school yearAs the school year comes to a close, I do two things. First, I take calming breaths to get through the envious rage I feel when I read posts of Moms in other parts of the country where school is already over, or will be in a week. Second, I like to reflect on how much time I’ve wasted since September, putting things off, thinking I have all the time in the world to get them done.

We still have more than three weeks left of the school year in our little state of Rhode Island. It could be less, but for some reason, the authorities here like to call off school if there is even a hint of flurries. In any case, you might think that since there are three weeks left of my children being gone for seven hours a day, five days a week, that should give me plenty of time to do many of the things I’ve been putting off all year.

Unfortunately, that’s not even close to being the case. Because as soon as the month of May rolls around, life becomes a bit hectic. With the last two months of the school year comes field trips, and First Communions, and end-of-year performances, and (for some reason) so many birthday parties – and my kids aren’t even involved in Spring sports, so it’s even crazier for a lot of families.

On top of all the goings on for the children, here in New England, it’s finally nice outside, so that means it’s time for opening the windows and airing out the house for a little Spring cleaning, which is always a fun time-killer, in addition to cleaning up the yard.

In between all these different activities and chores, you also just want to be outside, enjoying the warm sunshine that eluded you all winter. So you shirk a lot of your regular, every day responsibilities to enjoy some time outdoors at the park or the beach, leaving your laundry baskets to overflow (even more) and dishes to pile high(er).

All of this hustle and bustle of the end of school year shenanigans and everything else can make a Mom super tired, so she stops caring about certain things. For instance, like looking at least a little bit presentable when picking her kids up from school, or making sure her kids have healthy, well-balanced lunches packed for them. At the end of the school year, things like that just don’t seem to matter quite as much as they did in September.

I have a friend who shares this Buzzfeed list to my Facebook page every year. And every year, I laugh. Because it so accurately illustrates the difference between how parents feel at the beginning of the school year and the end of the school year. (My favorite one is the picture of Nick Nolte.)

Granted, I don’t generally make my children “themed” lunches with sandwiches cut in to adorable characters. In fact, this morning, I had to make their sandwiches on hot dog buns and hamburger rolls. But by the end of the year, my motto is pretty much “If it’s pre-packaged, it’s going in the lunchbox.” My other motto is “If it requires a spoon or fork, I will forget to pack a spoon or fork,” apparently.

But that only lasts for a few weeks, and then all is right with the world, because I don’t have to worry about things like this:

school year

Or think about things like this:

Yes, once school is over, I can finally relax.

Haha! Just kidding! I’m a Mom. The word “relax” isn’t in my vocabulary. Except when I’m telling my kids to “relax” when they’re fighting over something ridiculous again, because it’s summer vacation, and that’s just the way it goes.

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