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:
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: