Worst End of School Year Mom Ever
by Jen Hatmaker on May 30th, 2013

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.
Last signature: April 26th. I'm good at other things.

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.”
“We already read.”
“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.

Then Ben tells me Tuesday that he needs a Ben Franklin costume for the Living History Museum today, and I’m like what fresh hell is this?? I have no idea how I missed the correspondence on this (because I’m not checking backpacks is just a theory), but Brandon is the Costume and Project Parent and I am the Daily Grinder, which is a division of labor we agreed on to ensure our kids actually graduate one day and move out, but he is out of town on a mancation, so this is on me. I cannot even handle signing a folder in late May; a colonial costume is cause for full, unrestrained despair.
So Ben went to school like this today, and there is no way this will ever not be a part of his childhood. Please note my scarf hanging out the bottom of his vest, as well as the soccer socks stretched over his Adidas pants. Just whatever, man.
"Mom, I should've picked a black character. Like Abraham Lincoln." Bless it.

My shame was somewhat mitigated when I saw a kid wearing a random t-shirt and jeans with a pair of swim goggles around his neck (Michael Phelps) and another girl with a piece of paper taped to her shirt with her character’s name written in marker. I caught the eyes of their moms and was all solidarity, you guys.
Teachers, we need to make a deal that after April testing, we don’t have to do anything else. You don’t. I don’t. I don’t care if you watch movies in class five days a week and take four recesses a day. I mean, Caleb had to bring an About Me poster with five school days left in the year. In September, this might have produced something noteworthy, with pictures perhaps, even some thoughtful components to describe his winning qualities, but as we’ve used up all our bandwidth, we yanked trash out of our actual trash can, glued it to a poster, and called it a day. I am not exaggerating when I tell you this is the very most we can do on May 29th. This is our best work:
Note the caveman labels: DRINK, MOTORCYCLE, GAME, SHOP, FOOD.
End of school hard.

The emails coming in for All Of The Things – class gift, end of year letters, luncheon signup, party supplies, awards ceremonies, pictures for the slide shows, final projects – are like a tsunami of doom. They are endless. I mean, they will never ever end. There is no end of it. I will never finish and turn it all in and get it to the (correct) Room Mom and get it all emailed and I am pretty sure the final week of school will never be over and this is the end for me.
“You don’t have to do all that, you know. Just blow it off.”
Me, staring blankly:
“Well, what a lovely thought you’re having there in your brain. How nice for you to be thinking that thought. I want to live in your imaginary world where my failure to do the School Stuff doesn’t mean our kid is the only one not wearing a purple shirt or didn’t have his pictures in the slideshow or didn’t bring in a handmade card for his teacher like every other student. I’ll just ‘blow it off’ and our kids can work it out with their therapists later.”
“You don’t even know about all this, man.”
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:
“I’m bored.”

Just in case you think this is "anti-teachers", you might want to check out what I wrote last month: Dear Teachers Everywhere. TEACHERS RULE. We ALL crossed the finish line together. Cheers!

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displaying most recent 100 comments

faisal - November 27th, 2013 at 10:27 AM
Anne O'donnel

agin your Comment plz
Francie Brown - December 4th, 2013 at 2:20 PM
This is absolutely one of the funniest essays I've ever read in my life.
Kristi - December 30th, 2013 at 8:11 PM
Omg I am like CRYING reading this hahahaha! Wow! I don't even know how I stumbled across your blog LOL. This is just great. I have four kids, only two of which are in school. Still. I so understand the struggle LOL. Good stuff ;-)
M Mills - April 22nd, 2014 at 9:51 PM
Jen, not sure how I found your post. As the mother of four - 3 already in college - it made me laugh out loud. I remember the reading, and the costumes and the exhaustion. Please keep writing, you have a gift. And figure out how to block the stupid spammers from commenting - it's out of control and you are too good to have this trash on your blog. Keep it up, summer is around the corner!
Krystle - April 22nd, 2014 at 10:05 PM
Yes! Love it! After Spring Break we all checked out! My kids have been late to school EVERY SINGLE DAY since then. Solidarity, sister!
Christy - April 23rd, 2014 at 4:48 AM
Just imagine teaching high school and having elementary age children. Some days I've totally used it up. And my daughter is a rules child, so the auditory learning thing would never have flown but i love it
Amy - April 24th, 2014 at 10:22 AM
I am right they're with you! I teach HS and have a first grader, am on the PTA board and sometimes I just want to find a hole to crawl in and never come out!!!
Lori - April 23rd, 2014 at 6:47 AM
This made me feel SO much better. My daughter went to school as Queen Esther the other day with curtains, yes, curtains pinned to her. :-)
Amy - April 24th, 2014 at 6:25 PM
Carol Burnett in training!
Amanda - April 23rd, 2014 at 9:35 AM
You and I just might be soul sisters.
Cristy Tucker - April 23rd, 2014 at 9:44 AM
Pregnancy hormones (6th baby and possibly 6th girl - 'surprise!) made me cry as I read this (as I laugh as well) because this is sssoooo me! One year the girls got to school and it was 'Biblical character' day. I didn't realize it until we pulled up to school to see all the little Noahs and Marys piling out of the minivans. I kept a straight face and said, 'you are all children of God. That is your character, roll with it. Love ya! Get out of the car.' I have been known to assign the reading task to the older girls for monetary payment so I can breathe. And homework folders that are not brought to me as soon as I get home from work are considered null and void. I thought I was the only one! Yay for solidarity in the messiness of life :)
Grace Dobson - April 23rd, 2014 at 9:59 AM
I had a good laugh at this because I just sent a note to a friend that pretty much said "do you think that blue swim goggles and a pink with fleece inside winter hat with flaps will look close enough to an Amelia Earhart wax museum outfit for my kid?" UGGHHHH....I'm with you...solidarity.
Hannah - April 23rd, 2014 at 10:12 AM
Oh sister....I'm in the process of adopting a sibling set of SIX kids and your post has taken off so much of the pressure! I'm going to just focus on two of my kids during the school year from now on. Maybe only one during the summer.
Kris - April 23rd, 2014 at 10:45 AM
As another mother of 5, I love you. That's it. You are perfect fellow exhausted Mama.
KPK - April 23rd, 2014 at 11:06 AM
I can't even muster enough to get my 3 through April. I bow to you ;-)

