That mom.

These last three weeks have been a test of something. I’m still trying to figure out what the universe is saying. I really am intently listening, but, her message is being drowned out by my perpetual yelling at my children.

We are at the tail end of the school year. We’re all proceeding as if we are in our last week of work after 50 years with the company. We’re physically present and emotionally in Aruba.

Every school morning has become a pained documentary about the world’s slowest and most mismanaged mile. School lunches have basically been reduced to a box of band-aids.

Like marathon runners in the home stretch, we are limping in and drenched in our own urine. We’re shutting the fuck down.

And, because of this, I have been “that mom” more often than usual. Which for me means, I’ve been “that mom” almost constantly.

I hate being “that mom”. But, they are being “those kids”. And this mom turns to THAT mom like a wildfire starts in the dry and brittle California hills.

We’re on the world’s most annoying roller coaster of all uphill and no sweet release of the easy and exhilarating down. Nothing has been easy.

I have fully given up my societal facade of decorum. “That mom” with the screaming two year old with only one shoe hanging sideways under her arm? Yep. Totally me. And, “that mom” carrying 3 backpacks and stomp-fuming toward the playground her children ran off to without telling her first? Nice to meet you!

And “that mom” running after her toddler who has developed a new obsession with parking lots…her thighs causing enough friction to create an electrical storm? Me again.

And, “that mom” trying to avoid after school play dates like the a middle school band concert? Also me.

And, “that mom” grounding everyone and then happily letting them go to parties and slumber parties because GET OUT OF HERE! Howdy.

And they are “those kids” with the constant whining and fighting and running off and the terrible case of doing whatever the hell we want-itis.

And I’m the one trying not to eat her young.

I know it’s the season of discontentment. They can taste summer. They are railing against structure and time constraints. They are done with school and not moving their bodies while the sun is shining through unopened school windows.

I can taste summer. I am railing against muffin baking and school fundraisers and kill-me-now packing lunches and not moving my body after a winter in which I ate my weight in bread and cheese and all of the buttered things.

I have to remind myself that the great thing about this time of perpetual deconstruction is that eventually we will hit rock bottom.

I love rock bottom.

That point at which the sand castle you built all year crumbles. The foundation is flat and you have no choice but to all look at each other and say, “Our home is gone. I love you. Let’s start again.”

We always rebuild.

I don’t know what our rock bottom this year will be. Will it be me completely flipping out at a Farmer’s Market when my 2 year old tries to steal someone’s goat? Will it be when I undoubtedly forget someone’s end of year school field trip and they vow to hate me forever?

I don’t know, but, I do know that when we sit surrounded by the ashes of this school year, we’ll come together like everyone does after defeat and complete devastation and the trauma of life and all of the hard things we share.

Like family. We may be “that mom” and “those kids”, but, we’re in this together.

I can’t wait to see next year’s castle. I hope it has an in-ground pool.


  1. I think we all need to commiserate together- let’s join our ranks at the park, cop a squat under a tree and pour a big ass glass of wine and become “those moms” that don’t watch their kids at the park. I’m in.

  2. So glad to know I am not the only one!

  3. I hear ya clucking big chicken. We have 6 days of school left, with the last two running 15 minutes earlier and later to make up one hour, ONE HOUR of school that couldn’t be forgiven. THe nights run too late because we FINALLY have a that giant fireball thingy in the sky after the winter that would never end, and I’m finding even my fat shorts are way too tight… because remember that winter that would never end?? I just want to stay up late with bonfires and and lightning bugs and sleep in. Maybe this is why I have yet to register for any summer rec activities?? I’m “That Mom” with you, as my 6 year old screams we all hate her and I’m the worst mom EVER. And when we hit rock bottom, I’ll look over, blow the dust off the Margarittaville and toast one to you!!!

  4. ..

  5. Ah yes, I just wrote a similar (but totlaly different) post. I soooo feel you!

    • Bethany says:

      Just read it. I’m with you 150% until August 15th and then it’s Lord of the Flies time, bitches.

