Pre-Order So God Made a Mother

OK friends, it’s May . . . the month where it traditionally all goes down the tubes.

And I’m here to give you permission to tell all the c-r-a-p to take an actual hike. I’ve lived through 13 Mays with school-age kids and I have like eleventy billion to go (OK 10, but still).

And this is what I know to be true for most of us:

We will mess up.

You will forget it’s Dress Like a Lumberjack Day or you will forget your cherub needs a cold drink to enjoy during the special movie reward. You are allowed to feel bad for 10 seconds and apologize if you need to. Then I require you to move on. Your kid is fine. And for the love, if you try and “make it up to them” with a special treat I’m coming for you. You are BUILDING RESILIENCY here. Do not hijack their lesson. They need to know life goes on even when they eat pancakes at the lumberjack breakfast without wearing a flannel. Take that May, you are not the boss of us.

We will miss something.

Maybe it’s the May Day program or author’s day or parents plant a flower day or some such “special” event. Accept you are not omnipresent. It’s so freeing. You might even give yourself a pass because you had planned lunch with friends or it’s your usual yoga time. I guarantee you are there for your kids plenty (again, resiliency) and May somehow barges in like we don’t have actual lives and jobs and expects us to clear our calendars for it. Not this year May, not this year.

We will crawl across the finish line in all things feeding.

This is not the time to start making build-your-own healthy salads for the cold lunch crowd or create a whole new weeknight meal plan. Seriously, not only is school amped up but, inexplicably, summer sports have already started. Total madness. So it’s 100% OK to give up. Peanut butter and jelly, chips and an apple every single lunch of high school got me where I am today. And I’m fine. Or hand them lunch money and legit there is no need to check the menu . . . there is food on it and that’s enough. When dinner rolls around, frozen pizza, salad from a bag, cereal all around or whatever you have been saving in the depths of your freezer—this is how we get through May, friends. No need to be fancy—we’re crawling across the finish line. Save your energy for things that matter.

Which brings me to the real work of May:

ENJOYING.

You see, you want to cut through all the craziness May is trying to throw at you because there are some special things lurking there you don’t want to miss.

Like the first really nice day of the almost-summer, which of course you celebrate by not doing any homework but instead taking the whole family for ice cream for dinner and a trip to the park. You have worked on math facts and writing and kept track of reading minutes like a champ for all the days. We are out of tries . . . might as well not even pretend and instead kick up our heels with some dairy in a cone and a good old fashion swing.

And that one event you look forward to each year—maybe it’s a certain concert or dress up day or just the last day of school where you are all in. I am not into 26 special days in a row (I’m looking at you ABC countdown) but crazy hair day for letter C is my jam and I’m all in there. The last day of school, I love to mill around and watch all the lasts in action. Pick your things and do them well.

And of course, the actual milestone moments that will pass us by if we are lost in the minutia of May. The graduations from kindergarten and grade 8 and high school and all those biggies can get lost in the noise when we are making every single thing May wants us to think about important. We are the boss of May. Don’t let it steal the joy from the big stuff.

It’s time to take back our May, my friends.

Accept our limitations. Find our joy. Serve up all the Lunchables. We are on the homestretch and we can handle May like an actual boss if we are not afraid to fail with reckless abandon.

Who’s with me?

This post originally appeared on Hiding in the Closet with Coffee by Amy Betters-Midtvedt

 

You may also like:

My Contract With My Kids This Summer Break

Dear Kids, Let’s Have an Ordinary Summer

Why Moms Are Exhausted the Entire Month of May

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available for pre-order now!

Pre-Order Now

Amy Betters-Midtvedt

Amy Betters-Midtvedt is a writer, educator, mom of 5 crazy kids, wife to a patient husband, and lover of Jesus. She writes along with her friend and former teaching partner Erin over at Hiding in the Closet With Coffee. Our mission is to help parents find sanity and joy, and we know sometimes joy is found hiding out in the closet with coffee, or hiding out on Facebook — come and join us both! You can read more about us here. You can also find us hiding out over at InstagramPinterest, and Twitter.

Yes, We Wanted a Big Family

In: Kids, Motherhood
Big family silhouette

Baby number WHAT?!?! Okay, okay, I know having FIVE children in the modern world is a bit of an anomaly, but the responses we have gotten from sharing our joyful (to us!) news has been a bit over-the-top. You see, my husband and I always dreamt of a big family, verbally expressing four to five children as our ultimate number. After having three, I must say I had to do some convincing to keep going, as my husband felt our hands were pretty full. I do agree our hands were pretty full, but I still felt our hearts could handle...

Keep Reading

How Much Longer Will I Watch Them Play?

