For those moms whose children have successfully finished their 2011-12 school year, I congratulate you. You made it! This month has truly been a test of strength for all of the moms that I know. Why is it that so many activities must be crammed into the last 4 weeks of the school year?
My goodness, I have never been on so many field trips in my life! I have never volunteered so much or donated so much money for food and gifts as I have this month. Is it that more is being asked of us or am I just getting old? I tell ya, I am exhausted from all the running around!
But I know I’m not alone. I have heard the gripes and the groans from my maternal colleagues. On top of our everyday responsibilities to our families and households, we are called upon to go that extra mile. And we do.
As my first line of defense, I went out and bought one of those huge planning calendars and used my brightest markers and best handwriting to fill out the activities for May. Then I hot-glued it to the pantry door in the kitchen – at eye level – so I could not claim that I didn’t see or know about the upcoming events. That thing was so overloaded with words, that I couldn’t decipher it from afar. But upon closer inspection, all the work involved became clear, sometimes to my dismay.
I pride myself for not overloading my family with extra-curricular activities. I think downtime is a good thing. But this spring, my daughter signed up for swim team and my son is participating on a select basketball team. You wanna talk about full schedule (how do the others do it)? My husband and I are taking the kids to practices 5 times a week and spending our weekends at competitions. I suspect that the combination of the extra-curricular and school activities is what sent me over the edge.
I have sewed costumes and made alterations. I have shopped for drinks, snacks and gifts and carried them inside. I have packed special sack lunches and swimsuits with towels and sunscreen. I have set up chairs, cleaned tables and swept up. I have served food to teachers. I sorted through old digital photos for a class project. I worked the book fair. This in addition to h-o-m-e-w-o-r-k and a book report! On and on … Sound familiar?
But! here’s the upside: I got to be together with my kids during school hours and see them interact with their peers. I saw them on stage playing their roles, all nervous and cute. I learned interesting facts about a local sculptor at a museum visit. I got to witness a large group of sixth graders “in action” while hiking the greenbelt. I chatted with other moms at a class picnic and got to know them better. I brushed up on my baking and appetizer-making skills. And as an added bonus: I caught up on all my volunteering for the year!
As they say, all’s well that ends well. And we have ended this school year on a good note. Here’s to summer! Enjoy – you deserve it!