Worst End of Summer Mom Ever: A Sequel
by Jen Hatmaker on August 16th, 2013

Oh, don’t even say it. I already know. This Mama is singing a different tune and JUST WHATEVER ABOUT IT. Yes, the girl who bemoaned homework folders and daily school requirements and reading minutes and All The Things is now on her knees, begging the teachers to take these children back.
 
You understand this, right? We had the fun. We surely did. We did the swimming and the vacations and the sleeping in and the loosey-goosey living, and now ladies and gentlemen, I am very much over it. Back me up: summer is too freaking long. Twelve weeks of this is unreasonable. What does summer think we are? Machines? Excuse me, but I've never done anything well for twelve straight weeks in my life.
I can't help you process why my kids can't make normal faces for pictures.
0 for 5 in this gem.

Sixteen hours a day for infinity days without the helpful scaffolding of school or clubs or teams has pushed me to the point where I recently told my children: “I’m so sorry. I see your mouths moving but all I can hear is BLAH BLAH BLAH. Your needs are probably real, but I am unable to attend to them at this time. If you cannot make a sandwich or solve this particular problem, whatever it is that your moving mouths are trying to assault me with, then you will either starve or bludgeon one another or fight to the death and die, and I want you to know that I will miss you.”
 
Gentle reader, we traveled with our cherubs for almost a solid month. That’s precious! you say. The family memories and such. How lovely for the childhood experiences and bonding and the darling things. Yes, that, but also, not. There was a moment driving home from Colorado (after driving TO Colorado in one car with five children then spending two weeks together for all the minutes of all the days) when the plan was to fight through the fatigue and just drive all the way back to Austin, but somewhere in Lubbock, we dumped our family in a hotel, because I was afraid for their actual lives. I assessed our driver Brandon and concluded their continued existence was at genuine risk. The good feelings were gone.
This space became God's tool for our sanctification.

Also? There is no stupider place than Texas in August. I.Cannot.Even. We can’t be outside (unless we hate ourselves) and our neighborhood pool feels like a bathtub. The children should be in school already, sitting in air conditioning and learning something, instead of wasting their lives on video games and TV because the outdoors have ceased being an option and their mother has lost the will to live. In the midst of this oppression, the air conditioning in my Suburban went out, so my innards slowly melt every time I drive and ooze out in attractive back and butt sweat. The only adjective to describe the effect on me is homicidal, especially when the youngins are saying things like, “Mom? Why does your arm fat swing like that when you turn?”
 
My Beginning of Summer Attack Plan has atrophied. We are no longer cooking delicious new recipes together. Caleb had Lays potato chips for breakfast yesterday. At the crack of 11:15. The wheels have come off, dear ones. I did my part: the fun camps, the trips, the pool, the lake, the snow cones, the Good Times, and now it is all dead to me. I’ve reached to the outer limits of my capabilities, and we are now in the black hole of what I call “the screw-its.”
 
This summer was packed with awesomeness, but we need structure back. We need routine. We need kids to go the freak to bed. Sure, we will soon put them down while the sun is still blazing, but that is what blackout blinds are for. It is time to restore our home to a nurturing environment for children instead of the frat house it currently resembles. Will I struggle to manage the early hours with five uncooperative sloths? Sure, but then they will all leave.
 
What will I do? I will think my thoughts, which I haven’t heard since June 5th. I miss my thoughts and I look forward to seeing what they’ve been doing. For all I know they could’ve been curing cancer, but they’ve been stamped out by missives like He won’t quit touching my game/remote control/Afro and Could you make me a sandwich/pizza/taco and I am bored/hot/hungry and When are we going to leave/eat/bathe again? My thoughts have done all they can do for these people, and they’ve put in their notice.
 
So Teachers, I sincerely hope you enjoyed your well-deserved summer. I hope you actually frolicked. I imagine it took exactly this long to recharge after teaching our children for a year, and I've told you how much I love you for that. Here is the good news: you’re about to have a bevy of fresh-faced, chipper, super-charged Mamas in a couple of weeks. We will cheerfully volunteer for Class Moms and parties and Friday Folders. We will sign those daily reading minutes LIKE A BOSS. Our children will be at school on time for tens of days.
 
Disclosure: This will be our best selves. You will temporarily enjoy the fruits of our highest levels. Exploit it, Teachers, because it will slowly erode. We aren’t as efficient as the vibe we’ll be putting out. But for awhile, when you’ve taken our kids’ brains back into your capable hands and it appears they have the capacity to learn again, our gratitude will manifest as proficiency.
 
Enjoy it while it lasts.


How did you fare, Mamas and Daddies? Are you finishing summer with a bang, a tear, or whatever sound it is when your awesomeness fizzles?


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866 Comments

Sarah - August 16th, 2013 at 6:21 AM
Love this post. 6 days until our vacation at a cottage by the beach. So excited yet so scared. It all hinges on the weather- no internet, no tv.
Elaine - August 14th, 2014 at 10:43 AM
Haha! Did that once without telling the kids and hub. They found a store and bought a TV and rented movies! We were right on a sandy gorgeous beach! UGH!
Gail - August 14th, 2014 at 4:14 PM
Board games, card games, books, puzzles. Playing in the rain as long as it isn't thundering and lightning. Enjoy your electronic free time together.
Karina Allen - August 16th, 2013 at 7:20 AM
There are no word to describe how much I ADORE you! You are on my Top 5 list of Fave People! I literally laughed out loud throughout this whole post. Thank you! I can't wait to hear what your thoughts have been thinking. :)
Angela A - August 16th, 2013 at 7:29 AM
Next time go on a vacation all alone too. Probably fairly soon after the family one. I had a mission trip that happened to be in Alaska. And the rest of the time, get your friends or the grandparents to help once a week. Leave the kids with them. Go to "work" or just sit alone somewhere and stare at wall in silence. Whatever it takes to give you a bit of a break. That seemed to help me this year. And the cooler temperatures in Oklahoma this summer. I DEFINITELY remember feeling like you last summer when it was so crazy hot. Being able to get outside is HUGE.
Lisa Bergren - August 16th, 2013 at 7:38 AM
Hilarious. Our favorite commercial ever was the one featuring the Christmas carol, "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year," as parents frolic down the back-to-school shopping aisle. We've had fun, but definitely in uninspired frat house territory too. Thanks for telling me I'm not alone.
Paige Flinn - August 17th, 2014 at 9:13 AM
I have been dreaming that commercial%u2026 YES! One week to go%u2026.
Ashley - August 16th, 2013 at 7:39 AM
Fiz.zle.
Rachel - August 16th, 2013 at 7:42 AM
Hahahaha yes!! These eat days truly are our best selves of the school year. It's all downhill from here.
beth - August 16th, 2013 at 7:45 AM
you speak the truth, mama. good grief. and we have until sept. 4. frat house.... that's the best description of the state of things around here. and TX heat? we lived there for a year. could. not. take. it.
Wendy - August 16th, 2013 at 7:46 AM
Ahhh drinking coffee with my thoughts for a week now. I am a better person when they are in school :-). And when you have one that can drive YOU DON'T EVEN HAVE TO LEAVE IN THE MORNINGS! Coffee thoughts and pjs! Sweet heaven.
Alicia - August 16th, 2013 at 7:46 AM
I am done also. I know I shouldn't complain but our weather here in Missouri has been unseasonably cool. Too cool for the pool. I feel like we're getting gipped when we only have a small period of time to enjoy the pool here in Missouri. Plus, my husband & I had an amazing, relaxing getaway to a friends' home in Hot Springs last weekend and I have had a difficult time (yes even after a week), acclimating back to real life. We have barely done anything this week and I feel bad that this is our last weekend before school and we have NOTHING planned. Although, I'm kind of happy about that as well.

Hannah - August 13th, 2014 at 3:25 PM
It has been unseasonably cool here in IN too, and I'm dying. I LOVE SUMMER. Nearly everything about it. Totally gypped this year! I feel your pain!
Liz - August 13th, 2014 at 3:36 PM
I grew up in CO and have lived in IL and WI as well. I used to love summer. Then I moved to Texas. Jen is right - it is too hot to go outside and you can barely make it from the door to the car without melting. Autumn come quickly!
Dawn - August 16th, 2014 at 11:18 AM
This Colorado (lack of) summer is killing me over here ... Yesterday was *only* 68 outside (in the later part of the day), last week there was a day down to 58! :-( And the fact that Cool October is right around the corner is suffocating my soul ...My soul needs to be back in Texas, I NEED WARM/HOT, please, please, please (minus the humidity would be nice)!!!!! Oh and YES, I am ready for school to start as well, with my brood of 6! :)
Tracey - August 16th, 2013 at 7:50 AM
School has been back for a 10 days today. Ahhhhhhhhhh. cool weather is rolling through Atlanta and it's marvelous. Amen!
Tina - August 16th, 2013 at 7:51 AM
Congratulations Jen! you made it. And no worries, my kids have the NERVE to ask about my arm jiggle as well.......as if! Love you girl, you are my idol :) Look forward to hearing from your thoughts.
Stephanie - August 16th, 2013 at 7:51 AM
I love you so much I can't stand it. A.MEN.
Sandi - August 16th, 2013 at 7:51 AM
Oh, my. I am right there with ya. I have had 10 beloved kiddos in my care this summer and my only claim to fame is that I haven't lost one.... Of course, there is yet today. I'm not sure I have thought my own thought since sometime in the late 80's and I'm a little afraid of what is lurking up there in the space that is my mushy mind. School starts next week..... I'm hangin' by a thread.
Melissa C - August 14th, 2014 at 1:43 PM
I laughed harder at this comment than I did the article itself! I feel ya!
Kristen - August 16th, 2013 at 7:53 AM
Teacher here....ha! About the end of July, I'm ready for those kiddos! August is just one long month of Sunday nights for me. Today is my last Friday of the summer....I remember well how you feel when my girls were little. And yes, August is like the northern winter "cabin fever" - too cold to play outside. We're trapped in our A/C because somebody left the oven on outside! Oh, I hear you! Hang tough. Just a little bit longer. And FYI, I adore your blog and books!
Courtney @ The Life and Times of Me - August 16th, 2013 at 7:55 AM
I just wrote a blog post entitled "I'm Over It". Sooooo over it!
Christy - August 16th, 2013 at 7:55 AM
First week back. I just said our house looks like we were robbed, our trash cans are beyond full with nasty take-out containers, and I smell like a Jolly Rancher because I keep forgetting to buy. my. own. soap! This weekend I WILL get our unstructured selves back together, and I WILL stop wearing bathing suit bottoms as underwear because I WILL do some laundry! So there! :)
Lillie - August 16th, 2013 at 7:56 AM
Yep....ramen noodles, desserts every night and screen time WAY beyond what any doctor would "reccomend". Me desperately going to the orthodontist, library, calling every friend to see who can do lunch so we don't have to spend any more "quality time" together in this house fighting over the IPad, who kicked who or hearing "are we going out to eat again?" that's right people...mama has ceased to cook, clean or be able to be rational until summer is OVER!!
Shay - August 16th, 2013 at 7:58 AM
We still have more than three weeks to go and I daily want to wring someone's neck. LOL at the van being the place of sanctification!!!
Stefanie - August 16th, 2013 at 7:58 AM
This pretty much sums up how I feel! Thanks for putting it on paper for me.
Lizzzy - August 16th, 2013 at 7:58 AM
Will you be my best friend? Awesome.
Amy Vogel - August 16th, 2013 at 7:58 AM
Typical Jen Hatmaker awesomeness. My favorite line: It is time to restore our home to a nurturing environment for children instead of the frat house it currently resembles. Our house is still in a state of niceness, but only because we just moved back from being overseas, then left it for 10 days. It has started fraying at the seams because the cat brought in fleas (welcome home humans!) PTO meetings start for us this week and well, I genuinely look forward to seeing those ladies again. As always, thanks for keeping it real!
Penny - August 16th, 2013 at 9:17 AM
I was thinking "Hey, MY friend just moved back from overseas, then left on a two-week trip. How coincidental." Then I realized it was you. And of course, you are reading Jen's awesome words. *waves* Hi Amy!
TW - August 16th, 2013 at 7:58 AM
I am on the same wave-length as Karina! I love your posts ;) You speak my language. I was a work from home mom for seven years (infancy thru 1st grade) of only ONE child. So tho I have an inkling of the tediousness experienced at the end of summer. I have to say - I now work outside the home. And, well, I gotta say - (I truly miss being with my kiddo) BUT I don't mind terribly spending my summer days in Austin, TX inside air conditioning :) Thanks for all the laughs and I am now diving into your book "7"!
Greta Gibbons - August 16th, 2013 at 7:59 AM
It makes me so happy that your children had potato chips for breakfast. I tried to make my daughter, the notorious junk food junkie of our house, eat something else first before the chips. It didn't always happen. I was in survival mode. Thanks for making me feel like we are 'normal'!
Erica - August 16th, 2013 at 7:59 AM
Amen!! You put it all so well :)
Kristen - August 16th, 2013 at 8:00 AM
Thanks for telling it like it is!! A lot of parents wouldn't admit just how burned out we get by the end of the summer! We have about two more weeks until we go back to school! And we are at the point of just sitting around watching tv all day and doing other brainless things. I can't even bring myself to take any more pool trips at this point even though I know if would be good for us to get out! I guess it hasn't helped that I've had a sick kid last week and now another sick kid this week! Hope you get your thoughts back soon!! I definitely need mine!
Leslie - August 16th, 2013 at 8:00 AM
OH MY!!! I am dying laughing while reading this, I totally feel you! We have two more weeks, two more freaking weeks and I am now considering putting my 2 1/2 yr old in MDO a couple of days a week even though I cannot afford it!! Yes, school I was ready for you to be over, but now I am ready for you to begin again. And bless all of you teachers, you are saints for doing what you do!!
paige - August 16th, 2013 at 8:00 AM
amen sister!! hilarious!
Sandra - August 16th, 2013 at 8:00 AM
Funny! Our family (minus my oldest in college who is very smart plus my mom who WILLINGLY INVITED HERSELF ALONG) drove from DFW to North Carolina for vacation. My hubby who usually does most of the driving got stung by wasps right before we left for home and was doped up on Benadryl much of the ride home. We drove straight through from Atlanta to DFW and got home after 4 a.m. because we couldn't bear the thought of one more night in a hotel together.
Now I should be ready to send them back to school, but my middle daughter is going away to college so I find myself getting weepy when I spy her dirty socks on the couch. I know it's madness, but I find myself treasuring the circus-like atmosphere because it doesn't last forever (just seems like it sometimes).
Shannon - August 16th, 2013 at 8:01 AM
So, as a teacher (speech pathologist in the school-same thing without ridiculous classroom management skills), I have mixed emotions about the whole back to school thingy. I love sleeping until 8 and letting the kids silently rot their brains with Disney Channel and X Box. I love staying up for Project Runway and Chopped. But I am TIRED of yanking them OFF the screens for the bazillionth time and feeling guilty if we don't have a playdate/pooltime/physical activity/math drills/read anything/summer camp/vacation plans every minute of the day. I am almost ready for structure. Jeans, even. One more week. I call bullshit on this fall-like weather we have been having, however. Cause I know we will roast in those classrooms in mid-September!
Kelly - August 14th, 2014 at 2:48 PM
A teacher/mom here...loved her article at the end of the year, and enjoyed this one also. As a mom of daughters on their own I, too, am almost ready for structure. As a teacher of 1st/2nd graders, sometimes that is too much structure...and then I take them camping in September and totally am thankful for that routine I worked on building the first three weeks. Good luck on getting milder weather this fall.
Kim - August 16th, 2013 at 8:01 AM
There were screams, cheering and a full blown dance party in the cul-de sac when the bus drove away with the chirrrren 10 days ago.
Desirae - August 16th, 2013 at 8:02 AM
Thank you, thank you, thank you!! My brain hasn't recovered YET but you captured it ALL!! Thank you for the encouragement, reminder, truthfulness, & transparency. I'm hiding in my car before going inside just for 2 mins of peace so I can read your page...& I am so grateful for the reminder that in a few days, they are all leaving for a little while. Then, I can reclaim my sanity; I just need to remember where I put it...lol. Have a great school year.
Barbie - August 16th, 2013 at 8:03 AM
I love my kids almost as much as I hate summer break.
Auntie J - August 16th, 2013 at 10:05 AM
AMEN!
Ann (the one without the e) - August 16th, 2013 at 8:03 AM
I wonder if you even know that we're best friends? You never text or call, Jen. It's ok, I have ample time to assure you that we are indeed best friends when you come hang with my people in October in Frisco ;-)
Hillary Smith - August 16th, 2013 at 8:03 AM
I have lived every word you speak of. Thank the heavens that school starts next week. You are amazballs!
Brandi Whaley - August 16th, 2013 at 8:06 AM
preach on sister....I got nothing left right there with ya !! .

