in the pantry, sneaking the last of the s’mores graham crackers, while frantically searching for the corkscrew to open a bottle of wine. I know that acute feeling of defeat when I survey the vast summer landscape and realize that most of my well thought out plans for summer ending up going straight to the toilet. 

I had hopes for each of the kids to learn something new. All the learning that happened was that my youngest learned how to make over easy eggs. This was only because one morning she was hungry. When she asked me to make her breakfast my only thought was that I was not in any way about to fix one more ounce of food for anyone, and just let me eat my breakfast in peace. 

Surely, I’m not the only mother who has responded this way towards the end of summer vacation.

We’ve had a good moments, for sure we have. We camped once. And we visited the coast. We had a few great hikes and some really nice days at the lake. There was one blissful evening at the river, when all was golden and light. 

But unfortunately, those moments were temporary. Husbands have to work and we get left with…well, you know, the kids. 

I began to get that creeping sense of failure when I hauled a roll of painter’s tape with me on a round of errands because the kids wouldn’t stop fighting. In a fit of panic I let them have it with the only mother-like threat I could think of that didn’t involve death. I was ready to tape their mouths shut. 

Thankfully, it didn’t come to that. 

But, dear sisters in the midst of these fiery trials, take heart. For in just a few short weeks we will give up our children to their teachers. We will happily say, “Good luck with that one” and go sit at Starbucks for eight hours of blissful quiet. And then we will cheerfully pick them up at the end of the day, because no matter how much they drove us crazy during the whole dang summer, we will have missed them. 

So dear Mom who feels like she failed summer, allow me to encourage you with this truth. Guilt is only a trick of an enemy who doesn’t like to see us embrace truth. We must choose to run from guilt. I’d also recommend avoiding Pinterest so that you can’t see what other more together moms are doing. How about instead, let’s sip one last glass of cold brew and say, “Screw it all, we’re going to the lake. And for once no one is going to fight and everyone is going to have fun. Or else.” 

Forever yours in the battle of motherhood,



  1. Girl, THANK YOU. Thank you for this. I am that mom. We start tomorrow and I am barely even vertical at this point. It's been uglier than ugly around here. I have my first post since July 30th ready to go for tomorrow and it is much of the same lament...a summer that went rather awry. Here's to school and professional teachers and 8 hours alone. Amen and hallelujah.

    1. Amen. And pass the sweet tea. Or margarita. Or something.

      I am barely vertical along with you, thankfully we don't start until Sept 2. I think. Actually, I don't really know. Better go check on that....

  2. Yes and YES! Good gravy this summer has nearly done me in! And even though only half of my 4 kiddos are old enough to go to school, I keep thinking of my glorious upcoming days with JUST the 4 year old and the baby at home. Becuase glory hallelujah, the baby is not old enough to fight with his bother yet!!!!!

  3. Glory hallelujah is right! I miss those days when they weren't old enough to fight. But now I'm grateful that most of the time the fights are fast and furious, and then it's all hugs.

    May I suggest a pair of noise canceling headphones for you when those days do come? They are most helpful. ;)


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