I’m convinced that the universe has chosen May as a hazing period for parents.
Right after schoolwide testing wraps up, the craziness begins: e-mails, field trips, class projects, requests for money, award ceremonies, concerts. They are never-ending. Not to mention all the summer activities that have crept into the calendar. It’s mayhem. This is also about the time your kids will mentally check out, so you, as a parent, will be expected to step it up. Here is a list of possible reasons parents might not survive the May marathon to hear the notorious “I’m bored” complaints of late summer.
1. Mandatory attendance. Concerts, recitals, banquets, awards nights, graduation. Have more than one kid? You might as well take the month of May off from work. And get that guest bedroom ready, because Grandpa and Grandma wouldn’t dream of missing your daughter’s first (and let’s hope only) recorder performance.
2. Art projects. If you’re lucky, your kids’ art projects have been trickling home for a while now, and lovingly grace the front of your refrigerator. Chances are, however, they’ll come home all at once, crumpled together in a giant paper bag. You’ll look at them, marvel at how adorable your little artist is, then shove them back into said paper bag, never to be seen again.
3. Money. Remember all those summer camps you signed your kids up for in January? The balance is due now. So are the overdue library fees, your contributions to the class party, teacher gift, schoolwide walk-a-thon, etc. For the next few weeks, consider yourself a human cash machine.
4. Guilt. Didn’t sign your kids up for robotics camp? Miss the memo that they need a costume for Colonial Day? A purple shirt for the spring concert? Of course you did, because you stopped checking their backpack for important memos weeks ago.
5. Teacher appreciation. Teacher Appreciation Day was May 9. If you forgot to have your child make Teacher a card, there’s still time to redeem yourself. End-of-year gifts are just a little way of saying thank you for tackling the most important job there is. I know you want to outdo the other parents, but do yourself a favor and step away from Pinterest. A simple gift card and handwritten note will do just fine. Don’t forget about the bus driver, music teacher, librarian, principal, office staff, lunch lady, custodian, groundskeeper, etc. They make the world go ’round, too.
6. Paperwork. Like most parents, you have no idea what your child is going to be doing in September. Still, you’ll be asked to complete activity and child care forms now. Summer camp forms are due, too, including an up-to-date physical, which should have been scheduled months ago. Of course.
7. Volunteering. Chaperone the field trip, run the book sale, emcee the school bingo night. To pull all the above off, schools need parents to show up. Be prepared to take time off work. At this point, what’s one more day?
8. Lack of sleep. We’re nearing the end and everyone is running on fumes. It’s a miracle our kids are even making it to school. To get an extra 15 minutes of sleep, you probably stopped packing your kids’ cold lunches with sandwiches in the shape of Disney characters.
Pro tip: Don’t start this nonsense in the first place. It’s imperative to set the bar low at the start of the year. That’ll leave plenty of room for improvement.
9. Themed days. May will test your creative limits. Crazy Sock Day. Wacky Hair Day. “Star Wars” Day. Dress Like Your Favorite Book Character Day. That ends up being lots of last-minute costume calls.
At the very least, May is the month that helps you appreciate June.