  6. I’m not even gonna lie I became that mom two weeks ago and I still have two weeks to go. And unfortunately about a month ago I forgot who I was and absurdly signed both my kids up for summer school AND agreed to take the neighbor kids. Wtf was I thinking? As a matter of fact my kids are eating chicken nuggets from a bag for the third night in a row while I hide on the porch drinking a glass of wine. I am “that” mom and I’m going to be it proudly!

    • Bethany says:

      This is why I am going to be in love with you. I would do all this shit. Even though I know better. And, in a shallow attempt to prove I am not the person I actually am. Also, out of ice so I took the kid’s frozen blueberries to ice my drink. Cheers, mama. Fuckin’ cheers.

      • Frozen blueberries?? Sheer brilliance! Just attempted pizza buffet with all 3 by myself while being forced to listen to Frozen in French in the car. There is a large bottle of something with my name on it at home!!

        • Bethany says:

          Frozen in French….why? WHY? I am so sorry….you deserve all the wine.

          • Frozen in French! Love it! I am so grateful that my kids are mostly grown! But I still become “that mom” and they are “those kids” 🙂 but at least they aren’t 6 anymore! <3 Kudos to you brave souls that fear no judgment and allow us all to be "real" Love you all!!! <3

  7. Tina Smith says:

    Ours got out this week. I love having them home for summer, but this year started with a bang, or should I say a big ass wad of Vicks infused tissue and mucinex. The whole damn family is sick and I’m wishing for a one way trip to somewhere sandy, where the umbrella drinks are served by hotties in nice fitting boxer briefs. Because thongs on dudes just make me shudder, I don’t care how nice the bum is. So I shall crack open a bottle of sweet sparkly wine (once I can taste it again), and send a cheers to you. Until then a really strong tequila might help.

  8. I’m pretty sure we’ve all been “that mom.” Unfortunately, everyone has a different definition of “that mom,” which sucks. On the last day of school I stupidly took all four boys to the grocery store with me, and I got several looks from little old ladies – you know, the combo OMG/WTF look. Yep, totally “that mom.”

  9. Julie WTF says:

    Ok so I`m shy and awkward but canIpleasejoinypurclubyoucompleteme! LOL
    I had to be at work hours before 3/5 of the rest of the house was up. 1/5 will wake, dress and shoe himself in 30 seconds of near silence for the price of gas station donuts on the way to daycare. Today was the first day in a month I`ve not been “that” mom.
    Sadly, I will get to be her for two more weeks, then a week off before summer school hell. Why does SS have to start a full hour earlier than regular school?!

  10. Kristina says:

    I’m that mom, that at one moment is so happy my kids are home…. They are the sweetest kids ever…. And in the next minute bedtime can’t come soon enough, where is my wine…. Hell screw the wine I need something stronger!!! I’m That Mom

  11. When my oldest was in preschool, a mom with older kids told me that May is the month for ramping up to the biggest meltdowns of the family year. Mostly moms’ meltdowns.

    Now I know we hit overload mid-May and crest that wave of clusterf*ck until school is out. And we hit another wave by August, and ride that fathermucker until school starts.

    Circle of life, May to September.

  12. I’m that mom with those kids too. I’m SO done, so, so done. I’ve forgotten pajama day and making dinner and I’m really good at yelling right now. Sigh.
    I love this and I get to see you in less than a week.

  13. I’m totally that mom too! Seriously, it’s like the last couple weeks of school drag by, the teachers are having tests like crazy, the kids just can’t wait to be done with the days, and I go back and forth between wanting it to be done and enjoying the last moments of quiet while they are at school for these last few days.

  14. I’ve got such senior-itis my kids are lucky I’m not packing flasks in their lunch boxes. On second thought…

  15. HOW am I just seeing this? I want to just copy and paste the whole thing into this comment and tell you, line by line, what I simply adore about EVERY SINGLE WORD. Oh my, is this a giant slice of PERFECT.

  16. We have been late to every start of preschool and ballet and swim class for the last two weeks. I’ve had to call other parents to get details I haven’t made an effort to remember. End of the year potluck, say what? Recital, tomorrow? We show up half-dressed, with sleep in our eyes, wild hair and giant smiles. Because we made it.

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