In: Kids, Motherhood, Tween
Two boys at indoor playground, color photo

As I sit here watching my two boys running around on the bright-colored foam mats, sliding down the bright red and green slides that end up in a ball pit full of giggles, I can’t help but wonder how much longer I will enjoy this sight. They’re both growing up so fast—T-shirts with their favorite characters have been replaced by plain colors.  Curtains with Paw Patrol now invite an “Eww, cringe!” reaction. Slowly their boy bedroom decor has been updated to reflect the cool gamers they so want to be. RELATED: He’s a Boy For Just a Little While Longer No...

Keep Reading

God Gave Him Bigger Feelings

In: Kids, Motherhood
Little boy on playground, color photo

He came home from school last week and asked, “Why do I get so angry but my friends never do? Why am I not the same?” And it broke me. Because he is passionate and intelligent and kind and intuitive and beautiful. He didn’t always seem different. We never paid attention to how he would line everything up in play. And we would laugh it off as a quirk when he would organize everything dependent upon shape, size, and color. He was stubborn, sure, but so am I. And then COVID happened, and we attributed the lack of social skills...

Keep Reading

We Have a Big Family and Wouldn’t Change a Thing

In: Kids, Motherhood
Four children in front of Christmas tree, color photo

I have just had my fourth baby. A baby who wasn’t expected but very much wanted and very much loved from the moment we found out. When we told people we were expecting, the response was underwhelming. The stream of intrusive questions would then ensue:  You already have your hands full, how will you cope with four? You’ll need a bigger car! Where will they all sleep? Don’t you own a TV? You know how babies are made right? People seemed to have such a strong opinion about me having a fourth child. RELATED: We Had a Lot of Kids...

Keep Reading

As a Mom I’m Far From Perfect, But I Hope You Remember the Joy

In: Kids, Motherhood
Happy mother and daughter on the beach

Sometimes, I think about the future when you are grown and I am gone. When all that’s left of me are photographs and memories. I know what the photographs will show. I took most of them, after all. But the memories I’m less sure of. I wonder what will stick with you after all that time. How will you remember me? One day, your grandkids will ask you about me. What will you say? Will you tell them I was always distracted? Will you remember that I looked at my phone too much? Will you tell them I didn’t play...

Keep Reading

Being a Daycare Mom Can Be So Hard

In: Kids, Living, Motherhood
Woman holding boy on couch, black-and-white photo

Dear daycare mom,  I know it’s hard.  To get yourself up before them, to make lunches, to pack the bags, to get yourself ready.  To go into their rooms, where they are peacefully sleeping, and turn the lights on.  To struggle to get them breakfast, get them dressed, and get them out the door.  I know it’s hard.  To have a morning rush when all you want to do is snuggle up on the couch and ease into your day.  RELATED: When a Mom is Late To Work To feel like you are missing out on their childhood at times...

Keep Reading

The PB&J that Saved the Day

In: Kids, Motherhood
Table with three plates of PB&J sandwiches, color photo

It was one of those days.  One of those days when your pants are too tight, you wake up with a headache, and the kids’ rooms are disasters at 8 a.m. It was one of those days when I had to physically go into Target for our groceries since I didn’t have time to wait for pickup—I think that alone should sum up exactly the kind of day it was.  The kids were hangry. The toddler was, well, toddler-y. RELATED: Toddlers Are Human Too—And Sometimes They Just Need Grace Two minutes into our shopping trip, she had kicked her light-up rain...

Keep Reading

One Day He’ll Love Another Woman More than He Loves Me

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother holding baby, color photo

To Benjamin, my 16-month-old son, I am everything. I am the first person that boy looks for when he wakes up in the morning and the last person he wants before he goes to bed. If he is in a room full of people he loves and I am not there, he will search for me.  If he has a problem, mommy is the solution. I am the answer to his cries. I feel confident in saying that I am the most important person in that little boy’s little world. I love it. It is an honor and a privilege...

Keep Reading

To My Sister, Thank You For Being the Best Aunt To My Kids

In: Kids, Motherhood
Aunt with three young kids

“Do you have the kids’ basketball schedule yet?” you texted the other day. I sent back a screenshot of the calendar, and within an hour you responded telling me which game you’d be coming to. It was a simple exchange, but I was overwhelmed with gratitude for your love for my kids in that moment. It’s something I think often but don’t say nearly enough: thank you for being such an amazing aunt. Truly.  I know it’s not always convenient. You live three hours away and have a busy, full life of your own—but still, you show up for your niece and nephews...

Keep Reading

In Defense of the Stubborn Child

In: Kids, Motherhood
Little boy hanging over dock, color photo

“Lamp. Lamp. Laaaaamp,” my 2-year-old son screamed while stomping his feet. Tears were running down his face and snot was dripping dangerously close to his mouth. I put on what I hoped would be a soothing, motherly tone, “Okay, just calm down.” While trying to maintain eye contact, I slowly reached toward the tissue box. This must be what the greats like Jeff Corwin, Steve Irwin, or the Kratt brothers feel like when facing a volatile animal in the wild. The sound of a tissue being pulled from the box caused the crying to stop abruptly. His eyes flitted toward...

Keep Reading