Marathons are famous for punishing uphills in the last mile. Right this minute, we are in the hellish uphill of the marathon that is the school year.
Dig deep people and you can crawl across that finish line dragging your exhausted kids behind you.
Here are my tips.
- Don’t count the days. Summer is knocking. Run and hide until it busts down your door with an AK-40 and holds you hostage.
- Step away from the sandwiches. If you can buy lunch, hand those kids a tray. Everyone knows processed food at school tastes better than processed food from home.
- Don’t ask what they learned today. No one is learning anything. Their brains are fried just like yours.
- Embrace the Word Search. Or crossword puzzle. Or coloring sheet. Whatever they give your kids to do. It’s busy work. Busy is good.
- Don’t watch year end assembly slide shows. Slide shows make us cry because of well, total cuteness and that nasty march of time.
- If they offer school supply bundles for September, ORDER THEM NOW. Until Staples starts selling alcohol, buying supplies in August is doomed to fail.
- Don’t get out of your car at the bus or pick up line. There are no more words. Conversation dried up in April. Move on.
- Adopt the motto, “Make it Work.” Clothes with mystery food remnants or pit stains and rockin’ high water pants build character.
- See #8 for shoes that have holes and backpacks with broken zippers and unidentifiable odors.
- Purge. School papers multiply like rabbits while you sleep. By June, they are plotting a mutiny. The shredder restores the balance of power.
- No more baking. No one needs you going all Martha Stewart on them at the T-30 stage of the game. Has any kid complained about a box of Rice Krispies Treats in the history of ever?
- Lower your standards. Mediocre becomes the gold seal of excellence in June.
- Pity the teachers. Teachers are paid an annual salary for about 10 months’ work because the last 30 days count like dog years. Meaning, a normal month now equals 200 long, hot, whiney days. So, they are actually underpaid.
- Don’t stress over teacher gifts. HAHA! Gotcha! If you aren’t stressing over this, you’re doing something wrong. When I think about thanking teachers appropriately, I need a blood pressure cuff or a bag to breathe into.
- We are in this together. Well, maybe we were in September, now it’s every man for himself. Exhibit A is the May Sign-Up Genius. Slots that include showing up,dressed and showered are wide open. Spots that let you half-ass it with lame stuff from home are snapped up before you can remember your password.
Lastly and most importantly, remember it is fleeting. It seems like a marathon when you are in it, but in hindsight it is really a sprint.
Maureen Stiles lives outside Washington DC where she is surgically attached to the driver’s seat seat of her SUV. She blogs about the care and feeding of her three boys, middle age and her dog– the only one in the house who really understands her. Her work has been featured on Bluntmom.com, ScaryMommy.com, Mamalode,com, HaHasforHoohas.com and in her monthly column in the Town Courier Newspapers. Follow her at magnificence in the mundane or @cmogo on Twitter.