Jill - April 23rd, 2014 at 11:54 AM
This is so freaking hilarious! Amen Sisters!!!!! I have a neighbor who was room mom for all 3 kids at the same time. I almost melted from guilt but she loved doing it and I know I hated doing it so what is best for the kiddies and teacher, is what happens. We all do our best, don't we. Thank you!
Randi - April 23rd, 2014 at 12:41 PM
This is literally the funniest thing I've read EVER. If I read it 50 times, I would laugh until I cried every single time. Sharing it on Facebook is not enough. I'm trying to figure out how to make this mandatory reading for every mom I know. The Ben Franklin picture - and the caption - just perfect! Any kid who actually wore that to school with a good attitude has a mom worth having a latte with.
Becky - April 23rd, 2014 at 1:32 PM
So refreshing to know I'm not alone in this journey through hell. I laughed so hard as I was nodding along.
Shannon - April 23rd, 2014 at 1:50 PM
It's. Not. Just me? OH thank GOD!
Donna - April 23rd, 2014 at 1:51 PM
I am a school teacher of 5th graders and I love this! We feel exactly the same way on the other side of the fence! Solidarity indeed!!
Mary - April 24th, 2014 at 11:38 AM
And I, a teacher of middle schoolers, whose parents stopped signing in Early November, hahahaha. I laughed so hard ... seeing from both sides of the coin. Great writer! Thanks for getting us through to the end of the year!
Lisa Preecs - April 23rd, 2014 at 1:56 PM
Amen sister!!!!
Boopie - April 23rd, 2014 at 2:18 PM
So I read this perfectly wonderful article about burned out moms in May and these totally weird, voodoo magic posts follow? GET A FREAKIN LIFE WEIRDOS! This is a Mom blog, not some catchall for shysters (look it up if you don't know what it means).
Nancy Nelson - April 23rd, 2014 at 2:20 PM
I laughed hysterically!!! There is every ounce of truth in everything she said. I have a senior graduating and and a 7th and 8th grader. The 7th grader brings home a science study guide and asks for help getting it filled it. She decided to bring it home because she was confident that her mother's BS in Horticulture Science was the ticket to helping her fill in the answers. Let's see it's been ummm 25 years or so since I've used that information. . . it so wasn't happening. I ended reading through her materials to help her find the answers. I am completely with you on the costume thing too. My kids seem to think because I am also a seamstress that I can just whip out a costume at any given moment. Kudos to the parents who just made do. I am loving the solidarity. I would like to tell you it gets easier when they get to high school but sorry to say in same ways it gets worse. A serious case of senioritis always upsets the apple cart. Good luck you all and God Bless. Thanks for the laugh.
Manda - April 23rd, 2014 at 2:58 PM
I'm glad to see this post making the FB rounds again. I only have 3 children, but I've been having this discussion with a childfree friend: something falls apart around child #3. I homeschool my children. Thank the Lord I don't have homework papers to sign and send home, because they wouldn't be signed and sent home. I got an email about being snack parent for soccer last week. Snack parent? If you're lucky each 4 year old child runs make 10 yards in the course of a game before benching himself. It's 9am, fresh after breakfast. Are snacks really necessary? Homeschooling is really a misnomer, it should be called fieldtripping- and I've just about had enough. I'd blame the parents with only 2 children for having the energy to put these together, but some of the homeschool super moms have 3 too. I'm just the slacker. I have a costume story. We go to a weekly co-op, and the kids were to dress in garb from the 1920s. My 8 year old really wanted to dress up, so I dug through our dress up closet and got a handful of beads and threw them on her. For good measure, she actually stood in line to have her costume "judged". Other children were dressed as newsboys, Baby Ruth, mobsters. I think there was even a Charles Limberg. I'm positive the best ones only had one sibling, or even worse- were only children. To make it even worse, the pictures have been posted to FB. Children in awesome costumes that obviously took weeks, and then mine, which obviously had no thought at all. I'm off to take my kids to afternoon music class where someone will ask me if I want to be hall monitor during their Sat morning class. Um, no.
Karla - April 23rd, 2014 at 3:49 PM
I laughed year and I am laughing still! I am a former teacher and now mother of three. I highly value teachers, education, and learning and I still manage to find the content of this post hilarious. All of my teacher friends and former colleagues were reposting it and laughing at it as well.
Kim - April 23rd, 2014 at 3:55 PM
Wonderful and whimsical! As a former teacher and mom, I can SO relate to all of this. By April, I wanted to toss comic books at them, plug in a movie and kick back with a good book for ME! LOL
Sara - April 23rd, 2014 at 3:59 PM
Another teacher comment! I am a teacher and a mom! Just tie our legs together and make it a three legged race to the end! We are in this thing together;)
Frank - April 23rd, 2014 at 4:03 PM
You know, when you are old and gray you might need these kids for support. They will probably take the same attitude. Mom, is she still in the nursing home?
Amanda - April 23rd, 2014 at 4:25 PM
I agree, Frank! I was not laughing throughout this article. I have a great sense of humor, but I just think we are doing our children a disservice by not being as engaged in their education as possible. If we stop caring, so will they. And that, my friends, just contributes to the attitude that they can do the absolute bare minimum to get by and to have zero pride in their accomplishments. I love how the teacher added in the homework folder to encourage and congratulate the children on their accomplishments. How can you do that when you aren't even interested? If you do not have the energy at the end of your day to help educate your children, rearrange your life and priorities so you do. Period.
Get - April 23rd, 2014 at 7:28 PM
Boo to Amanda. Must be wonderful to be so perfect.
belinda - April 23rd, 2014 at 9:02 PM
Frank, you are obviously someone who never lifted a finger to help your poor wife with the kids or you would see the humor in this post. One can't understand what they have never experienced
Amy - April 23rd, 2014 at 11:48 PM
Wow. She's not leaving her kids at school and pretending they don't exist anymore, which is the comparison you are drawing with them forgetting she's in a nursing home. A more relevant comparison would be that her children may simply help her slap some things on a poster board when she has to do the "About Me" poster board in the nursing home's show and tell, or they may help her throw together a costume instead of hand-stitching it when she has to dress up for the senior citizens' book club.

This mom loves her kids and supports them. She's simply using humor to point out what happens to normal families after 9-10 months of busy schedules full of making lunches, ensuring homework gets done, running kids to extra-curricular activities and orthodontics appointments, etc. Just like people who work outside the home need vacations every once in while, families need a vacation after a full school year of hard work. The mom expressing that doesn't mean her kids should abandon her in a nursing home when she is "old and gray."
Cassie - April 23rd, 2014 at 4:14 PM
This is so funny and SO true!! I only have one kiddo, but I am beyond ready for summer.
KATHY - April 23rd, 2014 at 4:39 PM
I am a retired Elem.teacher & BELIEVE IT OR NOT- the teachers FEEL THE SAME WAY! The end of the year AFTER all the tests are over is CRAZY TIME! YOU know it, THE KIDS know it, & THE TEACHERS know it too! BUT, in defense for the teachers its NOT their faults that they are STILL asking for ALL this crazy stuff..its the administration...they HAVE to do it b/c they are being MADE to! THEY WOULD LOVE to show informational movies & have "outside activities" for the rest of the year but of course they can NOT! I found your post/blog HILARIOUS/ENTERTAINING & TRUE REALITY! I only had 1 son, but by the end of the year -getting him through was a nightmare for me as well & I KNEW his teachers were giving BUSY WORK just like me...but Heaven FORBID let the Principal or Asst Principal come in your classrm & "catch" your children NOT working "as Usual" & your job could be on the line for the next year! Education/Teaching/Learning MUST go from the BEGINNING BELL to the ENDING BELL...EVERY DAY OF THE YEAR! NO BREAKS! Now your school system MAY say/act "to your face" like they are "laid back" @ the end of the year...BUT in reality I PROMISE you Almost ALL systems go by the "BELL to BELL-BEGINNING to END OF YEAR TEACHING" RULE. FUNNY FUNNY REAL POST! It shows REAL LIFE & HOW HARD IT IS TO raise children in today's schools. GREAT JOB!