and I am totally inspired to sign those reading minutes once again ...LIKE A BOSS :)
Heidi H. - August 16th, 2013 at 8:07 AM
Our school system went to a new schedule and our summer is only 8 weeks long. Kiddos were back in class on August 1st....Happy, Happy, Happy!!!! :)
Jenny - August 16th, 2013 at 8:07 AM
You put all of my thoughts into words, dear friend. I'm looking forward to reuniting with my thoughts again soon - so very, very soon. I'm starting to think year-round school is a great idea...
Miranda - August 16th, 2013 at 8:08 AM
My kids went back to school last week and I have enjoyed the glorious silence that I haven't been able to enjoy since approximately 2003. 10 years. That is how long there has always been a short human here at home with me. My youngest went to Kindergarten this year and I'm pretty certain the heaven's parted and I heard choirs of angels singing on the first day of school. It was so wonderful that we immediately took my husband in for a Vasectomy.
Elizabeth - August 16th, 2013 at 8:08 AM
And to think. This year, I decided to homeschool. Waaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh!
Linda - August 16th, 2013 at 8:27 AM
Lol, you can do it! We are having a spelling pretest today, getting our first week of books and lesson plans ready, and diving in on Monday. I just have to figure out how to get my ninth grade son out of bed before noon!
Olivia - August 16th, 2013 at 9:09 AM
Frequent, short breaks!!! That's my sanity saver! We start in July, and then take a whole week the first full week after Labor Day to go to all the fun stuff clogged up by school-goers all summer!
Lori - August 16th, 2013 at 9:50 AM
Me too! At the beginning of summer it sounded like such a wonderful idea, and now, as I am watching all my friends post pictures of their little darlings headed off to school for the first day, I am seriously reconsidering.
Amy - August 16th, 2013 at 10:43 AM
Getting through that first week of watching everyone do the "normal" thing of sending kids off to school, meeting their mom friends for breakfast, etc. is the hardest part. When you start to reconsider the nudge or prompting to homeschool, take those thoughts captive and decide to make it through your first year before re-assessing. Last year was our first year of homeschooling after pulling our kids out of an awesome public school. I am *SO* glad that my insecurity/grief/feelingsofweirdness didn't get the best of me. We love it now!
Heather - August 13th, 2014 at 10:03 PM
Way to go Elizabeth! I hope you have a super blessed year. We have been home schooling since day 1-I just graduated my first of eight children this past May. It was awesome. We kind of had an orientation day Monday afternoon and went over a few new things with schedule and curriculum and then yesterday we had a go of it and it was a total disaster. Parts of it were kind of funny and others not so much, but we all have bad days just like non-home school families. God's grace pretty much covers everything! When people ask me how do it-It literally is the grace of Jesus and nothing else. I love that my kids are home, even if they do drive me crazy sometimes. I couldn't imagine life with out them here all day.
Becca - August 14th, 2014 at 11:13 AM
We homeschool all year round with short breaks its actually fabulous structure when you want and unstructured when you want.
Sandy Cooper - August 16th, 2013 at 8:09 AM
I'm on Day 3 of kids being back in school. I don't think I've spoken a word...not a WORD...for the hours between 8 am and 3:30 pm. I'm still recovering. It was a rough one.
ashley - August 16th, 2013 at 8:11 AM
Its all hilarious....unless you homeschool! hahahhahha
Angela Ellingson - August 16th, 2013 at 8:12 AM
"Yes, that, but also, not." Hahaha hilarious. You are making me nervous about my plans to homeschool my little ones. Just kidding. But really. ;)
Kelley P - August 14th, 2014 at 8:03 PM
Be afraid. Be very afraid.
Kelley P - August 14th, 2014 at 8:04 PM
Be afraid. Be very afraid.
KelleyP - August 14th, 2014 at 8:24 PM
Well, didn't really mean to say that twice. :)
And you'll love homeschooling....but you sure won't have an end of summer to look forward too. :-O Mine will all be in a class on Wednesdays this year and I can't even imagine a quiet house with a day to myself. Wha???
Ada - August 16th, 2013 at 8:12 AM
Oh Jen! Always. Barrel full of laughs!!! I can't wait to hear your thoughts once they surface again ;) We are homeschoolers and have chosen to do school during the hot month of August and take a few weeks off when fall hits in all of its cooled off glory :) but I totally get this post! My arms are overflowing with a 5.5 year old, 3 year old and almost 2 that thinks she is 3 year old :) structure is my friend (therefore we don't take a full 3 month break!) love to read your words!

Ada - www.turquoisetomatoes.com
Sarah N - August 16th, 2013 at 8:15 AM
A to the MEN! I am SO tired of summer I want to puke! I love my kiddos too, but I need a BREAK!
Jennifer - August 16th, 2013 at 8:15 AM
My summer fun awesomeness fizzled about two weeks in and I only have one child. This week at a friend's house, he wanted to swim. Fine by me. He inquires about a swimsuit. Told him to jump on in with the clothes he had on. He asked about his shoes. My reply, "whatever, on or off...dealer's choice." He looked at me like I had lost my mind. Ten days and counting.
Susan - August 16th, 2013 at 8:16 AM
Another teacher here, but with my own kids home with me for the summer. Frolicking? Not so much. I wish there were a way to send the kids back to school while I take a few more weeks off. There is a plus side to going back to work: there is that we teachers do have one off period during the day. No children. Not even my own. It is blissful.
You speak truth always, Jen. Love to hear what you have to say.
shannon - August 13th, 2014 at 9:36 PM
Ahh%u2026 but in that 1 period (45min) we have as much work to do as a sane person all day. I would love a cup of coffee without a small child hanging on my leg (my own) or a pile of papers to attack. Just 20 min. of nothing pleeeeaaase. Love teaching, but need a break from my summer break.
Bev - August 16th, 2013 at 8:17 AM
I homeschool. 3 kids. 2nd, 6th, and 10th grade. Please pray for us. And send pizza.
Christa - August 14th, 2014 at 12:54 PM
Chocolate. Send us homeschoolers chocolate too. Plus coffee. Caffeine caffeine. Yeeeeeeeeeessssssssss
Jen - August 16th, 2013 at 8:19 AM
I homeschool my kids and I'm still laughing my head off in agreement!! Back to the table we go!! Time to learn! Forget this free-for-all we call summer! Bring on fall!!!
Love you, Jen Hatmaker. You are the best!!
Kristin - August 16th, 2013 at 8:21 AM
You may be my favorite person that I don't actually know. Yes and amen sister. I have done done all the things for all the days and now I am done. Reached that point at 4 weeks in. Thankfully, I am now on the other side and its glorious ;) my kids have an 8 week summer. I know, you can hate me ;) hang in there, as @momastery says "it gets better"
Diane - August 16th, 2013 at 8:23 AM
That's what summer camp is for. You are supposed to send them to summer camp so you can have a break!! LOL!! We LOVE summer camp at our house!
Amanda MacB - August 16th, 2013 at 8:23 AM
Four words - modified. year. round. school.

