with Karli Larson
The transition from stay-at-home mom to divorced-and-working-full-time mom can be challenging, and sometimes very lonely. Throw in a few cats, an ancient dog and one very brave boyfriend, and life gets downright crazy. Join me as I talk through my thoughts and struggles, my miscalculations and my triumphs. We're in this together, you and I.
When I'm not writing here you can find me over at work on the TisBest Philanthropy blog.
Categories: Best Practices
Dear Elementary School,
If you and I were to enter into a romantic relationship, get married under a beautiful wisteria-draped arbor in the spring and then ultimately end up in marriage counseling, our marriage therapist would be incredibly impressed with your communication skills. In fact, she would probably look at the two of us sitting in her office– you with your eager, straight-backed posture and a file folder of color-coded newsletters balanced carefully on your knees, and me slumped in the corner of the couch whispering aggressively into my phone trying to convince Siri to remind me to pick up my prescription later– and shake her head woefully, wondering just what it was that brought the two of us together in the first place.
The truth is, School, I was awed by you at first. You seemed so organized, so responsible! You seemed like the type who’d never accidentally run out of clean underwear or sandwich bags. Back then, I’ll admit, I was a little vulnerable. The divorce had really pulled the rug out from under me and I was frequently forgetting to shower, sleep, and drink water. I was a mess, and your blurrily-copied permission forms arrived at home with such reassuring regularity that I couldn’t help but be drawn in to your stolid presence. But that was then, School: it was a simpler time when accent walls seemed like a good idea and young women would definitely kiss you on the first date if you sent home an invitation to an ice cream social printed on a sherbet-colored rectangle sprinkled with Comic Sans. Things are different now.
The kids have gotten a little older, and I no longer worry that I’ll forget which day it is. Emails from my ex-husband don’t make me cry anymore, and I no longer rely on the government to keep us stocked up on bread and Life cereal. In short, I am pretty close to having my s#!$ together these days and I would really appreciate it if you could stop making me feel guilty by filling my recycle bin with a small forest each week.
I know this is confusing for you because I have two children, but one newsletter is really all I need. The second copy is unnecessary and excessive, as well as the second copy of every announcement for all of the things I’ll never go to because I work a lot and really don’t feel like spending my Wednesday night stuffed in a cafeteria with other parents planning next year’s walk-a-thon. I just want to eat dinner with my kids and fight with them about whether or not they need to use toothpaste when they brush their teeth, so please stop inviting me to stuff. Also, as I mentioned earlier, Siri pretty much runs things around here now, so your second, third and sometimes fourth reminders about wrapping paper sales and roller skating parties are redundant and if we’re being completely honest here, Siri is probably a little offended by them. She’s got this, okay? Back off.
In conclusion, I’d like to point out that while your after-school programs for K-2 students sound like a whole lot of fun, neither of my kids are eligible due to not being in those grades anymore, so we probably don’t need those lists of program costs and descriptions. And at the risk of being labeled bitter or resentful by our marriage therapist, I’d like to remind you that I’m never going to volunteer in the staff copy room because I work fifty hours a week at three different jobs, so if you could stop rubbing it in my face that some mothers have time for these things, that would be great.
A Parent Who Is No Longer That Into You
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