hh - April 23rd, 2014 at 4:42 PM
Sounds like someone shouldn't have had five kids.
Emme - April 23rd, 2014 at 7:38 PM
Wow, judge much? Sounds like someone should should contact the doctor to have that implanted stick removed.
Britt - April 23rd, 2014 at 9:13 PM
Oh my gosh!! Lmbo!!!
Melissa - April 24th, 2014 at 2:30 PM
Why don't you find out the background of someone before you assume something. They adopted their kids and from Ethiopia. What have you done for humanity lately?
Tonya - April 23rd, 2014 at 4:45 PM
LOVE IT!!! I am a fifth grade teacher and mother to a first grader and a second grader. I can say with complete sincerity "I am right there with you!"
Kathy Smith - April 23rd, 2014 at 4:49 PM
This is my last two kiddos, one is graduating and the other is in the 10th grade so we have finally made it to the point of almost being through with school, except for college. Mind you I have had children in school for the last 28 years straight without a break at all. I am so ready to ne throught.
Jenny Neville - April 23rd, 2014 at 5:09 PM
Thank you for the laugh! So needed it! I hear ya sister! %uD83D%uDC4A
Rachel - April 23rd, 2014 at 5:11 PM
I am not a teacher. But I worked with teachers & parents for 20 years. I was the administrative school secretay! I was also a mother of 4 boys. I can relate with the teachers & the parents! The blog made me laugh for I heard the complaints from both sides! End of the year everbody is looking forward to summer! Since the office & custodial staff worked longer than the regular school year we would find many lost jackets, lunchboxes, backpacks stuffed with homework that never made it home or notes from parents to teachers that never made it to teachers. I can see the humor in this blog. A a mother I recall my oldest son was a third grader an at 9:00 p.m. He jumped out of bed & remembered that he needed dry beans for the next day project in school. He said he got a note from the teacher but lost it! Then he says they have to be lima beans. I had to wait for dad to get home after 10:00 p.m. So I drove to 3 grocery stores that were opened late. No dry lima beans! We lived in Richmond,TX, close to Houston. So I drove to Houston & luck was with me! Found a bag of dry lima beans. Made it back home by 2:00 a.m. My son was so happy that I found them. He said he only needed 5 beans. I gave him 5 beans in a baggy and walked him to school. The rest of the beans were never cooked. I threw them out! The class was planting the beans to see how they grew! I understand how parents & teachers see humor in this blog!
Heather - April 23rd, 2014 at 5:22 PM
Read this after 2 long and silent days of state testing!! Perfect!! I needed to laugh out loud!! Thank you.
Jana - April 23rd, 2014 at 5:58 PM
To the few negative nellies out there - you are dead wrong to even post one thing against this blog. I have raised 4 children and they are grown now, the oldest being 36 and the youngest 20, and I can tell you this is spot on. Go find somewhere else to lay your negativity. You are in for a rude awakening when your kids are in college and out having a blast at 4 in the morning, experimenting with sex and probably a few drugs, if they have not already done that in high school or mid school. No one is as perfect as you are pretending to be.!! My experience is that the kids of these "perfect" moms, are the ones going hog wild later on... Karma can be a bitch!!!
Sherry Hall - April 23rd, 2014 at 6:20 PM
Some of the comments crack me up....but not nearly as much as this blog post did! As a fifth grade teacher trying to get those folders out to you ONE more time, I feel your pain. I think we would make an awesome parent-teacher team!
God bless you for being able to laugh. That's what I do because it's that, or cry!
Kymi - April 23rd, 2014 at 6:29 PM
I've not read anything so funny since Erma Bombeck. I'm a teacher and a mother. Great sense of humor, great writing skills... so stinkin' funny, I've still got tears running :) Thank you!
Christine - April 23rd, 2014 at 6:35 PM
I am a teacher and a mom, and I would be HAPPY to make that deal with you!!
Bernadette - April 23rd, 2014 at 6:58 PM
This is seriously laugh out loud funny....and I'm a teacher! Never once crossed my mind that it could even be considered anti teacher. I'm so glad to know that parents (moms) feel this too! Thank you for making my day.
Jamie Pierce - April 23rd, 2014 at 7:06 PM
LOL!!!! You are amazing!!!!! I had just finished 1&1/2 hours of reading and homework with my two kids and was sitting on the couch with a black cloud stirring violently above my head. I was viciously scrolling on FB looking for ANYTHING to blow away the cloud. GOD BLESS YOU SISTER! LOL!!!!!!!!!! Exactly what I needed to not go over the edge. Not to mention how awesome it is to know I'm not the only one! Btw, I never posts on these kinds of feeds. I wish you a TON of success!!!! You should send this out and see if you can't win yourself a seat on Good Morning America!!!!! Be sure to email me if you do!!!!
Shelley - April 23rd, 2014 at 7:12 PM
I don't know you, but I LOVE YOU! Thanks for the laugh! Solidarity! P.S. I'm a mom of three AND a teacher. I TOTALLY GET IT!
Mom of 5 - April 23rd, 2014 at 7:50 PM
Mom of 5 and I can honestly say I have survived 20 years of school projects etc? This article really hits home very true and extreamlly funny.
Jena - April 23rd, 2014 at 8:15 PM
I don't get how people can feel entitled enough to provide their unpleasant remarks when they are the ones who clicked on the blog and read it. If you hated it, stop reading it. How is judging someone via a BLOG COMMENT in any way helpful!? If you have something negative to say, don't say it. Move along... Everyone is entitled to their opinion and share their story. Especially seeing that is HER blog. She has the freedom to do so (well at least for now, you may want to take that away from her also)... How great it is that your realness can speak to so many mothers AND teachers. It's not like she isn't doing the work. Life is just already enough work as it is! I don't even have kids! I can't imagine. I appreciated the honesty tho. It makes people feel like it's okay to not be perfect.. Especially since there is no way to be perfect. And what joy there is in getting to a spot of accepting that truth! :)
Senora S - April 23rd, 2014 at 8:18 PM
I completely understand where you are coming from, since I feel like this EVERY DAY in 4th quarter. I try to stay positive, but the students can be a handful. We all seem to be DONE. However, I have to get through a certain amount of material and cannot watch movies all the time. We have to get done what we need to get done. Trust me...I would love to sit around, as I am soooooooo tired and sick of their negative behavior. The reality is that we have to continue and keep moving; otherwise our jobs would be in jeopardy. It sucks, but it is what it is!
Lori - April 23rd, 2014 at 8:27 PM
Love it!! Burned out parents here also! I'm just convinced that a majority of the homework is to test how smart the parents are! Lol and just think I have many more years of this! Ugh
AB - April 23rd, 2014 at 8:30 PM
Are these negative, judgmental comments for real? Do you people honestly think she doesn't care about her children or their education? If so, you know nothing about her, nor do you have much of a sense of humor at all. Do you even realize how pretentious you sound here? It must be nice to have reached the pinnacle of perfect motherhood in which you never, ever have moments that feel like this, so CONGRATULATIONS to you! Just remember, though....it's lonely at the top, especially when you're always looking down on others.