I taught on a calendar like that and LOVED it. 6-7 week summer, 2 week October break, 3 week Christmas break, 2-3 week spring break. Kids back in school early August. Talk to your school board. :)
Bekah - August 16th, 2013 at 10:25 AM
I would move just about anywhere for that schedule.... I still have 2.5 weeks with my kiddo home.... I'm going nuts!
Jess - August 16th, 2013 at 8:24 AM
I'm right there with ya, 7 are back in school and I can formulate an intelligent thought once again!!! It's us introverts that can't even function with the constant voices externally processing all around us. Thanks for keeping real :-)
Nicki - August 16th, 2013 at 8:27 AM
Jen your posts make me chuckle, even laugh out loud! (No I won't use the acronym! I am too old for that.) You hit the nail in the head, dare to say out loud what all of us moms are really thinking. And I love you for that. As I write this I am enjoying a quiet morning OUTSIDE our RV, while all my cherubs, husband included, sleep on. And it is bliss. While walking miles around Washington DC, I have become the clothes hanger, the trash can, the carryall, and the money giver. Oh, yes, and the couch. Amazing how kids try to sit on you and think that could be comfortable for either of us! So thank you, thank you for your brutal honesty, for putting into words the way I feel. Keep on it, girl!
Cathy Davis - August 16th, 2013 at 8:29 AM
I came over from Holly Smith's link -- I'm so glad I did. I can relate and commiserate with you! This endeared you to me forever: "Excuse me, but I've never done anything well for twelve straight weeks in my life." Congrats on surviving the summer and starting a new school year!
Linda - August 16th, 2013 at 8:30 AM
Doesn't make you a bad mom, just honest. I on the other hand, hate for summer to end. My kids and I (granted I just have a set of twins) have the best time hanging out together and with our friends all summer long, but honestly the thing I hate the most about the end of summer is early morning drag out of bed for myself (I know -- I am embarrassed.). Enjoy your countdown, while I lament mine.
Over this - August 16th, 2013 at 8:32 AM
Love that the super star post a picture of her kid not in a seat....yeah, at least Cps doesn't read blogs.
Kim S - August 16th, 2013 at 8:32 AM
I love you. You speak truth to my heart. :)
Lisa - August 16th, 2013 at 8:33 AM
Literally laughed out loud! You nail it everytime! Thanks for the smiles!
Gretchen - August 16th, 2013 at 8:33 AM
Right there with you-my 4 NEED to go to school..soon.
Dorothy - August 16th, 2013 at 8:34 AM
Just think, we could be home-schooling them. Then they'd never leave. I think I just threw up a little in my mouth.
DebbyJG - August 15th, 2014 at 9:35 AM
This comment makes me incredibly sad.
Stephanie - August 15th, 2014 at 9:12 PM
Dorothy, I'm sure you're intent is to be funny. :) I homeschooled my 3 for five years. Biggest mistake ever was sending them to school. I will never regret those years of pouring myself into them, and all the stress-free years I gave them. I'm an introvert and it was beyond difficult for me on many many days, but OH so worth it.
The truth is: when kids are homeschooled they are different. You are able to have a greater influence--so if you are kind, they have more exposure to kindness. Etc. So it's not so rough to think about being with them all the time. However: if I had taken better care of myself (taken mini retreats alone, structured our days better, insisted on time to run on the treadmill or even (!) outdoors) I could have homeschooled my dear ones longer.
SandraLee - August 16th, 2013 at 8:34 AM
School began last week. "Mimosas for Moms" party at my house, an annual event. And I have only one middle-school boy! Bless you, sistah!
Crazy Mama - August 16th, 2013 at 8:35 AM
Another funny blog! I think I'm in the minority here. I am sooo not ready for school to start. I have a soon to be 1st grader. We thoroughly enjoyed our summer of VBS', camps, reading programs, park visits, swimming, and just hanging out at home watching TV. I'm dreading our first day of teacher/staff in service. Of course, she can't wait to return to school. Maybe she is tired of me!
Nat - August 16th, 2013 at 11:29 AM
Never long enough Crazy mama.... I feel you... Maybe it's because ours are so young... we haven't got to this old kid stage...
Vikki - August 16th, 2013 at 8:40 AM
I deal with both sides of this issue. I teach 6th grade Science, 11 and 12 year olds at their best, and I have a three year old at home I just spent the summer with. It's good to trade off the age groups, but I have had enough. I would also like to say that Pinterest lied! All those fun toddler friendly fun, games, and summer science were a bust. It took longer to collect the materials to create the fun then the kids actually played with it object. I am enjoying the extra sleep but will welcome a change in scenery. Thanks for the laugh Jen!
Amy - August 16th, 2013 at 8:41 AM
Last night at our "Back to School" picnic, there was such a sense of joy on the faces of all of the parents. The teachers chalk it up to our amazing school community (and yes it is amazing) but it's really the light at the end of the tunnel. Its like sight to a blind man. I've already texted by bestie to see if she has seen this post. Thanks for being the best 3rd girlfriend my BFF and I have ever had! You are loved!
Kimberly S - August 16th, 2013 at 8:43 AM
Jen - I am right there with you! My two have just gone back and I am sitting here, drinking a cup of force and delighting in reading your blog! Peace and quiet will come..not soon enough! Thanks for your awesomeness and in saying what we all feel!
Mecca - August 16th, 2013 at 8:45 AM
Can we start a petition for Texas schools to go back the first week of August? Give us all of May off and take our kids back when they can no longer go outside. It's just dumb to have the kids home when all they can do is video games and TV. That certainly doesn't get them to the starting gate of school very well.
Tracy - August 13th, 2014 at 10:14 PM
Many districts use to and parents complained that kids weren't getting a summer break so the state changed the rules that you can't start early without a waiver.
Randi - August 16th, 2013 at 8:47 AM
love this post! I was really sad that school was starting. I wasn't about a month ago, and then we went on vacation. I think I was sick of the same ol' same ol, but I'm glad school is back just the same. :)
Stephanie - August 16th, 2013 at 8:47 AM
Yes, yes, YES!!!
Cindy M. - August 16th, 2013 at 8:47 AM
When my oldest ones were little, I used to do a "Boo Hoo Breakfast" on the first day of school. At three kids, it became the "WOOHOO Breakfast". Then mere days evaporated, my oldest ones grew up, and I found myself a bit back in the boo hoo club. Mostly, as the kids have gotten older I just miss having time with the family where they're not going to work or going to practice or doing a project or needing something for a project or having a social life other than with me. And when school is in session, that rarely happens. Now our school system has cut summer to eight weeks, three of which are devoted to marching band. All that to say that the only good thing about twelve weeks is at least you're ready to send 'em back"! :)
Christy D. - August 16th, 2013 at 8:50 AM
I laughed til I cried...then I cried a lot because I think I needed the release! Thank you :)
Staci - August 17th, 2013 at 12:20 AM
Oh man! I thought it was just me! Laughing and crying...then just crying. As hilarious as this post is, it certainly captures the desperation of the strung out mom!
Brandie Lyons - August 16th, 2013 at 8:51 AM
I made it to July 4th....and I tapped out! I four little people, all with their own annoying attributes. I can relate to you on so many levels! We had a boring summer. June was filled with a delayed baseball season thanks to snow in April...in MO! We celebrated the 4th like rock stars, went to a pool party and then the heat over took our lives and my creativity died. My blog has suffered....I have nothing to give! My kids have been back in school for three days today....to say I'm recovering is understatement...my teachers have had Sonic drinks three dad running!
Mike Rusch - August 16th, 2013 at 8:52 AM
Jen, love it...but there's another side of the story. The dad/husbands of this world surely have some thoughts about summer, kids, going back to school, and of course how their wives have managed through all of this. I vote for a Brandon Hatmaker guest post! :-)
Brooke - August 16th, 2013 at 8:52 AM
I love the honesty of your blogs, and the great pictures of your family! We homeschool but this year is the latest we have started back because I just haven't been able to get it together. I've had curriculum for the year sitting here since June and we just finally cracked open the books this Monday when the public schools went back. We're in the process of an international adoption and so most days I feel like I can't look at another piece of paperwork even if its just making a lesson plan! I've let my son have way more electronics time this Summer than I'd like to admit, just so that I could have 10 minutes of 'me' time!
eliza - August 16th, 2013 at 8:52 AM
We have a year round school here. 5 weeks. That's it. PERFECT. I think we might switch to 6 weeks for the next year, but seriously...PERFECT!
Mitzi - August 16th, 2013 at 8:54 AM
This is why I love that our county ends at Memorial Day and returns the first Monday in August. August in GA is just too hot to play, so it was time. i still have a 2 year old at home, but ten days in and my house is beginning to look like a house again, instead of a Goodwill store.
Heather - August 16th, 2013 at 8:55 AM
I love your posts!! So so funny...and of course I can relate to so many things you write about. I am so glad that where we live (Canada) our kids only have two months off, not three. I am still going strong in summer mode and am not yet eager for their return to school. However, I may feel differently in two weeks!
Jennifer - August 16th, 2013 at 8:58 AM
Agreed. We are over it here in SC also. My kids have reached a new level of sluggishness.
Lori - August 16th, 2013 at 8:58 AM
Hilarious!!
Megan - August 16th, 2013 at 8:59 AM
I used to feel this way. Oh, yes. Then, this summer, I realized something. My sweet baby, my first born, will be with me only 3 more summers. Then she's off to university. Probably overseas. And oh my goodness, that brought me to tears. And I'm so thankful that my kids WANT to be with me. The time goes too quickly, and soon the sounds of guitar playing and singing, and giggling girls (and often arguing girls) will be replaced by silence. I am not ready.
Sassy mom - August 16th, 2013 at 11:25 AM
First time reader here! I remember those days! Loved your description, but, Megan, you're seeing the BIG picture! Mine are all grown, some have kids of their own now, and NONE of them live near me.(I foolishly moved away from their childhood home). I long for those voices and those hugs! As frustrating as it gets, and as messy as it gets, CHERISH EVERY MOMENT! They will be grown and gone before you know it! Enjoyed your post Jen! Hop over to heathersdish.com if you've never been there. It varies from cooking/recipes, to family life with their toddler and two dogs, and just all the blessings she sees around her! Thanks for the memories!
Rachel - August 16th, 2013 at 8:59 AM
You speak what every parent thinks. I am down to kid number 3... The last one left at home and he is a junior in high school. I was so happy to see school start I almost cried. And then he gets sick, we go to the dr and he says " I think it's mono" . And all I can think is "no way this kid is staying out of school for a month.... I will hurt him".
Lisa C - August 16th, 2013 at 9:01 AM
I have 3 young adults and a preschooler. Just yesterday I was asking how many days were left until preschool starts again. I am done! And I still have 3 weeks left to fill!!!
Kristen - August 16th, 2013 at 9:01 AM
Jen... Adore you!! Thank you for speaking my language! Finally, someone I can relate to!!
Tricia - August 16th, 2013 at 9:01 AM
"There is no stupider place than Texas in August." THIS IS SO TRUE!!! Who decided the big school break should be from June to August? Who in their right mind wants to be outside in Texas then? 'Summer Break' should be from March to May! I like to be outside from March to May in Texas. It is then that I realize there is some nice here, some pretty, some temperate. But everyone is stuck inside reading minutes and taking achievement tests. It's sick and wrong!
Jennifer D - August 16th, 2013 at 11:53 AM
Try Southern AZ in August. 110, 113 believe me there is a place that is STUPIDER.
Olivia - August 16th, 2013 at 9:02 AM
Texas in August IS stupid. But I miss it because August in South Carolina is hot & humid. We homeschool, and do more of a year-round schedule with frequent short breaks that sustain me better than 12 solid, how-cranky-can-we-get weeks. Cheers to you Jen!
Jennifer - August 16th, 2013 at 9:03 AM
While I do understand your point of view, I wish you would encourage me to be better according to God's word. How does this edify the Body or push me towards growth in Christ in any way? What I see from this post is that it's ok to quit striving and "Christian cussing" in our Speech is perfectly acceptable. What happened to doing everything as though we are doing it for The Lord? I am not successful at this by any means, but would sure like to be encouraged towards it. I'm sure I'll get raked over the coals here for not having a sense of humor - I've seen it happen before, but thought I'd dare to post my thoughts anyway.
Stacy - August 16th, 2013 at 11:37 AM
Exactly, get a sense of humor. Jen is such an amazing woman and I look up to her for all of her posts about "real" life. She is always writing about growing towards Christ in ways that 'normal' people can understand. Jen is real...not fake like the majority out there preaching about how to be closer to God, or more Christ-like. I adore her for this. For her writing. For showing me that I'm not a bad woman, mother, wife, for not always being perfect. And seriously, "Christian cussing"? Sometimes things deserve a deep explanation...far more than 'normal' words can express. "Freak" isn't a bad word, nor is it bad in context...as I'm assuming that's the word you are referring to. If you read Jen's blogs all the time, you would know she's awesome, and pure-hearted, and God-loving...and REAL (for the ninth time). She encourages me with every blog that you don't have to be perfect all.the.time. You can still be God's child and have a bad mom moment, or whatever. Just because of her "real" thoughts, you shouldn't bash her...you should thank her. And again, get a sense of humor.
Felicity - August 16th, 2013 at 1:14 PM
Kindness
Lisa - August 14th, 2014 at 10:31 AM
Amen, Stacy! Well said.
Tonya - August 16th, 2013 at 12:29 PM
Heyy, Jen posts plenty of blogs, tweets, FB updates that "edify the body" and "push us towards growth". Also, just about all she ever does outside of her posts is ministry. So, my point isn't "get a sense of humor" it's to say that no blogger has an obligation to try and fashion their posts around all of the unknowable needs and expectations of every individual person at any given moment. That's a pretty impossible task, wouldn't you say? Many of us just want/need to laugh sometimes and humorous writing is one of her gifts. There are many ways to edify. Some people need to know that they aren't a horrible mother because they're running out of steam. So hey, some moms were edified just by knowing that they're not alone and decided not to judge themselves today. :-) The great thing about the age we live in is there are so many sites and articles out there that can reach each of us right where we are, so we don't have to put our daily needs all on the shoulders of one blogger. And there's also the Bible. Probably the best source for instruction on edification and Christlike growth.
Lori - August 16th, 2013 at 1:31 PM
Very well-said Tonya!
Amy - August 16th, 2013 at 1:32 PM
Nicely stated, Tonya! My husband and I, who are both in ministry thought this was hysterical. We only have 3 and many I love when school starts!!! There are lots of blogs out there if this doesn't scratch your itch. Lighten up, Francis!
Julie - August 16th, 2013 at 1:19 PM
Seriously? You should lighten up or not read Jen's blog. She is one of the most honest and inspiring women i follow! Her candidness is refreshing and her heart for God, her family and others is admirable and encouraging.
angie - August 16th, 2013 at 1:35 PM
The world needs a lot less of your brand of Christianity, which counts other people's "sins" and in doing so completely loses the essence of Jesus.
Tricia - August 16th, 2013 at 1:49 PM
Jennifer, if you're looking to be better according to God's word, I'd look in the Bible. Meanwhile, I'm reading Jen's blog because I LOVE her sense of humor and her willingness to share her real feelings (not white-washed churchy feelings). It encourages me to see other women who love Jesus and struggle and laugh about the same humanity I experience every day.

Sarah S - August 16th, 2013 at 1:59 PM
Jennifer, she titled this "Worst End of Summer Mom Ever" for a reason...not that she's proud of it but this is what she's feeling right now. This post is actually encouraging for some but as is the case with you, not all. I suggest reading one of her books. I'm reading this book right now that I got when it was on sale for $1.99 in April. http://www.amazon.com/Out-Spin-Cycle-Devotions-ebook/dp/B006T46LYU/ref=tmm_kin_title_0
Dee - August 15th, 2014 at 11:13 AM
I totally agree Jennifer. Here's to hoping her children haven't read this or heard her say she can't wait for them to go back to school. "Yes children, I love you, but I don't like having you around." What the heck? I can't stand this mom camaraderie of "GET THEM OUT OF MY HOUSE." Everyone has a bad day. No one is saying we can't be real about it, but seriously?!?! Do our children really have to feel unwanted? This is nothing more than teaching children to distant from their parents.
Kellie - August 16th, 2013 at 9:03 AM
You have described my last 3 weeks in one perfect sentence: " I miss my thoughts and I look forward to seeing what they%u2019ve been doing." I don't even remember what silence sounds like. Wednesday is salvation. PRAISE GOD FOR SCHOOL!
Karen - August 16th, 2013 at 9:04 AM
Instead of referring fights, and admonishing the most wrong, two weeks ago I adopted the adage of "Is there blood? Is there a broken bone? NO? Good then it's not my fight, she is not mad at me, you figure it out" Their chins dropped, plus side is.... they don't come to me with foolishness..... for now :)
Claire - August 16th, 2013 at 9:05 AM
Haha I love it. With only one kid at the age of almost-2, I've yet to experience any of these feelings ... but my little mind can imagine. You're just so great and I love reading your blog. :)
Kirsten - August 16th, 2013 at 9:05 AM
I need to vent here for a second and I think that if anyone will understand the fact that I'm about to poke myself in the eye with a fork, it will be you lovely readers. I recently got a Facebook invite to an End-of-Summer-Pool-Party..... from my teenage son........ at my house. Upon checking out this invite, with all it's promises of fun and music and (ahem) FOOD, I checked off "maybe" I'd attend. I then added to the comments "Who's making the food?", to which only one other mom clicked "like". Fast forward a few days to TODAY - with a party that starts at 3pm, and a teenage boy crying in the hall because "Mom, we only have 5 styrofoam cups left" and I said that they may ABSOLUTELY NOT use our drinking glasses. Am I really that much of a jerk? I don't want to be, but I mean, I am so freakin done right now. Said teenage boy is now making loud banging noises in the kitchen, trying to either drum up my attention or to get my to lose my ever-loving-freaking-mind. Where are the tums? Oh, anyone want to come to a pool party with no food and if you want water you'll have to stick your head under the hose? Can I be this mean? UGH!!!!!
Jenise - August 13th, 2014 at 6:48 PM
OHHHH. Mom of 3 adult/grown boys here....been there--totally feel your pain!! Hang on mom!! At least you got an invite before everyone just started showing up!! hahaha. Believe it or not you will BOTH look back on this and laugh...(you probably more than him...) You made me laugh...hope you enjoyed the pool party!

