Some days I’m embarrassed by what a bad mom I am. For instance, several years back I tried to drop off my daughters at school on a national holiday. Luckily, I figured it out before leaving my kids.
The first clue was an empty parking lot, but I caught on when we noticed all the doors were locked.
Another time I temporarily lost my mind and screamed through the pouring rain at a group of teachers at my girls’ elementary school. Not one of my proudest moments.
That Mrs. Hatton might have finally lost it!
Not yet, ladies! But I’m fairly certain the national PTO was quickly notified and my name’s hovering at the top of the banned list.
However, my worst parenting offense is always dreading summer vacation. The worrying starts about Valentine’s Day and gradually heightens until my anxiety is in the red zone by Mother’s Day. Is this something all moms experience or should I be hanging my head since I said it aloud?
So before the final school bell of the year, I needed to determine why over the past six years I’ve routinely dreaded summer vacation.
Why wouldn’t I want to be with my children 24/7? They’re fabulous! But every year, my elated girls run out of school into their mom’s arms. And those arms are covered with hives, the head above them is battling a migraine and picturing Tai Chi moves.
That’s why this year I prepared for it. First, I obtained top-secret research from anonymous mothers across the country. To protect their identity, their faces were blurred out and voices were altered. If I couldn’t collect enough parenting data from these brave women, I’d unleash the big dog – Pinterest.
How am I going to take care of them all day long? I wasn’t good at keeping them entertained when they were young. Plus, now I have to fix three meals a day? Is it too late for summer school?
Finally, I tossed out the stack of parenting magazines I’d hoped would fix me. I’d have to access Pinterest to get what I needed. There were hundreds of pins discussing what perfect moms do with their kids in the summer. Apparently, I needed to get more organized and draw up a plan if I was going to survive summer.
I looked over hundreds of pins before I saw it. The list: the answer to my prayers. A perfect list titled “100 ways to keep your child busy this summer.” This was it! These suggestions would save our summer. I could get the list laminated and attach it to a lanyard that would be worn each day. With this special list, I’d keep my kids’ attention for months with the perfect combination of interactive, therapeutic and educational play!
I could picture it: I’d try several activities a day, be voted the best mother in the neighborhood, and share my success stories on social media, helping millions of stressed-out moms build loving relationships with their kids.
Maybe the author of that list would even reach out to thank me for sharing her work and invite me to publish a diary of my summer experiences. This list could save the world!
I’d start with the first and keep going until…
What’s that? Number One: build the Eiffel Tower out of Popsicle sticks.
Well, that will never happen! Perhaps instead we’ll go to the pool every day. I’m sure that won’t get old after a couple of weeks.
Stacey Hatton adores lists, but emails are divine. She can be reached at LaughingWithKids@yahoo.com.