Family Life

'I am done': mum's end of school year struggle is too hilarious

As the end of the school year draws closer, we can only dream of routine-free days and homework-less evenings. 

We're slowly giving up, the freshly cut carrot sticks and multi-coloured pencils of September have given away to half-eaten bananas squashed at the bottoms of bags. 

And we're not the only ones suffering from school-fatigue. Writer and mum-of-four, Liz Petrone, nails EXACTLY how we're feeling. 

Petrone depicts a regular morning, being woken up by her six year old looking for trousers. 

"'MUMMY!!' The screeching of my six-year-old wakes me from the kind of sleep that I assume, not without a pang of jealousy, is what being dead feels like. The kind of sleep where I haven’t moved in hours and the shape of the pillow has left a crease in my face that will linger for hours because I’m old and collagen is no longer my friend. I roll over and force myself to open my eyes.

“'I have no pants,' she says, inches from my face. 'AGAIN.'

"I fight the urge to roll back over and close my eyes as the realisation settles over me that yes, I forgot to do the laundry. Again." 

Usually, Petrone fancies herself to be on top of things. But as the school year draws to a clothes adn the evenings get longer, she can no longer be bothered. 

"Normally I’m better at this. Normally I fancy myself a bit of a warrior, a working mama with four smallish children who miraculously has been able thus far to keep everyone clothed and fed while also not (yet) being fired. But now we’ve reached the point in the school year where there are only a few weeks left and here’s the thing:

"I no longer give any sh*ts."

This is not a sudden realisation, but more of a decreasing level of care over time. 

"This didn't happen all at once. It has been a gradual decline from our idealistic beginning last September of 'This is the year we organise, accomplish, and clean all of the things!' to the October reality of 'Wow this is really hard' to January’s 'Well, maybe we can catch up on the weekends' to the present reality of 'SEND HELP.'”

But now, she's throwing in the towel. 

"But I am done with that mess now. See also: the signing of reading logs, the reading of important papers, the forcing my children to take showers, and the packing of nutritious lunches. DONE. As in checked out. The end is finally in sight, and I have blissfully, with a manic grin on my face, taken my foot off of the gas pedal. I’m coasting through, just hoping we stay alive through the next few weeks."

Eventually she wrestles her youngest into a random pair of trousers and gets her out the door. 

"I contemplate sending in a note of explanation to her teacher but that would involve opening her backpack, which I have sworn off of. Besides, if there is anyone more done this time of year than mums it is teachers. I doubt the teacher will even notice in her I-have-been-doing-this-for-ten-months-for-the-love-of-god-let-it-end-soon haze, and if she does I hope it’s with a nod of solidarity and understanding. Because June." 

Because like any mum, she'll  try again next year. 

“'September,' I say. 'We’ll try again in September.'”

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