OH AND JEN........I %u2764 YOU!
Ashli - August 16th, 2013 at 9:06 AM
I'm over it. They are so sloth-like I can't pry them out of bed before 11:00. My 13 year old ate a box of granola bars in one hour. A box. His ribs still show he is so stinking skinny, and if I ate that I'd explode! He almost passed out on the soccer field during his first preseason game. Revenge of the X box!
We have exhausted all "fun" ideas, and we have 5 days left! Help me!!

Brandi - August 16th, 2013 at 1:35 PM
I will trade your sloth like teens for my up-at-5 am-boys. I would give the WORLD for my kids to sleep until 11 :-) heehee

But oh my gosh, the expense of feeding teenage boys! I can't even imagine. You are in my prayers :-)
Hope - August 16th, 2013 at 9:07 AM
And THAT is why I love our Year Round schools in NC!
Maria Thompson - August 16th, 2013 at 9:15 AM
So funny! I'm blessed with two high school football players, 10th and 11th grade. Thank goodness the oldest is driving now, scary but so nice not to have to be the chauffeur anymore. Summers for us mean, the boys are in practice at least 3 hours a day five days a week. Although our food bills is enough to make you weep and of course the clothes that fit last week always seem to have shrunk ten sizes. Somehow my youngest child has managed to grow this summer like I've fed him miracle grow. Think a whole new wardrobe. No more hand me downs for him, he is now taller than his brother and has managed to gain 20 pounds muscle. The only person who has benefited with hand me downs is my husband. He is now the smallest male in our pack. We pack our we travels into the two week dead period when is no practice. Fall for us means football, football and more football. It means painting fields, feeding hungry players, traveling to the other side of the state to play games. Every year that passes is bittersweet, knowing before long it will be a sweet memory as we start a new chapter in our lives.
April Barreiro - August 16th, 2013 at 9:16 AM
Loved this. In the moment a few days ago when all my working friends dumped their kiddos into my little brood because I thought, "what's one more," I realized that people shouldn't trust me with my own kids letalone theirs. I do remember them all saying things and asking things and complaining about things and there was just this obnoxious humming sound in my brain and I prayed for summer to end. Yesterday, I took my kids to school and I may or may not have literally shouted with glee when I got home.
Tara Bradford - August 16th, 2013 at 9:18 AM
I was soooo hoping this would get written by you! I'm in school count down mode and well... "survival" now has new meaning in this house. I'm right with you. If I lived by you I would be inviting you for a liquid lime and tequila breakfast to commemorate the release of moms from prison. Hang in there dear one...Love and hugs to you Jen!
Amy - August 16th, 2013 at 9:23 AM
Those of us who homeschool feel exactly like this....right now, at this moment, only I love extra punishment because year round school seemed like such a great idea at the time....and we languish in the knowledge that these people will never move out, get jobs, and the like, because their teacher at this moment doesn't care if they play minecraft for the rest of their lives because she has not one remaining braincell because it's as hot as a blast from satan's behind in Texas and she couldn't care less about run on sentences. Forgive me, oh magic yellow bus....I knew not what I was doing....please please...i didn't mean it....
Stephanie - August 16th, 2013 at 9:24 AM
Oh my word, I laughed so hard. I get it! Thank you for writing what we feel and for being transparent. I love you best for that trait alone.
erin - August 16th, 2013 at 9:24 AM
I LOVE THIS ARTICLE! Thank you for speaking the truth! Those mommas who say " I looooove summer and keeping my kids at home!" are LYING. :)
Peggy Faloon - August 16th, 2013 at 9:27 AM
Down to the blackout blinds this is my story too Thanks I snorted coffee while reading this once, so- well done
Lisa - August 16th, 2013 at 9:28 AM
I was recently invited to a Back to School "Tea of Tears". Unfortunately, I was unable to attend because I was in full out Jubilation Celebration mode! Back to school is seriously the best thing that has happened to me in a LONG time! Your words echoed my thoughts!!!!
Wendy - August 16th, 2013 at 1:26 PM
Lisa - Oh my goodness that is HILARIOUS!!!! I'm right there with you sister! LOL
Jessica - August 16th, 2013 at 9:30 AM
I adore you, Jen, for speaking my thoughts aloud. My thoughts have also been assaulted all summer long and they are clawing their way through the "Mommy, mommy, mommy" grenades to scream out "is it time for school to start yet?!" I love my children. I adore them, in fact. But Mommy needs sleep and at least 2 hours of the day where someone is not asking me for something.

My second grader starts in 5 days, three of which will be spent with his grandparents. I am giddy.

The only rub is that the preschooler doesn't start until September. I am not sure I will make it those extra weeks without an older brother to distract/play with the younger ball of energy. I try not to think about it as the thought is akin to looking directly into the sun. It burns and blinds my brain. :)

Allison - August 16th, 2013 at 9:30 AM
As my husband was in the throes of "lost temper" himself last night and I had to intervene to save my 7 year old's short life, I had THESE VERY SAME THOUGHTS once again. I've been having them for a few weeks now. My kids return to the buildings of wisdom in 73 hours and one minute. And my understanding for the back and butt sweat is rather unfortunate and complete - the A/C on my van went out this week for the FOURTH time this summer. Let's just say that when I made the decision to call my husband on my way home the other day when it went out probably wasn't my very best moment in life. I feel very understood by you, Jen Hatmaker! You bring much joy to my pathetic life.
Mrs. Gore - August 16th, 2013 at 9:32 AM
This was pretty much my FAILURE of a summer, in a nutshell. Just multiply it by 7 days a week...
http://mrsgoresdiary.com/2013/06/24/the-day-i-sold-my-soul-for-a-sandwich/

It's such a weird feeling to be so excited for homeschool to start, because, you know...they're still here. But we'll have a schedule! And (soon) Fall weather! And someone in a book of curriculum will be giving me some guidance! Hallelujah!!
Mrs. Gore - August 16th, 2013 at 9:42 AM
Also, I should note that me and my 3 are passing around a bag of Hostess donuts for breakfast this morning (our 3rd bag of the WEEK). "The Sweetest Comeback in the History of Ever" has actually saved our lives because summertime makes me forget how to cook.
Also, I think I might have accidentally told them the splashpark closed down. I just can't go back...
can't. do. it.
Melissa - August 16th, 2013 at 9:32 AM
I AM SO GLAD I AM NOT THE ONLY MOM WHO FEELS THIS WAY! It seems all of my mommy friends are bemoaning the end of summer and having to send their sainted angels back to school, while I am counting the days (4) until I can send MY little 8 y.o. son to that wondrous institution of learning. Thank you for nailing it with such humor and truth.
Jon - August 16th, 2013 at 9:34 AM
I just read this and laughed! I have been working on a similar post this week and posted it today. It is the dad's point of view.
http://www.carseatconversations.com/uncategorized/resonse-to-jen-hatmaker-worst-end-of-summer-dad-ever/
Tracy - August 16th, 2013 at 9:36 AM
This so resembles me and my three angels. And my hubby wonders why I am out of sync.
Deb - August 16th, 2013 at 9:36 AM
I have no idea who you are, but I saw this shared on a friends FB page......LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have felt exactly this way a lot of summers!!!!!!!!!!! Even tho all my kids are now teenagers and can fend for themselves, I am still ready for them to go back to school for routine!!!!! Thanks for being so honest and sharing your thoughts :) I will have to explore your blog for more fun :)
Jenn Armstrong - August 16th, 2013 at 9:38 AM
Oh my word! As I am reason this, my first time reading your blog by the way, I am looking over my shoulder convinced that you are living in my house with my pack of wolves ( that is what I my children are called at home and in public sometimes). My husband and I discussed a road tip this summer, driving from NC to CA and taking a month to enjoy the time with the kids. We got excited about fun games we'd play in the car am topics we would talk about along the way. Sightseeing and memory making. Then we looked at each other and cracked up because if we had taken that trip my kids would have been abandoned somewhere on Route 66 and I would have committed muscle to an insane asylum for sure. We did go to CA but we flew and saved the lives of us all.
Deanna - August 16th, 2013 at 9:38 AM
Lol, we did our vacation in Texas...14 hour road trip, both ways, and you are right, "there is no stupider place than Texas in August." Thank you school for saving my sanity!!!!
jenny - August 16th, 2013 at 9:40 AM
I realize I only have the 2 vs your 5 but, they are both toddlers and I think these thoughts every day of the year. I only wish I could send them off to school already! I haven't thought my thoughts for 3 years straight. But it's comforting to know that if other mothers like you have survived this stage, I too will one day experience the pleasure and freedom of a "school day".
Staci Buck - August 16th, 2013 at 9:42 AM

Ode to Summer's End by Staci James Buck

Fall, here you come bringing structure and routine,
My kids are all needing it as most are pre-teen.
I Imagine sending them off with a kiss and a smile,
Returning home sans arguing for awhile.
I'll stroll through the house, maybe shout maybe dance.
I'll take a long shower - without clothes I may prance.
For I am ALONE in my own house, I say!
No time outs, no hot-wiring, no zip lines today!
I'll attack mountains of laundry with housework done in a jiffy,
I'll plan 5 home cooked meals forthe easy and picky.
For they've learned use of appliances, how to make meals;
they can weed the garden, golf, and ride on 2 wheels.
We've seen movies, we've baked, visited friends out of town.
We've applied tons of Bandaids to knees, elbows and crowns.
Back to school clothes, crayons and supplies,
Till Dad says, "Oh no! Our account has run dry!"
We whisper to spouses we can see the light!
Alas, kids will have early bedtime tonight.
Two glasses of wine, a wink, and a smile;
and mom and dad relax in sweet silence awhile.
Tomorrow we'll tear up and as they walk out of sight,
"Happy First Day of School" they'll say, " Hey! Charge my iPad tonight!"


Kirsten - August 16th, 2013 at 9:57 AM
Awesome!
Jen - August 16th, 2013 at 10:56 AM
Love it!
Holly - August 16th, 2013 at 9:42 AM
Ohhhh, I was rollllling with laughter reading this, lo!!!! Thank you for your vivid descriptions of my, I mean, your life ;) My sloth-hybrid-wild beasts are only 4 and 6 year old boys, but they WEAR. ME. OUT.!! All the chatter...I. couldn't. take. any. MORE. Thankfully for us school started Wednesday, and we were already 20 MINUTES tardy on Thursday! Starting out with a bang, yay :o/ We are in South Louisiana, the heat, the humidity, its completely exhausting. Yay for school year 2013-2014 beginning! Before we know it, all of us moms will be begging for a holiday ;)
Dana - August 16th, 2013 at 9:43 AM
We are lucky, our county has year round schools. 9 weeks on, 3 weeks off throughout the year...but by the end of 3 weeks, I'm happily ready to send them back! I don't know how anyone does it for 12 weeks!!!
Missy - August 16th, 2013 at 9:43 AM
YEar Round School is my dream... reasonable amounts of vacation in between... enough with the endless kids-fest... throw on the edumacation!!

Laura - August 16th, 2013 at 9:43 AM
I can usually really identify with your posts but this time I'm left feeling sad. :/ I homeschool (unschool actually) and I love it. Don't get me wrong, kids can be tiring but I would SO miss them if they had to leave me for months on end. I get how moms get exhausted and I fully support venting our frustrations but after reading this and the many comments, I'm left feeling kind of sad for the kids. I think it's wise to make sure we aren't communicating these frustrations to the kids. It's good to be cautious that we not send the message to them that we hate being with them. Kids are amazingly perceptive!

I agree with Jennifer to as far as encouraging eachother. Honest humor is a welcome relief but there comes a point when we also need to encourage eachother to lay down our life for others. This is at the heart of being a follower of Jesus. He calls us to serve. We need to take care of ourselves of course too but our focus should be dying to self and trying to say "yes" to whatever God calls us to.

