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August 16, 2022 |

Yearly Back-To-School PSA

BY Jen Hatmaker

My OG sisters know my yearly PSA, but it bears repeating every damn year because it never stops being true.

Here on this Friday, at the end of the first week of school, you are forbidden to make a single plan tonight. And really? The whole weekend.

I will tell you why: your children are a full blown mess. They are so exhausted and overstimulated, they cannot even handle a simple question like “how was your day?” These are fighting words. Offer the wrong snack after school? Your tired child will come at you like a small sociopathic ninja. And the little kinder babies are literally in a coma.

THEY CAN’T DEAL. DON’T EXPECT THEM TO DEAL.

Think a celebration dinner tonight might be fun? That is the worst idea you have ever had.

No you will not go to the football game, unless you’d like to drag your screaming kindergartener out at halftime like we did with Sydney Hatmaker in 2005 because she didn’t want that blue Slushee.

No you will not let your kid go to a sleepover — unless you like picking up hysterical children at midnight because they can’t function.

Also, don’t take the bait. They have stored up all their feelings and worries and exhaustion all day, and you get it all. They will pick fights and act bananas. Don’t fall for it. Don’t join them in their crazy.

Just say things like:

  • Mmmmmm. That does sound frustrating.
  • I see. How about a snack?
  • You got a lot going on in that brain, don’t you?
  • Oh okay. How about some chocolate milk?

Order pizza, turn on a movie, and be done.

They need to go to bed. They need a dark room and a cozy blanket and no words. Let them sleep in tomorrow. Don’t make direct eye contact until at least Sunday. Do not poke the bear. The bear is wild with overwhelm and has the capacity to kill you.

If you made plans, you need to cancel them right now. Close the blinds, turn the lights down, feed and water the children if they can stay awake past 5:00pm, and tiptoe silently out of the room.

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Please acknowledge your receipt of this information.

Thanks to some of our sisters for posting the enclosed pics of their first week of school. This is how it is. This is how they are. Don’t take these poor babies in public.

parenting-psa

(And, teachers, feel free to apply this PSA at will, too. I know it applies to all of you classroom warriors who are out here doing the most for our kids. You are not expected to deal either.)