Posted in Kids, Thinking out loud

A few ways I am not going to be “that mom” this school year

As a former educator I should be my children’s teacher’s favorite parent. I should be the one to know about assignments before they happen, keep track of the teacher’s birthday, turn in permission slips on time and without jelly or coffee stains on them. But alas, I am every teacher’s not exactly nightmare, but just “that mom.” When they see my name I truly think they must roll their eyes, sigh audibly, and whisper “God love her.”

I am “that mom” that never quite has the calendar set, forgets about spirit days, doesn’t sign up in time to go on field trips, is usually running up a textbook or lunchbox that was left in my car, and is frantically searching for the lunch menu, assignment email, or sheepishly texting other moms at the last minute with those questions that make them wonder how God ever thought I could handle three children much less one.

I can’t promise that this year I will ever be the Pinterest mom who has it all together but I have made a few goal/resolutions/promises to hopefully help this school year go a little smoother.

  1. Schedules SchMEDjules. All three kids are at different school on different schedules. Our oldest will be a  freshman at Belmont University in Nashville. Middle Son is a sophomore at Francis Howell High, and Youngest Son is a 5th grader at Zion Lutheran. This year above any other year is going to be tricky keeping track of who needs to be where when. I have actually already recorded each of their school schedules on our shared family google calendar as well as written it down in my planner. I blocked out days on my work calendar where I am not available for travel to avoid being the mom that keeps missing important games and concerts. I DID THIS BEFORE SCHOOL STARTED FOR ANY OF THEM. Gold stars for sure.

2. We will have a homework station in the dining room. Try as I might none of my kids have really liked being confined to our office or their rooms to do homework or projects. To avoid the headache of papers being everywhere, needing that protractor one measly assignment I am setting up a homework station in our dining room where the work gets done anyway. Because we are family of Messies the station will not only have the usual graph paper, highlighters, notebook cards, red pens, but a small bottle of glass cleaner and paper towels to avoid the inevitable honey and jelly on a traditional Figgins’ Kid Homework.

3. Laundry Demons Be Gone. Emma will be on her own in managing laundry and clothes while at college. Sam is very neat and orderly when it comes to his laundry and knowing what clothes he needs when. Alex… well Alex doesn’t exactly value clean underwear everyday. I have the habit of disappearing into my closet on Sunday nights to pick out my outfits for the entire week. Alex is going to do the same. He attends private school so we have the sanity of a daily uniform but it still is a stupid mad dash almost everyday to find two sock and clean underwear. I bought Alex a hanging closet that has six compartment so he can load up each day of the week with a complete school uniform, sock, undies and any special clothing he needs on Sunday as well.

4. Our favorite subjects: Lunch And Recess. We are pretty big on nutrition and healthy eating and pretty low on school lunches. Because we all value sleep as well I have added to our shared family calendar nightly reminders to pack up lunches so we don’t have to get up early and rifle through the frig and pantry. Our Sunday discipline will now also include pre-packaging our veggies and fruits so those are easy to pull out too.


So there you have it. Not world changing but just a part of my identity I am tired of carrying around. What’s one way you are changing how you approach this school year?¬†joe-shillington-240205

Photo by Joe Shillington on Unsplash

Posted in Minor Things in Life that Bother Me

For once, I just wanted to be one of “those moms.”

For once, I just wanted to be one of “those moms.”








My kids have been back in school for a week. We started off on the right foot. All of the school supplies bought 2 weeks before hand. All of them sorted and labeled properly before Meet The Teacher Night. I had all the forms filled out. I had even created a binder with a section for each kid school info. The lunch shelf was restocked with our baggies of chips, fruit cups, and oreos. We’ve gone a whole week without me hearing “MOMMY, I don’t have any underwear in my drawers!” The calendar was filled with all the important school dates and deadlines. I made breakfast every morning, packed their lunches, and even had after school snack waiting for them even if I wasn’t going to be able to meet the bus.

I was on top of it. This was going to be our year of tear-free, stress-free mornings. This was going to be the year I didn’t send in a coffee stained permission slip I found in the back of the car. I was even thinking about joining the PTO for both schools my kids attend.

Until this morning.

I forgot it was Picture Day.

I didn’t have the clothes laid out. What girlie picked to wear didn’t fit. I couldn’t find the order form. I couldn’t find my purse to find the check book to make a check for I thought the total might be. I’m flying around like a lunatic between the garage, my desk, and the kitchen counter. Where is that stupid binder with all the forms?!? In the meantime A-fig is refusing the eat the hot breakfast. MSS decided to run for Student Council. This morning. He needed forms signed and put in envelopes. Girlie needs to know what integers are not whole numbers. A-fig decides at this point to do his best Aerosmith impersonation on the piano. MSS is trying out campaign slogans. Girlie is near tears because I asked her to re-do her hair.

ENVELOPES? How am I going to find envelopes right now.

EAT child! There are children in your country

going without food this morning!

Mommy has no idea even what an integer is any more!

The kitchen table is covered with last night’s paper plates and homework pages. The fish tank is now a lovely emerald green. A backpack is gone. A lunch box already reeks of moldy leftovers. We’re out of milk and juice. I apparently missed 2 important emails in my inbox about school stuff. And of course, the bus is early today.

Gone is the Mommy of The Year Award in one short week.

These are some of the things that bother me about myself. Like the fact that this bothers me, bothers me. I know I’m not all that. I know I was never intended to be “that mom.” I don’t like talking about kid’s bowel movements, how much better my kid is than yours, or what brand shoe I’m buying or not buying.

I just don’t want to let my kids down. I want so much for them.

But it’s morning like today that more than anything I want my kids to know I love them. In the storms, in the craziness, in the unexpected, in the disappointments, in the frustrations, I will always, always, love my kids. Nothing they do or I do can ever change that fact.