Erin, when those of us say we love summer and keeping our kids with us, please don't insult us by saying we're lying. We speak the truth. I'm sad that you haven't had a chance to experience that. It can't happen though if we're only thinking of ourselves. Children aren't a cute hobby, they're a life-changing profession. It's hard work at times but SO worth it! My greatest frustrations and my greatest joys are in my children!
Beverly - August 16th, 2013 at 10:59 AM
It makes me sad, too, Laura. I homeschool, too, and I actually love having my children at home with me - all day - every day. Moms like us do exist! And I realize that is hard for some moms to understand, so I usually just keep quiet and let them have their say. But I think you hit the nail on the head when you said that our focus should be dying to self and trying to say "yes" to whatever God calls us to! Children are a BLESSING!
Laura - August 16th, 2013 at 11:46 AM
Thank you, Laura! I was wondering if I was the only one not shipping my kids off to jail and cheering all the way. I have been homeschooling for 18 years and have never desired to turn them over to be reared by people whom I do not know in a system that has an agenda to which I do not subscribe. Thanking the Lord for calling me to be His servant by keeping my children year round and rearing them by His principles.
Debra - August 16th, 2013 at 12:58 PM
Laura, Beverly and Laura...not every parent is called to homeschool their children. Please do not judge us or imply that I am not rearing my children by His principles and I am most certainly not sending them off to jail. I love my children with a deep love and as their mom I die to myself everyday to be their mommy. I teach them to love other like Jesus loved. That is what He calls us to do and I trust Him when I send them off the school to be shining lights of His love.
Natasha - August 16th, 2013 at 2:34 PM
Debra, I do not think they were implying that you are not rearing your children. I think they were saddened, as I am, that there are so many mothers who are wishing away the time they have with their children. That so many women are counting down the minutes until they can have some "me" time.
Cheree - August 16th, 2013 at 1:09 PM
I send my kid to school, and I assure you, I am still raising him.
Laura - August 16th, 2013 at 2:27 PM
I agree! You are! I apologize if I somehow communicated that those who send their kids to school aren't raising their kids. That wasn't my point. But raising kids isn't easy work. It's hard. It's one of the greatest joys too at the same time.
Shari - August 16th, 2013 at 12:40 PM
Laura, I agree 100%! I homeschool too and I love being with my kids. Can it get tiring and old sometimes? Sure, just like anything in life. I know that all to soon they'll be gone and I'll miss these days so much. Enjoy your days with your kids! They are not a chore, they're a blessing from God.
Stefanie - August 16th, 2013 at 1:13 PM
This post just makes me so sad. It is so sad that 12 weeks is the limit that some mothers can spend with their kids without going crazy. Why did you become a parent? We are also a homeschooling family and I come to a breaking point at times but that is when we take a break and I leave the kids with dad and go walk the aisles of Target...ALONE...with a BIG Dr. Pepper...that I don't have to share!!! Yes, it is hard but parenthood is to be a full time job. This whole post just really made my heart sink.
Ellie - August 16th, 2013 at 2:23 PM
Take a chill pill Mother of the year. Your post made my heart sink.
Kelsee - August 16th, 2013 at 3:01 PM
Oh gosh... chill out Mama. Have you ever heard of exaggeration for entertainment? She writes for humor and there is embellishment involved, just like with all comedians. You don't have to take it so literally.

I worry more for your children - that they will enter the "real world" after their homeschooling years with no sense of humor, wit or self-deprecation.
Nory - August 16th, 2013 at 1:02 PM
I completely agree. If you really are this crazy fed up with your kids, they can sense it. And that just makes them more antsy. If you're having difficult accomplishing tasks and staying sane, there are better things to do than lose your mind or take it out on your kids. I'm not advocating helicopter parenting, but ignoring injuries?? Really??

There are all sorts of camps day camps, week long camps, anything to suit your needs. Perhaps summer is the perfect opportunity to help enrich your kids' minds. Just because school isn't going on doesn't mean you should abandon any schedule. My kids like to read books and put on plays and write stories about them. They didn't like it at first, but if you put your foot down on video games, you'll be amazed that how your kids can learn to entertain themselves.
Jen - August 16th, 2013 at 1:46 PM
Oh my word, how judgmental ... every one of you on this little reply string here. It's humor, people. Good grief. I say "screw-its" to this nonsense.
Jen - August 16th, 2013 at 1:52 PM
My name is Jen S. (not Hatmaker).
Brooke - August 16th, 2013 at 1:08 PM
Amen.
Lisa G - August 16th, 2013 at 1:47 PM
Oh homeschool moms, hush! Pull the sticks out of your bums and realize that a - this was a humorous blogging and b - you don't have great parenting on lock. It takes all kinds of Moms and parenting paradigms - it's not a one-size-fits-all endeavor. Don't be such sanctimommies!!
Laura - August 16th, 2013 at 2:30 PM
Everyone decides what kind of education is best for their children be it homeschooling or public/private school. You're right. It's not a one-size-fits-all. We all do the best we can to parent. None of us has a "great parenting on lock." We all fail without Jesus but as we look to Him in our weaknesses there can be hope and even joy!

My point is let's be intentional though about communicating to our children just how loved and valuable they are. This kind of attitude can very easily "leak" out to our children and they may not feel the positive feelings that we have for them.
Anita - August 16th, 2013 at 2:58 PM
great word to coin, sanctimommies! love it, Lisa G!
Another Amy - August 16th, 2013 at 2:20 PM
I homeschool too and I totally get what this post is about! I'm not going to look down on the moms who are glad to send the kids back to school, because there are days we all want to chuck them onto the bus. Fortunately or unfortunately, the days I want to do that are usually during the summer break, which tells me it's more about the lack of structured days. Conversely, putting that structure into the days can be exhausting too!

Darned if you do, darned if you don't. We all just do the best we can. I can imagine that spending the summers together if you spend the majority of the days away at school can be quite a chaotic time. Especially if road trips are involved as we all know how crazy they can get sometimes! And there's a big spread of differences for homeschoolers too, when some parents can send the kids to camp, missions trips, or family members. I don't know how the heck working moms cope with the kids out of school for the summer! God bless 'em!

I read the lists of offenses/craziness, and think, "my kids don't do that", but they're on the young side and we have the mixed blessing of low budget lifestyle that results in a fairly boring but even keeled, calm scheduled life.

We moms are a diverse bunch and there's room for all of us.

Kari - August 16th, 2013 at 2:59 PM
Oh, I think our children have far better senses of humor than that. Added to the fact that they are just as sick of our company.
Tammy Fletcher - August 16th, 2013 at 9:51 AM
I am CRYYYIIIIINNGGGG with laughter, CACKLING and STRUGGLING TO BREATHE!!!!!
Amy - August 16th, 2013 at 9:52 AM
Teacher and mom, here.
I need to go back to work to get some rest.
Yep to everything you wrote.
Amy
Tracey - August 16th, 2013 at 9:53 AM
I love this! You should move to North county San Diego. We are on a "modified year round" schedule: 2 weeks off in the Spring, 2 weeks off in the Fall, 2 weeks Christmas (or "Winter") and only 8 weeks of summer. It is just enough. We did a family trip to Texas. In August. Loved Austin!! I would LIVE at Barton Springs in the summer if we lived in Texas!
Beejay - August 16th, 2013 at 7:18 PM
Yep, similar here in New Zealand, except our summer holiday is over Christmas/January. Then 4 school terms of 10 weeks, with 2 weeks break in-between each one. I honestly don't know how you Americans do it with such a looooong break, especially for working parents! Is that why you have the long summer camps too?

Toni Rhodes - August 16th, 2013 at 9:54 AM
Historically, I think long summers were created so that children could help parents work in the fields when most people were farmers. Very outdated concept. So, since we're stuck with long summers, maybe we should make our kids be migrant farm workers for the duration.
Meeka - August 16th, 2013 at 3:29 PM
School schedules should reflect the needs of the local community/state. In Minnesota the summers are so comparatively short that students really shouldn't be back in classrooms before Labor Day. My sister lives on a farm in Kansas and harvest season schedules are still a real part of the way they live.
Karen - August 16th, 2013 at 9:56 AM
You always make me laugh out loud in an empty room!!
Amy - August 16th, 2013 at 10:01 AM
There are aspects of summer that I am done with... doing dishes non-stop, passing out snacks to all the neighbor kids, the constant being needed for every little thing, and "SHUT THE DOOR! for crying out loud! That's the 12th time today the dog has gotten out!"... are just a few of them. I think I lived in the kitchen all summer, doing dishes, getting snacks/ drinks/meals prepped...which probably explains why the rest of my house looks the way it does. I think my toilets got cleaned maybe once this whole summer. I will enjoy how quiet my house is during the day when the kids are at school, and how much I can actually accomplish.

However, I am not looking forward to school starting. I say this because I feel like it takes me all summer to get my kids the way I want them, doing regular chores, treating each other with kindness and respect, and relearning how to entertain themselves by being creative in their play. Then I ship them off to school and they come home with attitudes, no longer have time for younger siblings, slack on the house work and loaded with homework that I have to sit on them to get it done. That's when I turn into the Wicked Witch and have to play task master with getting school work completed, backpacks packed, kids bathed, morning routines, all kids piled in the van on time to rush them off to school... I really dislike the person I become when school starts. I enjoy having more hours of contact with my kids during the day. I have more opportunities to teach them the things I want to teach them... like about Jesus, how to treat each other kindly and how privileges need to be earned, and if you want that piece of candy, then you need to go clean all your junk out of the van first. It's hard to find the needed one-on-one time between getting supper on the table, dishes done, homework done, kids into the tub, and then bedtime routines... I love the lazy days, where I can just hang with my kids and be a mom.

We have 4 children. 2 elementary school aged, 1 preschooler and 1 toddler. I must be one of those weird moms, but being the right brained person I am, I do fairly well in disfunction and chaos. Which probably explains why we have 4 kids to begin with. Ha! We have 2 weeks left of summer and I am already starting to miss my kids. Much needed rest and blessings to all you moms who have kids starting back to school. May you be energized, refreshed and filled with God's peace this fall. Thanks for the great post.
Laura - August 16th, 2013 at 10:04 AM
Thank you for your post. It's refreshing to see another mom who enjoys being with their kids. :)
julie - August 16th, 2013 at 12:02 PM
Very well said!

Jackie - August 16th, 2013 at 2:01 PM
I think it's extremely RUDE and UN-CHRISTIAN like to assume Jen or any of the other moms that like this post do not enjoy being with their kids. Lighten up, and move on if you don't enjoy her blog.
Amy C. - August 16th, 2013 at 3:18 PM
Jackie-I didn't read her comment as rude. Jen asked for feedback and this is what Amy's personally feeling...I saw no attack on Jen, she even said thanks for the great post. I think we can all relate to everyone's perspective in parts. I love my children at home and under my leadership but they are tiring of so much together time and all nerves are fraying....for me it's a little of both what Jen and Amy shared.
Jenny C - August 13th, 2014 at 10:59 PM
. Amy C, Jackie was responding to Laura's comment, which I agree, came across as rude.
Lane - August 16th, 2013 at 2:45 PM
I'm right there with you!! Although I loved and laughed at her post; my heart is sad that my 4 kids will be back in school and away from each other. It flies by and I love our family fun in the summer. I am a working mom but have lots of flexibility in the summer and can work from home. I try and spend as much time with them as possible. I will have a 9th grader, 7th grader, 1st grader and toddler. So I have cherished our time as a family. Only 3 more summers and my oldest will be gone. sniff sniff
Elaina - August 16th, 2013 at 10:03 AM
So what is the magic number? We had 8 weeks of summer and it wasn't nearly enough. Twelve is too much. Our district wants to take more of summer away and have us stop and start all year. I can't stand that idea. My husband is a teacher and I have 4 kids at all 3 levels. My sophomore can't even think about getting a job in the summer. Is there somewhere that has figured out the right balance?
Stephanie - August 16th, 2013 at 10:06 AM
You perfectly summed up all the thoughts floating randomly around my Xanaxed mind! I love your blogs..... I Totally relate! Thank the Gods this school system is accepting my (almost 6yr old) daughter. Last year she missed the cut off by 11days :(
I have not been kid free for 11 years! ugh.... I was excited for my son to start school in January 7 years ago only to find my self pregnant that same month. I think there was about 5 weeks where he was in school before the princess was born.... but that didn't count because I was 9 months pregnant ;)
COME ON MONDAY MORNING!
Samantha - August 16th, 2013 at 10:10 AM
Yay! I can relate to the heat. We live in central Florida. Can't wait for school to start. Open house today and back on Monday.
Shell - August 16th, 2013 at 10:11 AM
Oh, how I relate! I have great intentions at the beginning of the summer but by the end, it's too hot, I'm tired of trying to entertain the kids- and I'm ready for them to go back to school.
trina - August 16th, 2013 at 10:14 AM
If it makes you feel any better, last week my three-yr-old cradled my wrinkly, dry elbow and said "One day, Mama, your whole body will look like this!"
Alexis - August 16th, 2013 at 10:14 AM
I got the link to your website at the end of school and read your post about the Friday folders not being signed and the reading minutes and thought to myself YES YES YES this woman knows what I go through.. Now I started a blog for my family in other states to keep up with what is going on.. and posted this http://5hudsons.blogspot.com/2013/08/getting-back-on-track.html about our busy summer. Now i read this post and YOU SO have life right.. My kids returned to school yesterday and I am basking in the quiet sound of the hepa filter....
Kerry - August 16th, 2013 at 10:15 AM
One more week. I know what you mean about hot-here in San Antonio I agreed to join a friend this week at Fiesta Texas for the water park(summer memories, blah blah). Now I am so sunburned (because there is NO amount of sunscreen that seems to work on my freakishly white skin) and I don't want to move. And I need to go to the store. Or do laundry. Feed the kids. And why attempt cleaning when my 3 yr old can somehow tornado through a house it took me hours to clean and in mere seconds it looks as if I never cleaned a thing? One more week...
Shannon - August 16th, 2013 at 10:16 AM
This makes me feel so validated.
Andi - August 16th, 2013 at 10:16 AM
I am feel better that your kids had a potato chip breakfast at 11:15. It's pretty common for my kids to ask for breakfast and I have to say we missed breakfast, what do you want for lunch?
KG in ATX - August 16th, 2013 at 10:17 AM
Oh man, I laughed so long and hard my five year old daughter asked me what was so dang funny and I just couldn't even explain it. I feel ya on the A/C being out. Mine went out earlier this summer and I was seven months pregnant, oof. Thank you for the laughs! School starts in T minus 10.75 days...not that I'm counting down or anything!
christina - August 16th, 2013 at 10:18 AM
Jen, hysterical as always and truth in words! 12 weeks is in my opinion is too long. After week 6 of all activities, they are done with each other and they are certainly done with me! You know, our mom/wife role doesn't stop we have to continue to follow through with our daily commitments of house cleaner/meal provider. All in all, thank you for posting truth with humor and of course exaggeration (most of us realize this).