Megan - April 23rd, 2014 at 8:36 PM
Ahh, thank you yet again for making me laugh so hard my stomach hurts. Just got pushed nearly to the brink of insanity by a 10 year old not being able to fall asleep. (If you STOP calling me and complaining about how you can't sleep, maybe you'll actually fall asleep!!!) I NEEDED to read me some Jen Hatmaker. Love how you keep it real - it's a beautiful affirmation for so many of us that we are not alone in the messiness of this life. Keep it coming, sister!
Rosie - April 23rd, 2014 at 8:42 PM
Yup. You nailed it. I'm that mom, except my kids are grown, and they turned out just fine, jobs, children, etc... I still remember having to go out for foam core board at 9 pm for a project due tomorrow! I wish I could have laughed, but no, too tired. Science projects were the worst. But hang in there, moms everywhere. Someday you'll have grand kids to spoil, and that is just the fun stuff and none of the daily tedium.
misty - April 23rd, 2014 at 8:59 PM
I loved it I was just sad I clicked on it and had to read it to myself after reading AR books with my son lol glad im not alone
Beth - April 23rd, 2014 at 9:02 PM
I am so glad someone put into words what I am feeling and trying to express nicely. All the little stuff is driving me absolutely crazy and it is great to know that I'm not the only one. First day back from spring break everyone was carrying book report projects. What?????? When did that happen? And the first day back? Yikes!!!!!! And where did the class pictures go I am supposed to turn back in and where did the science fair sign up sheet go. I hear it is. Can we lose it again?
Carl - April 23rd, 2014 at 9:07 PM
Not enough time to read for 20 minutes with your kid at bedtime, but you can find time to write this blog, funny as it is.... You have a strange sense of priorities!
Kim - April 23rd, 2014 at 9:14 PM
Oh my gosh this is hilarious! "Levels of suckage"...yes! Thanks for the laughs!

Ted Garvin - April 23rd, 2014 at 9:21 PM
This describes my life! Spiritual discipline? It is to laugh.
R. Kwasniewski - April 23rd, 2014 at 9:29 PM
Brings to mind some of Erma Bombeck's work! Loved her humor and yours as well!
Elem rocks - April 23rd, 2014 at 9:36 PM
I am a teacher also and this is the funniest thing I have ever read!!!! Lighten up sticks in the mud.
Faith - April 23rd, 2014 at 9:46 PM
I am a mother of 3 adult children and this is spot on, love it %uD83D%uDC4D I worked full time and my children were also in extracurricular activities so YES the end of every school yr is a challenge. My husband and I now have a 3 yr old and that is the one and only thing I dread, the end of the school years to come. %uD83D%uDE06thanks for sharing.
Karen - April 23rd, 2014 at 9:52 PM
Loved the blog. My children are grown and gone, but it's good to see the craziness continues. I actually dressed one of my children in a tablecloth for a costume. All I had to do was cut a hole for his head! He's 32, has a Masters in Electrical Engineering, and doing quite well. For all those negative comments from people who do not have a life!
Susan Ramsey - April 23rd, 2014 at 10:00 PM
I am a third grade teacher and stayed at home for ten years when my kids were little. This is spot on and I feel the same way. Wish we could show movies and do art every day. Thanks for the reminder how burned out parents get too.....only independent homework from here on out.
Michelle - April 23rd, 2014 at 10:34 PM
All I can say is I got such a chuckle out of this..... I am a mother of 4 (a wide range of 4) a 15yr old boy, 10yr old girl, almost 7yr old girl and a 3 1/2 yr old girl! I want to start by addressing all the people who assumed you were talking negatively or blaming the teachers..... what I got from your blog was a good laugh at yourself as a parent( that is what made me chuckle) I laughed right along with you, especially the hole in the shoe so we can make it last the rest of the year. My 1st grader came home with a little hole in the toe of her sneaker that was barely noticeable a few weeks ago, and I thought the same thing till last week I picked her up and she had a bright yellow spot the size of a quarter ( she happened to wear bright yellow socks that day and the hole had gotten significantly bigger) , I broke down and got her a pair of sneakers :-) Thanks for giving me a reason to laugh at my slacking :-)

S. Brown - April 23rd, 2014 at 10:50 PM
Loved the blog. Reminds me of an Erma Bombeck article. Pay no heed to negative posts.
Beth - April 23rd, 2014 at 10:50 PM
That was so funny! You can love your child, be the very best mom AND STILL have a limit. I saw lots of comments from what must be perfect mom's (yeah sure you know the type!) Enjoyed laughing with you.
Chris - April 23rd, 2014 at 10:52 PM
Oh man I remember stalling on the gyms shoes in May too! (Sandal season in 2 weeks and then her feet will grow before next years PE shoes. I.will.resist.buying.new.shoes!) And this was passed on to be by the best teacher my children EVER had.
What a breath of fresh air.
Kim - April 23rd, 2014 at 10:58 PM
Kathy's right! Believe me, we teachers would love to relax, but we have to do what we are told or kiss our jobs goodbye! Especially now with Common Core and everything being data-driven and test-driven, the paperwork is horrendous!
Angie - April 23rd, 2014 at 11:16 PM
I love how people can be all "wow, you have time to blog but no time to listen to your kid read?" Seriously? We aren't talking about Morgan Freeman reading Shakespeare. I love my kids, I swear. But for four days a week, every week since August, I've listened to a first grader and a kindergartener decode, sound out, stumble through dozens of books. I've smiled and encouraged them while inside I have completely zoned out because you know what? We've read this book eight times already! As a former teacher and current mom, I laughed last year and I'm laughing now because IT'S FUNNY. And it's real. I know those few and fabulous super parents out there are fearing for the very future of our country because God forbid we don't celebrate our child's every successful homework paper (and let's just be honest--the homework page is the school's way of covering bases when that angry parent wants to know why little Johnny failed--it is as much a hassle for the teacher as it is for the parent). As a mom, I don't get a high five for making the bed, doing laundry or cooking dinner. As a teacher, I didn't get a "great job" for taking attendance, writing lesson plans or grading a stack of mostly awful essays. Loving our kids is not displayed in our signatures in folders. You, Jen, are one of my heroes. :)
Juliette Southworth - April 23rd, 2014 at 11:36 PM
I soo needed to read your blog today!!! Thank you for the laughter. I relate so well!!! I have 4 kids at 3 different schools with 6 teachers each that do everything different from the other!! I can't keep up! Oh and the healthy creative breakfasts and lunches??? That ended after Christmas break! Until summer...
Real Moms Unite! - April 23rd, 2014 at 11:41 PM
Loved the honesty- I'm a mother to kiddos aged late college to a kindergartner, and you are spot-on. Thanks so much for the belly laugh- much needed as we enter the home stretch. Please pay no attention to the judgemental "perfect parents" (side note: why are so many men lining up to judge your mothering? Just sayin')
I have no idea why some feel the need to judge another's parenting. This seems like a newer phenomenon, and it starts up when we're pregnant. Will we have a natural childbirth, will we breast feed, will baby sleep with us, will we work or stay home, will we only feed baby organic whole foods that we've pured ourselves, and on and on- it's exhausting from the start!
Kudos to you for bravely representing us real moms- your kids seem awesome. The ones I really worry about are the kids raised in the tense, anxious, "perfect" families%u2026

