How to be the hot mess on the school yard in five easy steps

From my Facebook page.

1. Don’t wash your hair. I mean, wash it sometimes, but never before taking your kids to school. Dry shampoo is fine, but make sure it leaves that ashy dust on your hair so you end up looking even dirtier than before. Also, make sure your yoga pants have that subtle look of maybe-being-slept-in. People enjoy a little mystery.

2. If you DO wash your hair before hitting the school yard, make sure you show up with it sopping wet. You will not have makeup on, because you spent five minutes washing your hair and there is obviously no time for both. This is what sunglasses are for. Be frazzled, because that shower really threw you off schedule. Haha, kidding, you were never on schedule.

3. Forget at least one important thing per week, like a photo for the classroom family tree or your daughter’s pizza day forms. Bonus points if you forget something charitable, like that Terry Fox run sponsorship stuff. Also great: forgetting a themed clothing day, so your children get to walk around as a visual reference to your incompetence. Sorry, kids.

4. Ensure that one of your kids is crying, whining, yelling, or all three. If you have more than one child, this becomes almost inevitable. If they all freak out at once, you’re really winning. The only thing that really tops any of this is if you cry yourself – rare, unless you count breaking down in your car as you drive to Starbucks, but it does happen. I’ve seen it, and one day I will do it myself. Godspeed.

5. Don’t be on time. I cannot overstate this enough. There is no better way to look like an absolute shit show than doing all of the above and STILL not getting your kids to school before the bell. Walk into that office exactly four minutes late and wear that tight, defeated smile like it’s your job. You live three blocks away and everybody knows it. You just disrupted the school secretary’s morning AGAIN because your kids hate socks and you can’t figure out how to get them out the door like a normal, functioning adult is expected to. At this point, your best bet is to give each child a hug, mumble an apology to the office staff and run for the nearest coffee shop. There’s always tomorrow.

Good luck and solidarity, disasters of the school yard. I’m with you.

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What I Did on My Summer Vacation

September was crazy. It always is – the insane annual sprint in the marathon that is motherhood – and I am definitely feeling it. The chaos, the struggle to fall back into routine, the exhaustion and the relief. I’m tired, and I’m ready for things to chill out as October hits. While so many people are hanging on the summer, I’m dreaming of crisp autumn air, fall colours and Thanksgiving at the cottage. We’re almost there.

I’ll be honest: summer kicked my ass. Yes, we had some good times, but it also totally, completely ran me into the ground and now, in the unexpected heat of its dying days, it continues to throw me or a loop. By week three of school, we all had head colds and my oldest was throwing up. I’m having issues with my kids’ after school program. Our appliances keep dropping dead without warning. The cat won’t stop destroying everything I own.

I didn’t write as much as I wanted to last month, but here are a few new things I shared on The Mabelhood and SavvyMom over the summer. I loved writing these posts, which were all fairly personal and therapeutic, and I hope you’ll like them, too.

My Secret Weapon Against Mom Guilt is School – The Mabelhood

I’m a Good Mom, But I Suck at Playing With My Kids – The Mabelhood

Let Them Be Wild – SavvyMom

Life may return to a healthy rhythm soon, or it may continue to be crazy. Either way, I’ll write about it here, Instagram it here or tweet about it over here. Follow along with me, won’t you?