Bless those for possessing the gift from God to home school your children, bless you. you have a true gift, i sincerely mean this. I do not, much like others. This is truly a gift that not all of us possess to have our little's with us 24/7. I personally am gifted in other areas and when you have children that have gone to school for 9mo then have a 12 week break it takes a gear level WAY beyond what we as mothers that stay home and/or work are prepared to handle as mothers of school children.

School/teachers keep the children engaged/active/social the ENTIRE time they are there at school. It quite literally takes us moms of school aged children the first 6 weeks to convey to them we are not their entertainment coordinator we are their mom not a cruise ship director.

The need to laugh and rally with a moms experience similar (not exact) as your own has to be present in anyone reading these posts. If your going to take it to the level of *you are sad when you read this* then you need to probably follow a different momma blog.


Laura - August 16th, 2013 at 10:38 AM
Christina, I think you may be right that one reason moms may have such a hard time with their kids during the summer is because of the school system. If the kids are expecting to be entertained all the time, that would be extremely exhausting. Perhaps it is the transition from one way of living (structured with little freedom) to another (freedom and not sure how to use it) that makes it difficult. I think it's easier on the moms and the kids when they can stick with one lifestyle.

I'm not against those who send their kids to school as I fully agree that homeschooling is not for everyone. Each family has to decide what is best for their particular family. The part that is hard for me is constantly hearing from moms how glad they are that their kids will soon be GONE. It's the extremeness of it with no positives that drives me nuts.

I encourage moms to be honest about their feelings. I'm a HUGE advocate for that as I think in the Christian community it can be far to easy to just hide it all in shame. It's good to bring our struggles and frustrations into the light. The thing that was too much for me was just how negative this whole post was and then with all the comments being the same way it just seemed like overload.

Up until this point I have LOVED Jen's posts and can identify with a lot of them because she's open and honest about the grit of life, like I often am. It's refreshing and funny! It was just this post in particular that seemed like a bit much. I agree with the other poster that some encouragement to persevere would be good too. :)
anonymous - August 16th, 2013 at 3:11 PM
I agree, well said
Jesse - August 16th, 2013 at 3:31 PM
Thank you Laura....
This is the first exposure that I've had to this blog and I tried my best to take it as a light-hearted post. But it wasn't. An earlier comment said that it was "unchristian" to assume that the others hear don't like their kids...and I would agree EXCEPT that is exactly what they said.
I get it that kids can be frustrating. I run the camp that mine attend during the summer and we homeschool during the rest of they year. I get it...
And I'm all for sharing feelings within the Christian community. But this isn't that. This is a post that tells the whole world (or anyone willing to read it) that Christian mom's hate being with their kids just as much as pegan moms.
Not even a comment at the end to say the thing was in jest, nothing uplifting...
anonymous - August 16th, 2013 at 3:37 PM
This is the first post I have read by this lady, and it makes me sad to think that she is real.
Anonymous - August 16th, 2013 at 3:50 PM
It makes me sad to think someone would ACTUALLY think that she is saying she doesn't love or cherish her kids! This was meant to be light hearted and funny. Or does being a Christian now mean we can't find humor in anything?! Also, Jesse, when did Christian moms corner the market on loving or enjoying being with their kids? I suggest you remove the plank from your eye before you ask anyone to remove the stick from theirs. Good grief!
Get over yourselves.
David - August 16th, 2013 at 9:29 PM
Laura - it seems to me that you came into reading this particular post with some pre-set thoughts. This woman LOVES, I'll say it again, LOVES her kids. She's just using humor to express some thoughts here. It is truly all in good fun, I'll say it again, GOOD fun. More power to her!
stacy - August 16th, 2013 at 10:24 AM
That was AWESOME!
Pam - August 16th, 2013 at 10:25 AM
Ha ha ha loved it, every word! From a mom and retired teacher
Jason @ www.jasondykstrawrites.com - August 16th, 2013 at 10:26 AM
Love the honesty! All parents need a place to vent about what is not perfect in family life, and how great that you can do it in a such a real but funny way! My kids aren't in school yet so EVERY DAY is summer vacation! But they're amazing little guys (both through transracial adoption-I wonder if our family's stories are similar at all?), and their school time will come!
Thanks Jen,
Jason
bethany white - August 16th, 2013 at 1:55 PM
I agree - parents need a person they can "vent" to and get encouragement from when things are not perfect or when we are dealing with difficult behavior issues or when we are struggling to be the moms or dads we want to be to our children and when we just need to hear that these struggles and feelings are normal . . . I'm not so sure, though, that the place to vent about one's children is on a very public blog like this. If I were one of the children being discussed in this article (and it appears that they are well old enough to look up this blog and read it), I would not find it funny and would be very hurt that my mother is tired of being with me. Especially if I were an adopted child who already possibly struggles with abandonment issues/self-worth/belonging as so many do.
Anonymous - August 16th, 2013 at 3:27 PM
Agreed!
Susan Summers - August 16th, 2013 at 3:55 PM
Oh lighten up! Kids can learn a lot through realistic self-deprecation and humor. It is quite obvious to me, and I'm sure to her five children, that this Mom LOVES them....she's just this crazy thing called...ummm...wait...let me try to say it.... HUMAN.
Gwendolyn - August 16th, 2013 at 10:29 AM
Hilarious as always. I think i have found the solution. School should be out after testing season ends. If summer could just start earlier and end earlier, then there would be none of this blasted August in Texas heat to contend with.
April Martin - August 16th, 2013 at 10:30 AM
It hurts, literally hurts. I'm dying laughing. This was my summer except the road trip was ALASKA!!!! Go tr freak to bed, black hole, when shall we bathe again, this is me. All me. Thanks for making laugh outloud, and hard! Btw, just dropped off 3 kids at school, it's their 3rd day..,peace resides now, just saying
Julie - August 16th, 2013 at 10:32 AM
I'm so that mom that panics when school ends - what am I going to do with them every single minute of every single day?! and then is sad when they go back at the end of summer!
Teresa - August 16th, 2013 at 10:34 AM
Nice glimpse of reality and summer is still different when your children have grown as society seems to take this view in general that summer is a time to lax up a bit - I'm in on that too. While I understand we all need a break, what is happening in the children's minds when they see "school equals structure," "no school equals freedom and indulgence." May I suggest the attitude turns to "work equals structure" and "personal life equals freedom from structure." I have a 20 year old who was brought up with descent structure and training and he still struggles to have a balance in his free time. He gets to college classes and work on time (super worker and straight A's last semester), but he relies on us (parents) for structure at home. At this age, he should be able to hand me a list of food needs without being asked (or pick them up himself), put his schedule on the family calendar as a courtesy for family meal time planning (has to be constantly reminded), he should be able to pay attention to his bank account (we trained him, but one semester away ruined him, no further comment), and he should be able to turn off the video games and engage life. Believe me, he is good at taking care of himself as he manages his laundry (when we don't have to take it out of the dryer), he cooks and/or eats whatever he finds (not paying too much attention to whether it might be his Dad's lunch for the next day - in fact he has eaten both our lunches late at night so we had nothing the next day, which is huge for my husband who works an hour out in the desert with no food available), he do take out the garbage and scoop the dog poop without us asking (YAY! Of course this is a condition for him living with us). But these are things a middle or high schooler should be doing in my mind. What if there was no school? And what if we really are not teaching our children enough at home about forming their own structure to be functional enough to care for themselves. They say the new 18 is 24 or something like that. What will we do to teach our children to be self sufficient enough to not only care for themselves, but for others too? Though mine are grown - well, over 18 - I take a role in the lives of children through ministry. I care about families. I care about the stresses on parents, societies affects on children, and the motives developing in young hearts. Every generation has its way of "living" and "working" and I wonder what it will look like as this next after "Yers" comes up. May God bless homes and parents.

PS I read Jon's blog about VBS, sad three weeks in a row ... maybe Lifeway can come up with a 3 week series that different churches can do consecutively. I am having a pool party for Kindergartners before they move up. I have more RSVPs than the Awana group end of the year party in May that included at least twice the number of families invited. I guess I understand why now. ;) I will remember this when I see the parents lounging inside and bunches of children have to be supervised in the pool and fed ... I'll start preparing my husband for his role now. :)
Sandra Lee - August 14th, 2014 at 12:26 PM
tfs! I have a 24-yr old "grown up"man living with us at this time. To his credit, he really does not like or want to be living with us (he's saving money). I love his being home, but YES! he eats the lunches and forgets to throw away empty chip bags (what?) and doesn't wash a dish unless I grouse. Thanks for letting me fume.
Ah! it's just a phase and i will miss him when he moves out...
Mandy - August 16th, 2013 at 10:35 AM
Yes. Just yes. :)
Bernadette - August 16th, 2013 at 10:37 AM
How do you know me? How do you read my mind?

I've home schooled for 10 years and with much prayer and tears decided this was the year to send them to school. It was 2 weeks until THE DAY. I may have died if it had been 2 weeks and 1 day. Or a child may have died. No, it was the hubby. It was him that would certainly died. And then my 3 kids would have no father and a lunatic as a mother.

It's so nice to know I am not alone. I am not THE worst mom on the planet. Well....maybe, but at least I'm not the alone in the category.
Jennifer - August 16th, 2013 at 10:38 AM
Thank you for this. I feel like less of a momster after reading it. I was seriously afraid I was in a deep depression, but it was the dark hole of "screw its". Haha Thanks again!
Rainbow Motel - August 16th, 2013 at 10:39 AM
Empty nester here, but with children in college (or recently out) who are mostly still dependent on us for this, that and the other. Also? I'm a public school teacher who recently left the war zone of an untenable work situation in an area somewhat like Skid Row, and now I'm teaching in a new school with older students. I'm getting my room ready and hooking up computers and trying to write curriculum because now --instead of teaching mostly kids at risk--I'm teaching Pre-AP English and getting young 8th grade minds ready for high school. Oh Lord! You make me laugh out loud.
Anjie Clifton - August 16th, 2013 at 10:41 AM
Oh Jen, we are kindred spirits! I so agreed with your "end-of-school" post and now I am singing the same song!! I relate to the hours, and hours in a vehicle with children. My sister and I took our children (8 between us, 4 of them teen-age boys) to the Grand Canyon. YIKES! We almost left some of them there! I will be doing the happy dance on Aug. 26th! Thanks for letting me know I am NOT alone.
Nancy - August 16th, 2013 at 10:50 AM
I'm with the kids on this one. School is bad. Summer is good. I don't want to spend my days driving to school and back and trying to fix breakfasts and pack lunches while my brain is still asleep. I don't want to call out spelling words or check math or make sure dinner happens sometime before bathtime.
Katie Gonzalez - August 16th, 2013 at 10:51 AM
Holy cow, we home school and every one keeps asking when we will start back to school. I have NO idea! I'm still trying to find our school table under the junk that had accumulated there all summer!

Karen Hogman - August 16th, 2013 at 10:53 AM
Hilarious..I am 53 and my precious mom raised 5 of us all stair-stepped in age. All before the electronics came onto the scene....she is a saint and mentally all in tact...I have to tell her about this because I know she felt the same way. God bless our teachers...I only had 2 precious girls so I loved summer and hated to see it end. ....
Cindy - August 16th, 2013 at 10:56 AM
I identified with your post at the end of the school year, and again with this one. But, just putting this out there, I am a TEACHER too. So all of the parent thoughts you think, I think those too. But I have teacher thoughts as well. I'm not sure whether to celebrate the end of summer or mourn its loss. Regardless, both posts made me laugh out loud. So thank you for the comic relief!!
Julie - August 16th, 2013 at 10:59 AM
So freakin' funny! But seriously, 12 weeks of summer for Texas school children. I was thinking the other day it is too long, not just for parents, but for the kids. My third grader told me two weeks ago that she misses school.
Angela P - August 16th, 2013 at 11:04 AM
This is great! I don't have kids yet but I see what my friends and family go through during summers and you have summed it up to a "T". I laughed all the way through this.
Stephanie - August 16th, 2013 at 11:07 AM
I had to bring my kids to work this morning, because I am afraid that my poor babysitter will quit so that she no longer has to deal with their fighting and squabbling. The novelty of being shut into the office lunch room has been a shock to their systems, and I haven't heard them all morning.
charlotte - August 16th, 2013 at 11:12 AM
awesome post! but before school starts, i need a break to recover from summer... maybe some camp/lessons/time with-a-fun-nanny-who-works-for-free... some way to control the chaos so i can GET READY to send the kids to school.
Jennifer L. - August 16th, 2013 at 11:13 AM
Every time I read something you write, I hear the reality that I am living and I laugh out loud! You take our VERY real frustrations and infuse them with humor! Thank you! It is all true and it is all real. Thank you for giving each of us moms an opportunity to laugh at ourselves.
kellypea - August 16th, 2013 at 11:14 AM
Hilarious morning read! I loved every bit. And I was a teacher so think spending a year with everyone else's children, then spending what little summer you have with your own (I never had 12 weeks of summer -- year round school schedule) Crazy land for sure! But this has me remembering my own childhood when my mother left the three of us at home to fend for ourselves while she was at work. Now THAT was fun!
Lisa Graham-Garza - August 16th, 2013 at 11:16 AM
You are hilarious and wonderful!!
One of my best childhood friends knows you and maybe goes to church with you??
Julie L. in Round Top with "all" the kids. :-)
She says you are as awesome in person as you are in your blog!

