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She calls herself the “Worst End of School Year Mom Ever,” but Jennifer Hatmaker apparently has lots of company.
An army of moms has now applauded, shared on social media and weighed in on her hilarious column about the burnout many parents experience as summer nears – a startling contrast to what she calls the “Beginning of School Enthusiasm” in the autumn.
“Moms, remember how you packed innovative and nutritional lunches and laid clothes out the night before and labeled shelves for each child’s work and school correspondence and completed homework in a timely manner?” asked Hatmaker, a mom of five who lives in Austin, Texas.
“I tapped out somewhere in April and at this point, it is a miracle my kids are still even going to school. I haven’t checked homework folders in three weeks, because, well, I just can’t.”
The column, which Hatmaker posted on her blog on May 30, has had more than 300,000 Facebook shares and more than 3,000 comments. She’s not surprised her confessions are resonating with parents.
“I think I speak for most of us. As we sort of careen into May and into June, we all care about our kids, we all care about education, but honestly, somewhere around end of April, early May, we’re kind of over it,” Hatmaker told the TODAY anchors.
“So it was just that fatigue of the onslaught of e-mails and parties and trips and end-of-year letters – it’s endless. So I just said, oh, we’ve got to stop the madness.”
There’s the time when her son Ben tells her that he needs a Ben Franklin costume for the Living History Museum that day. Hatmaker’s husband usually handles any kid costume requests, but he is out of town so she must improvise a colonial outfit on her own. The result features Ben modeling one of her fancy lace scarves and sporting soccer socks stretched over his Adidas pants.
“I honestly wish that I could unsee that picture,” Hatmaker told TODAY. “I wish I could erase this from his childhood memory.”
Hatmaker doesn’t remember her mother stressing over her school assignments and thinks schools require more of parents these days.
But she’s not anti-teacher in any way, she stressed. Parents and teachers just need to make a deal: after standardized testing in April, “we’re done everybody… if you want to take recess all day long, we’re cool,” Hatmaker quipped.