sandra limjuco - April 24th, 2014 at 12:31 AM
Loved this! And yes, you are a wonderful writer with great humor. It was even fun reading some of the snarky comments, too. Take a breather, ladies, really. Anyway, thank you!
michelle boag - April 24th, 2014 at 12:34 AM
I totally get it but in some of the comments the parents are basically saying that the timelines are out of line for assignments. I don't know about everyone but in my line of work (construction) you have deadlines all throughout the year that SUCK and you just need to Suck it up and work through it. Maybe that is what the teachers are trying to teach them. Parents of today need to stop thinking that because their children have homework that means they have homework. I am a mother of 2 and yes when my daughter had reading that she needed to do she sat in the kitchen while I cooked dinner and read to me and when she needed help with a word I would go and help her, but you can guarantee when they are old enough to be having assignments due they are old enough to find all the information necessary to complete it themselves and on time. Just like in the real world. Whether that is 2 days before xmas break or 10 days into the start of school. Kids need to stop being taught to rely on mom and dad to do all the hard work for them. I know that our generations parents made sure that we did our own homework and we never suffered!
Anera - April 24th, 2014 at 2:08 AM
As a teacher and a mom, I soooooo totally get this! You crack me up! :-) Thanks for the chuckles...I'm totally sending this to all my friends.
Concerned teacher - April 24th, 2014 at 3:15 AM
Shame on you for being so selfish! What are you teaching your kids???? That they're too good to follow the rules? That, one day, when their boss gives them a project and they are too "tires," they won't have to complete it??? When a professor gives them an end of course project, they can skip it? They will be kicked out of college and never be able to hold down a job!

I'm a teacher too...and a mom... Your children may have been assigned several projects at the end of school, but teaching them to take the easy road is not doing them any favors!!!!
Kate - April 24th, 2014 at 3:26 AM
Bravo! I applaud you saying out loud. I thank you!
I too, am that mom.
Originalpk - April 24th, 2014 at 3:49 AM
I am a teacher and not a mom. I loved reading your post and can't share it with my colleagues. I always try to keep in mind that homework is for tge kids, not the parents. Thanks for sharing!!
Marian - April 24th, 2014 at 4:55 AM
Very funny! As a teacher and a mother of 4adult children, who all have a very strong work ethic, you have nailed it! Summer vacation is just long enough for parent, teachers, and kids to be ready for a fresh start; although by the end of summer I was probably not the only parent who felt like the world's worst mom because I was not being fun and perky in late August. A sense of humor can help all life's challenges seem less earth shattering. :-)
Paula Pedrick - April 24th, 2014 at 5:33 AM
I am a teacher of 2nd graders.....and I feel your pain!!!! I am like a ratty old hound dog, just wanting to hang around in the sun and do NOTHING! But with 24 days left......it is so hard to keep the kids engaged....School starts in July for teachers....I need time off NOW!!!!!!! Hang in there one and all!!
Arthur - April 24th, 2014 at 6:04 AM
I can understand both sides of this post. Even though its basically a year old its still interesting and funny. But I really do hate when people criticize something perceived to be "negative", its just another perspective. I mean, people can say "well I guess you are so perfect". That REALLY is a copout answer. Why don't some of you read the comment and think about what they are saying rather than sarcastically call people "perfect".

I don't think anyone here would say they are perfect, that would be a joke, so I think its funny when all these people replied with that. And, I also don't think those people being criticized should be silenced. People were also saying the people with "negative' replies were "spammers" and asked if it was possible to delete those comments. Jeez, if people can't handle criticism then maybe you should get off the internet.

Yes, you are a hardworking and caring mom. that I'm sure of, and I applaud that. But I'm sure all the people that had something "negative" to say all thought, "why didn't you have a child or two and then get birth control". When you center a child on not having to read, they get directed towards not reading, and this can have a lasting effect. Any little comment can cause this. But see, this isn't negative because I KNOW you are tired. Parenting is tough! But again, goes back to having less kids.
As for the teachers at the end of school...
teachers don't schedule busy work anymore. Lessons are planned to the end of school, and thus their teaching suffers when you can't focus on a child because of three or four others. Granted, you NEED the rest, I get that.
Please don't misunderstand though, I'm not angry or trying to hurt anyone's feelings. Its just that everyone I know that enjoys their free time or enjoys being able to go workaholic on projects realized that it was one or no kids. If the motherly instinct hit that hard then I guess have a bunch. But I can see why people would respond negatively to this post, and in their supposed negativity, others just don't realize what what these "negative" people are actually saying.
They're saying "WHY did you have so many!?" why why why
lol They feel sympathetic, but it comes out negative, so don't be too harsh, it seems that many commenters are being harsh for you.
As I write this and read other comments, I continue to see this "perfect" comment. No one here said they were perfect, how offensive. And as of this moment I have read no comment that said a parent HAD to help a student with all their homework nor did a teacher assign homework that MUST be done with the help of parents NIGHTLY. lol