Holly Gallgaher - August 16th, 2013 at 11:18 AM
Oh my gosh, I am laughing so hard.
DragonLady - August 16th, 2013 at 11:26 AM
Hilarious! Love it!!
Vicki - August 16th, 2013 at 11:27 AM
Clearly you should homeschool your brood ;)

Kristen - August 16th, 2013 at 11:32 AM
Monday Monday Monday!!! My kids go back to school on Monday!!!
I spent 3 weeks camping with my kids across Alaska, Canada & the US. We were in a large camper, but still, if I see a sleeping bag ever again, it will be too soon. I am done with seeing them all day long. I will happily put up with the morning drama in exchange for less "he won't play Lego's with me!" "She told me I was stupid!" drama. Plus I think all the neighborhood kids think I hate them because as soon as the doorbell rings, I tell my kids to get outside. Nobody comes in until everyone is gone. My popsicles no longer runneth over.
Yay for school!
Candy - August 16th, 2013 at 11:39 AM
Hysterical. Except that I'm a mama and a teacher--I just go from mine to yours!
Suzanne - August 16th, 2013 at 5:33 PM
Same here! I found this hysterical too. And then I thought, "wait a minute. I'm a teacher. I go from crazy summer with my kids to crazy school year with their kids." I need a two week break where my kids go to school but I don't have to yet.
Theresa - August 16th, 2013 at 11:40 AM
I am floored by the people who just don't get humor. She was being funny. Sounds like it was a great, well-planned, action-packed summer. That wears us out. It does not make you a bad parent to want your kids to be happily engaged in something for a few hours that does not involve you. God gave us children to watch over, guide, love, and protect. He did not surgically attach them to us. Good night, what a great post. Just because we need a break from the load does not mean we don't love our kids.
Mimi - August 16th, 2013 at 4:31 PM
Oh lighten up, Theresa, it looks like everyone gets it.
Tracey - August 16th, 2013 at 11:44 AM
GO AWAY..... I'm at wit's end... Nope they sucked all the wit out of me, and the patience, and the kindness and the humanity.... I am literally a walking twitching shell of a woman who CAN NOT WAIT for my lovely 2 children to go back to school so I can breathe life back into my body... Thank you for sharing your pain so we can all share ours right along with ya, sister!
Justina - August 16th, 2013 at 11:53 AM
My saving grace is that my husband, a senior pastor, takes the month of August off to study for the fall. That is when we take our trips (just about to head out in the RV). Oh, and did I mention that my 4 year old has preschool (he has DS so it is a special needs program) for four weeks in July? I had moments of insanity, but thankfully saving graces as well.
Joanie - August 16th, 2013 at 11:53 AM
Right there with you, Mamma. Right.there.with.you.

You are awesome, and you should know that your humor is balm to my soul. "Bless."
Alisheeba - August 16th, 2013 at 6:22 PM
Jonie's comment "your humor is balm to my soul" WORD! I feel exactly the same. Thanks for putting something worth reading "out there" in cyber space amongst all the other brain melting clutter. lol
DA - August 16th, 2013 at 12:02 PM
In the United States feeling this way about children is quite common; you hear all of the time phrases like:
"I can't wait until they are 18 and move out" "I want to kill them" "please bring me some wine"
And then families complaint that teenagers no longer want to be around, and when they go to college and move out visits don't happen as often as the parents wished. Well what do you expect???
I am not saying there are times I want to explode (I am human) and I also get frustrated but using a phrase: "bludgeon one another or fight to the death and die" wont come out of my mouth.
In my culture we loved hanging out with the parents and grandparents, we were looking forward to our annual vacation. It was a time to hang out with each other, learn and appreciate the values we were thought. We were never treated like transitional objects or a hindrance. Don't get me wrong we were disciplined in many ways! and I am sure they had enough of our crap but they never verbalized it and we never felt their frustration. We still get together and my kids (still little 9-7) LOVE hanging out with us, when giving the opportunity to go to an impromptu get together with their buddies or go to the movies with us- they choose us and that makes me happy!
I cherish every moment with my two boys and although they can drive me crazy they won't hear anything to make them feel as if they were a burden to me.
But to each its own

Laura - August 16th, 2013 at 12:18 PM
Yes, exactly.
Rebah - August 16th, 2013 at 2:42 PM
Amen! I cherish every moment as well. My kids love to be with us and my 3 year old tells me I'm her best friend. To which I have to explain to her that I'm here best mommy 1st. lol With four kids (plus a college kid that is home here and there) we have lots of rules and routines but those things just become a way of life and not the focus of living. During the summer we go and do a lot. It takes lots of planning and scheduling and preparing/teaching. But I am their most important teacher. Period. I have to take that seriously. It's up to me to teach them how to act in the car, stores, park...how to solve problems, how to pull their own weight. For example, we go over our "5 rules for yard saleing with mom" BEFORE we leave the house. We have a motto. Our motto is "I take care of myself but safety is everybody's job." It is a lot of work on the front end but we enjoy each other more, I think, and are able to have more successful outings and such. I treat each child as an individual and everyone has expectations for behaviors and responsibilities, even the 20 year old. I'm pretty sure we'd do summer til the good Lord returned. Yes, this is funny but it also makes me sad. It doesn't have to be so hard. Really.
Jennifer - August 16th, 2013 at 5:40 PM
Apparently, some people do not have a sense of humor. If you don't like her humor...don't read her blog. You all are being self righteous and arrogant. I know for a fact that she treasures and LOVES her kids like the rest of us.
Rebecca - August 16th, 2013 at 5:57 PM
So, I very rarely comment on blog posts, but I, for one, appreciate Jen's honesty and humor. Being a mom is absolutely the most rewarding job ever. But it is also the hardest job ever. And a little bit of humor and levity along the way never hurt anyone. For instance, I am pretty sure that Jen's phrase "bludgeon one another or fight to the death and die" was not meant to be taken literally.

And for me, it makes me feel just a little bit better to know that motherhood is hard for EVERYONE. Public superiority doesn't do anyone any favors.

Thanks Jen for your honesty and humor, and for teaching us all a little bit about grace.
Erin - August 16th, 2013 at 7:42 PM
Oh, for the love of all that is good and green! I am with you, Jennifer and Rebecca. Jen is JOKING. It's funny!
Nan - August 16th, 2013 at 6:54 PM
And just where, exactly, IS this little utopia?
Kimberlie - August 16th, 2013 at 12:07 PM
Year round school is what I want (beg for). You say all the things I say only when you say them, they are funny and witty and clever. I wish I could be you.
Nancy - August 16th, 2013 at 12:09 PM
How true! And then here in NC, some schools have Year Round School. They still have several weeks of break between sessions....parents love it!
Sarah - August 16th, 2013 at 12:10 PM
I am a full-time high school teacher and a mom of four under 10. I am with you. I say, bring on the teenagers, they have nothing on my 2-year-old!
Elliot - August 16th, 2013 at 12:11 PM
My tween daughters roped us into hosting a double sleepover last night, to which I agreed knowing full well that today I have two cake jobs to complete for clients. My brilliant solution? I MADE THEM SLEEP IN THE YARD and they thought it was "camping"! WINNING (well, once in a while anyway)
HRA - August 16th, 2013 at 12:11 PM
AMEN, sister! I'm right there with you. We have had truly lovely moments together this summer (many of them in a row, in fact!), but it is time to go back to school!!! We are in desperate need of the routine that has utterly evaporated this summer. The only problem here.....summer projects....they aren't done yet....one more week to go.....crap....
Kristen - August 16th, 2013 at 12:24 PM
Jen, I am living your life here in Waco - right down to the 2 weeks in CO and the a/c dying in my Expedition! I only have 3 kids BUT they are all boys and 2 of them are twins, so I feel we are even! You literally put my thoughts into words! Thanks!!
PendleStitches - August 16th, 2013 at 12:26 PM
I am never complaining about 6 weeks summer holidays ever again. But, still, I hear ya! And the pattering of little feet who should have been asleep and hour or so ago.
Kristine - August 16th, 2013 at 12:27 PM
I LOVE Your article.. THANK YOU for spelling out every thought I have thought and felt over the past summer.. My boys are 6&4 and i am about ready to commit myself to well, whatever will take me away from my house.. Most think I'm crazy and "these are the easy times, these are the best days of your life" well, when you do this 24/7/365 you tell me how you feel when they start to tell you they don't love you (after you have planned an entire day full of things for them to do) or that you don't love them anymore, they are the worst kids, etc.. Hugs to you (even though I dont even know who you are!), you are a warrior mother doing a great job and I SUPPORT you!
Jenny - August 16th, 2013 at 12:37 PM
The black hole called, "the screw-it's" -- by far m favorite part. Great job!
Molly - August 16th, 2013 at 12:43 PM
Too funny, great post! Being divorced was not in my plan or God's, but 4 years ago my family of 6 found ourselves there. I have to say, this summer was the first time I found myself enjoying most of it.....and some of my friends were envious! It was wonderful to have every other weekend to myself as well as a couple weeks mixed in, but I also got to really enjoy being with my children. I did start feeling bad for a few of my friends who have started to recently come unraveled....so I did my good deed and took in extra kids on my "kid weekend" so they could just sit and stare at the wall (that is really what most people think I do). Yes, I would prefer to still be married with my family in tact, but there is always a bright side to everything!!! Keep up the awesome writing!
April - August 16th, 2013 at 1:06 PM
Me too - we have a blended family of 8. The oldest 4 are out of/finishing college; 2 teen girls home FT. Bless you for taking your EO weekend and rejuvenating yourself, and then sharing that with others. Lemonade out of lemons, girl.
Michelle - August 16th, 2013 at 12:45 PM
I'm a divorced, work at home mom of four girls ( 6, 6, 9, 10) and I have been ready to run away from home since mid July. I miss my house being clean. I miss going to the bathroom by myself. I miss not telling my kids "One more time and Im setting fire to it" ( -it- being whatever toy, book, game, movie, anything they fight over.) I miss being able to have a few minutes to unwind at the end of the day while they sleep, exhausted from school. Now? I go to bed in the wee hours, defeated, angry that summer is a thing at all, and wanting to know why there's not mandatory mental health care for mothers in the summer. Long Live the educational system.
LeAnne - August 16th, 2013 at 2:50 PM
"One more time and I'm setting fire to it" has just become a huge new piece of my mom vocabulary. Love it!
Julie - August 16th, 2013 at 12:49 PM
So basically you're saying that you can't wait for teachers, aka babysitters, to watch your children so you can have free time. Gee, what a rough life you lead. I will feel so sorry for you at Thanksgiving and Christmas break when the babysitters get a moment of free time to watch their own children, never knowing the luxury of time to themselves.
EJ - August 16th, 2013 at 3:41 PM
*eye roll* Get off your high horse. It's all in good humor. Unless you don't have good humor and like to pretend you don't have moments where you relish your moments of peace.
JC - August 16th, 2013 at 8:16 PM
It's sarcasm. Seriously.
Lisa - August 16th, 2013 at 8:19 PM
I love the holier than thou comments that people like to use to attack someone who clearly has written a very funny, sarcastic, yet truthful piece on the craziness of five kids in the unstructured days of summer. Give me a break.
LM - August 16th, 2013 at 8:26 PM
I agree with you, Julie. This is the worst attitude to praise. Not all moms feel this way. I'm sad that my three are going back! Just because you're honest about a crappy attitude doesn't make it okay. This is not the attitude of Christ, I'm certain.
Lucielle - August 16th, 2013 at 10:06 PM
LOL. I agree. Want structure? Then make it happen. I don't know why teachers are the only ones not afraid to make children behave, be on a schedule, etc etc etc.m
Another Julie - August 24th, 2013 at 7:21 AM
Let me guess, Julie, you homeschool? If yes, it's better to shut your mouth. Your judgement and condemnation aren't wanted right now. We just want to laugh and enjoy what Jen had to say. You obviously don't understand something called humor and real life.
April - August 16th, 2013 at 12:54 PM
We are already back in school here in Atlanta (where it is a bizarre 70 degrees). Our very last week of 'summer' we opted for a vacay at the beach (where it was 90 degrees) in a cabin built for 2 adults 2 kids (hubby, me, #5 and #6). But we weakly offered College Son #4 a few days too, which turned into ALL OF THE DAYS-AND HE BROUGHT THE DOG. So 5 of us in a one-ish bedroom cabin with no WiFi (baby girl (12) used up ALL 3 data plans so no one can email until August 26th). When we got home the same boy had cooked after the rest of us left and DIDN'T TAKE OUT THE TRASH. A whole week of namaste evaporated and our kitchen will never be the same. I wasn't ready for school until then, but okay, NOW GO TO SCHOOL AND TAKE YOUR TIME COMING HOME. Sorry - am I yelling at you too?