As for Mrs. Hatmaker, I believe you have a ton on your plate, and you are super tired, and you are a freakin SUPER MOM!!! Holding it all together is damn amazing. I guess what some people are saying is that they understand "why" you have to do stuff like "not read" with them. But, consistent treatment like that can permanently create an adult avarice towards reading, which many of my friends have. Hardly anyone I know reads anymore. Its not mean OR perfect to follow the common sense; when you tell a kid that they are reading when they listen to you then they will learn that a book is not needed. Thus what you say could backfire and then they stop effectively reading by the time they are sophomores in high school.

Again, I know it sounds like I'm the meanest most perfect most spammiest spammer ever but....
I'm just acknowledging your side, but also the people that have criticism for you.
Miles - April 24th, 2014 at 8:34 AM
Welcome to the generation of women for whom, despite the inability to financially rationalize staying home to be the primary caregiver (SEE: "mother" - dictionary.com for explanation) they plow ahead anyway and have, not just one, but two, or three, or four, or five... kids, then head on off to work for the duration of their childhoods. Meanwhile, other people are left doing the lion's share of your job - the job you were meant to do and signed up for back when you blithely decided having more kids than you could afford might be a "pretty cool" pro bono side gig which, you reasoned, could earn you serious martyrdom points with your husband/life-partner, family, friends, and anyone else in earshot of your tales of whoa about how slapping some processed foods on their dinner plates then plopping them in front of the television until they go to bed while you clog up facebook with re-posts of funny cat videos and inspirational my-kids-are-the-light-of-my-life posters five nights a week is wearing you too thin and you really, really could use a break. It's safe to say these are the moms who, had they gone another way back when they were consciously deciding whether or not to take on then shamelessly shirk the biggest, most important responsibility the world/life has ever known, would have undoubtedly, inevitably become a cat hoarder, seriously obese, fell "victim" to a histrionic disorder, or anything else they might conjure in order to otherwise deflect persecution from stepping up to the plate.

On a lighter note, I very much appreciated how well your post was written. If only moms would mother with the same dedication, time and effort as you put into your blog, well, I'd have a lot less opportunity to dilly-dally on blog op-eds, thus providing ample time for me to engage in things which really, really matter.
Terry - April 24th, 2014 at 8:51 AM
I'm a teacher and a parent of 2 boys. I feel THE SAME WAY! Teachers are just as tired as the kids and parents are!
Jennifer T - April 24th, 2014 at 8:54 AM
As someone who is about to become a teacher, I am so glad I came across your blog. I cannot stress enough to my fellow soon-to-be-teachers that as educators we cannot force the parents to do all this, its out jobs not theirs. Yours is to love and care for your child, mine is to check their homework, improve their reading, and make sure they walk out of my class with more knowledge then they came in with.
Theresa - April 24th, 2014 at 9:22 AM
This is one of the funniest things I have ever read about motherhood. I laughed out loud the whole way through. My children are grown now, but I vividly remember the total loss of enthusiasm that comes with the end of the year. Thank you for your honesty and humor.
PBrit. - April 24th, 2014 at 9:26 AM
Oh My Gosh..This story is SO relatable..And she is So Hilarious!!! Good job..Glad there are other "NOT Perfect" Mothers out there!!! Cheers to you!!!!
Heather T. - April 24th, 2014 at 9:57 AM
I nearly peed on myself. I'm being stared at by strangers. With 4 kids myself, I'm just glad I have a teammate to make me feel like I'm not the only loser mom! Ha! I used to shower or at least put on a hat to go through the carpool line, now I just look homeless. We can do this!!!
Polly - April 24th, 2014 at 10:07 AM
Not even sure how I found this but thanks lady. Crying, I mean laughing. Yep, what she said.
I only have two and for the life of me cant understand in how anyone does more than two.
Nikki - April 24th, 2014 at 10:09 AM
this is HILARIOUS! OMG... Please tell me i can subscribe to this blog...*searches for subscribe button*
Teacher and mother of two - April 24th, 2014 at 10:40 AM
Are moms not entitled to hobbies? Let the woman have her blog! We all feel the same way at the end of the day: too tired to listen to a child decode a word for 5 minutes just to get through a single page of a Dr. Seuss book. When we work all day, have to come home and do mom and wife duties like cooking, cleaning, and helping with homework, sometimes our priorities get out of order and THAT'S OKAY. I have told my 6 year old time after time "We'll read tomorrow night." because I want her to get to bed at a decent hour in order to feel well-rested and have a productive day at school the next day. As parents, we're not the only ones who are tired, but if we want to recoop by sending the children to bed on time to have a little "me time" before succumbing to exhaustion ourselves, let us enjoy it. I teach all day and have a part-time job tutoring just to be able to survive. The ultimate goal is taking care of our children's basic needs and teaching them the core values of life: love, compassion, etc. You all know it's true.
tia - April 24th, 2014 at 10:43 AM
Maybe you shouldn't have had five kids.
Meandy Bishop - April 24th, 2014 at 11:14 AM
I home-school my 4 children and I know exactly what you are talking about! The program I use is on-line and half of the stuff the teachers want me to do, I'm like, What, I am busy with all 4 kids, work, clean house, nurse, maid, all the mother stuff and you want me to "What"!?!? Yep. I get the end of the school Blues. I also get the other end of the school blues because what, I am a School Bus Driver. By now, none of the kids on my bus want to go to school, I don't want to take them to school, and all the parents want is to hand them over to me/school. And at the end of each day, the teachers can not put them on my bus fast enough.. Lol! So I spend time with up to 100 kids a day that don't want to go to school and with my own 4 that don't want to do school now at the end of April, either, and by the end of the day, when my 6 year old smiles and says, Mommy, read me this favorite story again, And I kindly respond, You can read it on your own, her response is, I'm too tired to read it. What???? And I'm not???? Oh well, Gotta love my life! Loved reading your story as well!
LeAnn - April 24th, 2014 at 11:16 AM
Love this!! Whether u have 5 kids or 1 kid that last stretch of the school year is hell!! You're an awesome writer and everything u said here rang true!!
Shelley - April 24th, 2014 at 11:56 AM
Husbands don't get it!:) I had to send in treats for the Valentine's Day party last minute, and fortunately found the bag of candy that my son brought home from the Valentine's Day party last year (which I had promptly hid and then forgot about) and sent those in! Mom score 1!
Marian - April 24th, 2014 at 12:17 PM
Wonderful article. I am a retired teacher who, with 2 granddaughters living with me is now seeing the "other side."
Katie - April 24th, 2014 at 12:20 PM
I don't have kids yet but this post (and comments!) make me so excited to be a mom one day :)