Love you Jen, you make me feel solidarity in the Mama Universe of Nuttiness.
Kelly - August 16th, 2013 at 1:02 PM
I just informed my beasts that the "Mom Bubble" has been erected. I don't seen anything, I don't hear anything. Just leave me the heck alone. And thank you Jesus that school starts on Monday. Amen.
TV - August 16th, 2013 at 2:10 PM
I need to use this... "mom bubble" priceless!!!
Tanja - August 16th, 2013 at 1:04 PM
AMEN sister!!! You are awesome!!!
Tamara - August 16th, 2013 at 1:04 PM
Oh, my word! Did you sneak in to my house while I passed out from sheer exhaustion and write my summer-life story?! Seriously, you just described my summer and I am SO glad to know I'm not crazy...and even if I am, I'm NOT the only one! :)
Joy Groblebe - August 16th, 2013 at 1:04 PM
I absolutely laughed my head off through this entire post and resonate with every single thing you are saying. I love my four children (ages 2 - 10), loved our summer, our vacations, the pool, the library - all of it...but praise the Lord - it's over and we're back to school. Thank you!
Lisa S - August 16th, 2013 at 1:14 PM
I'm a teacher! Girl, we are READY! Bring 'em on!

Catherine Smith - August 16th, 2013 at 1:15 PM
We did get a break from Texas heat for 6 days while we moved our daughter to Michigan State University for college.
Candace - August 16th, 2013 at 1:24 PM
HA! I couldn't even get through reading the entire post without being interrupted by 2 of my 5 girls screaming at each other over who GETS to clean up a mess they both made(?!?!)! *sigh* I am eyeball-deep in the "screw-its"! Thanks for the laugh...and the reminder that the serenity of the first day of school is only 1 week, 2 days, & 19 hours away!
Susan - August 16th, 2013 at 1:24 PM
My mantra this week is "less than three weeks, less than three weeks...." Oh how I crave the sweet sound of big yellow school bus rumbling down the street in the morning. To once again utter "focus" in the morning rush (instead of "go make a sandwich" in the afternoon) And how I long to enter my kitchen and find all the cabinet doors closed.

"less than three weeks, less than three weeks"
Court - August 16th, 2013 at 1:24 PM
As a girl who grew up in TX, August does suck there. It also sucks in Georgia. However, our kids go back to school the first week of August. Thank goodness. So, while everyone else is all that's too early. I'm rejoicing.
Mickey - August 16th, 2013 at 1:33 PM
So...how do you feel for those of us who are (single) mom's AND teachers...I need a drink...
Eryn - August 16th, 2013 at 8:54 PM
Single mom and college student myself, sobriety is over-rated- especially in the summer. Online class 1st 6 weeks of summer during the "glory" days and only 4 days of peace at home while the kids are at school and I'm not. I'm just glad the hunt for consistent summer childcare is over.
Shannon B. - August 16th, 2013 at 1:26 PM
I was fine and actually practically dancing the kids out the door this morning, until my soon-to-be 6 year old says, on the way to her first day of Kindergarten "Momma, are you sad your baby is a big girl now?" Well, yep. now that you point it out to me like a big girl, I want to stop time right here and never let you get any older. Thank you very much. I actually have been having more issues with keeping our teenage son out of trouble so knowing he will be supervised and structured for 8 hours a day has taken my stress level down about 50 points. He's not a bad kid, just a teenage boy, and that has overshadowed the rest of the summer. There were glimpses of fun, but for the most part, it was a hard one for us. Looking forward to the structure of school and school related sports, where certain levels of character, diligence, studiousness and care are not only encouraged but required for him to be able to participate. WHY do kids listen so much better to ANY other adult than their parents, or is it just our family? (You all must now vehemently deny it is just us and that ALL kids are like that, or I will just sit and cry with a big container of ice cream and a serving spoon. And I won't be sharing!) That's for the amazingly timed, well, dang near perfect post today.
Megan - August 16th, 2013 at 6:37 PM
While I don't have teenagers yet, I do have a 12-year-old who will someday be a great SOMETHING - lawyer, union boss, ????. For now though, he pushes back on almost every single thing my husband and I say or suggest. However, I hear over and over and over again what a great, funny, mature, responsible kid he is from EVERYONE. So, I just try to gain a sort of perspective that he feels safe to push back against me and his dad, and that we need to keep trying to guide him and teach him how to, well, basically not annoy! I say "learn to pick your battles" a lot :)
Laura - August 16th, 2013 at 1:35 PM
Jen, I appreciate your honesty and your sense of humor!! I need to hear that I am not alone in feeling inadequate to the challenge sometimes! I am confident that you are depending on the Lord, but even then, being a mom, especially an "in-it 24/7 mom in the summer" can be HARD! Knowing your passion for the Lord (one only needs to read your body of blogs and/or "Seven") and that you are REAL is an encouragement in and of itself. I echo your sentiments: blessings to all the teachers, good-bye and thank you Lord for the summer memories. Now, let's go!!
Casey - August 16th, 2013 at 1:37 PM
so you may hate me after this comment.....It is currently 72 degrees and my kids have been back in school for a week.
I know what you mean about cursing all things friday folders, reading logs, fundraisers (or NOT fun-draisers) and counting down the days until they are out of school.
And taking vacations in cars across the country and the crazy smells that come out of the backseat and the never ending SHE IS LOOKING AT ME followed by the I know you just fed me lunch 20 minutes ago but I am still hungry because I threw my lunch away when I didn't eat it because it had ketchup on the edge of my plate! My house is quiet and while I usually mass clean for days....I have relaxed and eaten junk food and blogged and just "existed" and it has been glorious. Your day is almost there! Stay STRONG and DROP THOSE KIDS OFF AT SCHOOL. Don't even slow down they can hop out of the hot suburban as you coast by. Then take thyself out to a great mexican food meal and book, shirt, earring search! hugs girl...you'll make it.
Emily - August 16th, 2013 at 1:40 PM
Hilarious!
Donna - August 16th, 2013 at 1:44 PM
PLEASE take a minute to read this letter from a mother who lost her little boy 9 months ago. I think many here will feel much differently about their children going back to school after reading this:

With back to school right around the corner, I see lots of articles being shared around facebook about talking to your children about bullying, embracing the differences in others, kindness, etc. Of course I love these themes, but let's not stop with the children. You see back to school is 1 of the most difficult times of year for any parent that has lost a child. Imagine watching all your child's friends enter into a new grade which your child will never know. The sadness of what should have been naturally settles in. For the years your child should be moving up in schools or graduating, the pain is increased regardless of how much time has passed. So here is what I ask of you: while you are reminding your children how to be sensitive to others make sure you are taking notes yourself. When it comes to the long line at drop-off / pick-up, don't complain about it. Be thankful you have a healthy child in it! When it comes to packing lunches and shuttling everyone around, be grateful God has entrusted you with a child for which to perform these duties. And when it comes to long days where you are exhausted, stop wishing the time with your children away and fast-forwarding to bedtime. Now certainly we're all guilty of not fully appreciating these things (myself included), but let's try to keep the right perspective as we send our kids back to school and roll into a new routine. If you feel the need to complain, please do so away from myself and any parent that would give anything to have another back to school moment with our children that are now in Heaven. Enjoy your last days of summer with your kiddos!!! Hallee started her preK class, and she came home with this crab picture she made. It reminded Hallee of the pet hermit crabs she and Jaxon shared, and instead of just writing her name at the top of the page, she also wrote Jaxon's name. Not a day goes by that she doesn't think about him. I love that even the distance of Heaven has not broken the special bond between them, and I pray that is always the case!
Annie - August 16th, 2013 at 4:03 PM
With all due respect, posting a letter from a grieving mother is inappropriate at best and frankly, exploitive at worst. This is a blog post based on humor from a marvelous mother. The commenters (who aren't judgmental and lacking a sense of humor) are also mostly wonderful parents who are able to laugh at themselves. Laughing at how taxing parenting can be at times does not equate to not appreciating your children's lives. The woman who wrote that letter is suffering a loss most of us can't even remotely fathom and shame on you for using it like this.
Cindy - August 16th, 2013 at 4:45 PM
Annie, your comment is inappropriate and extremely disrespectful to those of us who have suffered a loss and have a different view than Jen. Everyone has a right to express their view! Donna, thank you for sharing!
Annie - August 16th, 2013 at 6:06 PM
It's not a different view. Jen isn't actually wishing her kid's away, it's humor for crying out loud. Totally and completely different than the loss of a child.
Cathy - August 16th, 2013 at 8:34 PM
Annie, I am with you. Laughing at our struggles as moms should never imply that we would not give our lives any day for children. I cherish my children but the first day of school was always one of my favorites when my kids were younger! :)
Katie - August 17th, 2013 at 6:35 AM
I agree with Cathy and Annie. I would give up my own life for my children in a heartbeat but going back to school is exciting. Not just to let them back in those hallways and getting a break of all the bickering, but because it's a new year and it's fresh. I don't know how it feels to lose a child, but my children's father passed away two years ago and that pain is fresh and painful and I think about him daily, but I still remember the good times and the times he just annoyed me lol. It also makes me cherish my children just a little more, but I am still ready for school.
Brandi Lea - August 16th, 2013 at 1:45 PM
Oh my dear Lord, I am done. We have hiked mountains, we have gone swimming, we have road tripped across the COUNTRY and now, it is time for some freaking school.

Speaking of road trips. I drove from Colorado to FLORIDA, with my 3 kids (ages 7, 8 & 9) ALONE. I am a single mom, so that was my only option. 30 hours. We did it in 2 days. Sometime around 4:30 am when I couldn't find a hotel for HOURS, I found myself crying in a motel around Nashville begging for a room in the inn. There were no rooms. Yes I just compared myself to the mother Mary - get over it :)

I am done. I have no more ideas on how to entertain these children. I just want to go to yoga. That's all I want. I want to think my own thoughts. I want to drink in a chai latte in utter silence. I want to shower without having to scream "stop hitting him!" I want to be done parenting for just a moment. I want someone else to take them. I don't even care if they learn anything at first, I won't lie. And good luck teaching anyways because we did absolutely zero school work this summer. Sorry about that and all....but you try quizzing an African on their reading while 2 other children beg for us to GO SOMEWHERE.

I am with you and READY!!!! Monday can't come soon enough. I think I might have kissed one of our teachers at back to school. The atmosphere of moms getting their thoughts back was one of pure bliss :-)

Thanks for this post - loved it! -Brandi
Jen - August 16th, 2013 at 1:47 PM
I remember August being the most dreaded time of year for me, and we live in Minnesota!! However, if it helps, know that some of us reluctantly homeschool. August and September are the times I miss school the most.
Heather - August 16th, 2013 at 6:07 PM
Yes! Another reluctant homeschooling mom! Love my kids...but oh boy! I try to block out the moms celebrating back to school and live in denial. ;) Loved reading this article. We all cherish our kids. A little honesty and humor are good things.
Cindi - August 16th, 2013 at 1:48 PM
Love! I'm so glad I started following you. Good luck in your last few days of summer. %uD83D%uDE00
Jen - August 16th, 2013 at 1:49 PM
I couldn't possibly describe how much I love this post!! We're heading into the 12th week of summer in CO as well, school starts next week and this is one of the first years I've thought, holy cow, it can't get here soon enough. The lack of schedule we embraced at the end of May has slowly eroded into a slothful free-for-all and we are in dire need of structure at our house. I laughed the whole time I read this.

For those commenters taking this a little too literally and criticizing, for heaven's sake, take it for the dry humor it is and get over yourselves. This blogger is obviously a wonderful mother. And wonderful mothers have moments like this. If you can't laugh at these aspects of parenting then that's unfortunate for the parent and the kids. I found this hilarious and it left me light-hearted about the coming last week of summer.
Elizabeth - August 16th, 2013 at 1:51 PM
Funny, Jen. Relatable except at the end when YOUR children ask when they will bathe again. I have all boys. So I have no grid for this. My children have never once asked when they will bathe again. Is it wrong to promise ice cream to get them into the tub? If it's wrong, I don't want to be right. I have become the threatening, repeating parent. I hate card games. And Monopoly. And especially Old Maid. I know that's harsh, but as you have so meticulously described in the above post, I have lost my "awesome-ness" and cannot track it. The school supplies are bought and labeled. I have my back-to-school present(s) for the new teacher(s). The lunch kits are packed and waiting in the fridge so that they don't have babies before August 27th. I am canceling all of the PTA obligations that were made prior to losing my awesomeness. I'm increasingly okay with being "that mom."
Bri - August 16th, 2013 at 7:50 PM
WHAT?!?! You made back to school gifts for the teachers?! You are SO much more awesome than I am!
Lydia - August 16th, 2013 at 1:55 PM
Oh wow, 12 weeks?! No wonder you go crazy. Kids here only get 6.

The solution is clear: emigrate.
Amanda C. - August 16th, 2013 at 1:59 PM
I've loved every minute of this summer!! It went by too fast!! **DISCLAIMER: I WORK OUTSIDE THE HOME AND MY POOR, LONG SUFFERING STAY AT HOME HUSBAND MAY HAVE A DIFFERENT OPINION**
amy - August 16th, 2013 at 10:27 PM
I work in a school and only get July off. I don't want school for the kids to start. I hate it when I can no longer keep them up longer and spend time playing instead of worrying about school work and packing lunches. I only wish I could spend 12 full weeks with my kids.
Melissa - August 16th, 2013 at 2:00 PM
Too funny!! And I totally agree. I was laughing and nodding my head in agreement until I remembered that we homeschool...Our summer might be over but now we start school. And I still have the same issues just with schoolwork added in. In the Florida heat. My laughter has turned to tears...
Florene - August 16th, 2013 at 2:01 PM
Jen Hatmaker, I am so relieved that I am not alone. You rock for saying the things (out loud) that many of us don't dare to. And I don't believe for a second that you're not over-the-top in love with your young-uns. Tarry on!
Kay Stacy - August 13th, 2014 at 5:53 PM
You are awesome! I have dear, precious friends that live in Buda! Sounds like you need some of those CRaZy wraps to tighten up that arm jiggle!! I can help you out with that! :0) happyhealthykay.com


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