I can remember all the goofy things my mom helped me pull together, last minute no less, when I was in grade school. I guess I need to thank her for hanging in there with three little ones all needing homework and school project help! Your kids know that they are loved and that is the most important thing of all!
Sunny - April 24th, 2014 at 12:34 PM
I am so glad I am not a mom. Kudos for surviving to all the moms. But I laughed so hard at this....I am sorry.
Terry Peters - April 24th, 2014 at 1:02 PM
This post is hilarious and so well written. I only have two kids, grades 6 & 8, but I totally feel your pain about the homework folders, agendas, assignments for parents, etc. I remember having to spend every evening cramming all that stuff in around sports, music lessons and dinner prep.; I felt like I was a slave to the school. In fact, it was so awful, I decided to home school and have done so for five years now. Life is so much better, I'd almost forgotten how awful it was to have kids in grammar school. Thanks for the reminder!
Cheryl - April 24th, 2014 at 1:27 PM
I know what has driven me crazy. What my daughter and me both have lost interest in. She is is the 4th grade and has had the same spelling home work for the last 3 years. She is so bored with it. It is a fight every week to get her to do it. A yelling whining crying fight. I cannot make it interesting anymore. She had never made less than a 95 on a spelling test. It is so frustrating. Especially this time of year when it is warm outside to get her to come inside to do homework so boring and repetitive after 3 years of it.
Carol - April 24th, 2014 at 2:08 PM
The bad thing is that once you get yours out of the house - you start having g/kids! Hope you don't have to help with them.
beth - April 24th, 2014 at 2:32 PM
Beyond awesome with the shameful truth!! (And I only have ONE!)
Ellie - April 24th, 2014 at 3:06 PM
I love this. Full of grace (from you) and giggling (me). The single most useful piece of parenting advice I ever got was 'the best gift you can give your kids is a happy/sane mother' if what it takes for you to stay sane is ignoring the homework file then go you - good choice! My little darlings are 15, 13 and 5 (I have three days left of the easter break and if I have to play my little pony one more time I might scream...)
Chris - April 24th, 2014 at 4:03 PM
This would be funny if it were an exaggeration... but it's not. It's not an exaggeration and it's not funny. A mom has 5 kids... as a teacher, I have 25 kids... and now I know why they act like school is already over. And I know why students end up in college unable to read at the 6th grade level (and that's not an exaggeration... the local college has just had to create another reading class because the standard Developmental Reading class was too hard). Teachers aren't paid enough (I could probably stop the sentence there) to parent your kids. Parents need to do their job. Failure isn't funny.
Gretchen - April 24th, 2014 at 4:33 PM
Hats off to Jen Hatmaker who clearly does care and does parent her children. You missed one week on the homework folder, and Ben looked like Ben Franklin to me. All were saying and I am so agreeing is in August it's all Martha Stuart with super star hand made Facebook worthy cookies, "oh, my!" and by April it's Pinterest be damned, here are the Keebler cookies from Walmart. We are tired, we work, we volunteer, and we need a vacation! This cracked me up and gave me a laugh. It was inspiring! Lastly, I'm adding "suckage" to my verbal repetoire.
Barbara - April 24th, 2014 at 5:44 PM
I will never ever erase this. I haven't laughed this hard in decades!
jared - April 24th, 2014 at 5:48 PM
I'm not judging, this is solely my opinion. Before you say I don't know what I'm talking about, I was a teacher and a child psychologist. This is the thoughts of most people so I get the humor. Unfortunately, most people act on their thoughts and finish short of the finish line. The collage at the end of the school year could have been a chance to show the children to finish strong and even when you're dead tired to achieve for greatness. That lesson wasn't taught here. I get it. Its hard being a parent. But something simple like this can teach a child to finish half ass. Maybe they quit sports in the middle of the season because its tough or not enough playing time. We are models for kids in every way. And while I did laugh and think "I know what you mean", there could have been some cool lessons that these kids learned from some stupid end of the year collage. But if the kid makes a "c" on that collage don't gripe about how their was five days left and the teacher shouldn't have done that to the children. Once again I'm not judging just giving a different solution
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