You have those weeks too right? Where you feel like you are subpar in just about every area of your life? Subpar homemaker, subpar friend, subpar wife, and subpar mother. Definitely subpar mother.

It is time for my kids to go back to school. Well from my perspective anyway. And probably theirs too. But according to the great state of Michigan it isn’t time yet. Despite the fact the rest of the country is heading back, we have to wait three more weeks. Until September. It is getting unbearable.

And so we go round in circles getting frustrated with each other. Me trying to remember the rules of parenting: don’t raise your voice, don’t argue, don’t lose your temper, don’t overreact. They doing everything in their power to push every button I have. It leaves me exhausted, depleted, and feeling like I really should have this parenting thing figured out by now.

The thing about these phases of parenting is that you are not just left questioning how you are parenting today. You are left questioning every parenting decision you have ever made up until today that has, in fact, led you to today. Maybe if I was a bit more strict when she was 3, maybe I over indulged when she was 4, maybe I shouldn’t have sent her on to Kindergarten when she was 5. Maybe, maybe, maybe… if I just would have done that one thing different/better/perfect we wouldn’t be dealing with bad attitudes/ungratefulness/mean spiritedness today.

I am left doing the thing every older, wiser parent tells you not to do. Wishing away the time. Wishing the weeks until school started would go faster. Wishing this age would be done with so an easier one would come (ha), or at the very least wishing 5:30 would come already so it can be their daddy’s problem. And then hating myself all over again because surely a “good” mommy would never wish away a moment with her child. I have even found myself thinking that I should just focus on the baby since he hasn’t been “messed up” by my inadequate parenting. Maybe I can do it right with him.

I have no answers. No epiphany. No neat way to wrap up this post. This is just where I am at right now. And that is ok. I know it isn’t forever.


  1. Robyn's Online World says:

    {{{{HUGS}}}} You are right, it’s ok and it isn’t forever. You will be ok, breathe, and don’t be afraid to ask for support from friends and family nearby. Even an hour to yourself during the day might do wonders for you right now :-)
    Robyn’s Online World recently posted…Robyn’s World LIVE! Coming SoonMy Profile

  2. Hey, here in Canada we are Sept-June for school…

    Memorize this: We knew what to do at the time, and when we knew better – we did better.

  3. You are not alone. I find my kids are better outside the house. Maybe a day at the Zoo or waterpark will be fun and give summer a fun ending.

  4. Great post Jill!! Probably because I can relate so well. I always hate when I wish away big timespans, but I’ve never thought about wishing 6pm would get here. And that’s still time! Thanks for your honesty!
    mandi@itscome2this recently posted…Saturday stumblesMy Profile

  5. No need to wrap it up neatly or make it pretty. We’ve all been there at one point or another (maybe some of us stay there longer, like me). Anybody who tells you no is most like lying or has a nanny.

    Everytime I find myself doubting my parenting, or any decision for that matter, I repeat what I read from Angela Thomas’ My Single Mom Life : I did my best with what I knew at the time. That’s all we can really do.

    (((Hugs))) and strawberry margaritas, ;)

  6. Oh, girl. You just described 3/4 of my summer days. People ask if I homeschool and I just laugh maniacally at them until they back away.

    Honestly, when I think about how nuts it is to add another baby to this mix, I tell myself, “well, you’re a sucky mom, but at least you’re better than an ORPHANAGE.”

    Somehow, this encourages me.
    Obviously a fruit of the spirit.

  7. Andrea @ MommySnacks.net says:

    I am right there with ya.
    Andrea @ MommySnacks.net recently posted…WinGiveaways Belkin Laptop Prize PackMy Profile

  8. I wish it was just summer that I felt this way. You are not alone! I pray daily I’m not nearly as inadequate as I feel, and I also pray daily to have a heart for my children the way our Father has a heart for us. Not gonna lie, harder than it sounds many days. =) Tomorrow is a new day…

  9. That’s me some days too…when mine drive me too batty, I have them mop the kitchen or scrub out trash cans or something. After they’ve had to work a bit, they tend to be grateful for free time and improve the ‘tudes….

    Mary, mom to 10
    Owlhaven (Mary Ostyn) recently posted…How to have a great yard saleMy Profile

  10. OK let’s get some things straight. One, you aren’t subpar. You are a great friend, and wife, and mom, and homemaker. I am JUST getting home from Bible study where we talked about how discouragement is not from God. And if it’s not from God, it’s not for you.
    I respect you and love you and know you will not just ‘get through’ this but be reassured that you are making the right choices.
    Jen @ BigBinder recently posted…DaySpring – Pass It OnMy Profile

  11. Phoebe Boersma says:

    We’ve all been there, Jill!! Hang in there!! If you want some playtime for your girls, we’d love to have some new friends to come play in our backyard :) Really! That would give you some time to yourself (while baby naps or something?!) We really do love having friends over to play and it’s girl city over here on a daily basis!!

  12. hang tight. hold on. breathe deep.

    we all do this…remember my post on FAILURE?

    lean on your friends. lean on your Savior. and drink more wine :)

    wait…did i just say that out loud?

    lisa recently posted…SummertimeMy Profile

  13. I am feeling your pain…especially this week. I’m not getting as much sleep because it’s summer and who goes to bed early? So, it’s even worse.
    But you’re right; we will make it through this. Just keep reminding yourself that the time will be gone soon.
    Amy recently posted…Yum!!My Profile

  14. DITTO! Dit! Toe! Yes, yes and yes.

    I am right there with you. I’ve quetioned my life choices about 100 hundred times, and that’s just last week.

    Can’t wait to start (home)school back up next week so we can get back into a routine.
    OrdinarySarah recently posted…Ordinary SarahMy Profile

  15. Oh. my. goodness. I am SOO right there with you right now–right down to the maybe-i should-focus-on-the-baby feeling! (Except I don’t have any that will be going to school!)
    Pam recently posted…Hello out there!My Profile

  16. I know it’s not forever, but I also know it feels that way sometimes. I swore last night that today would be better, but dangit if I didn’t wake up just as grouchy as I was yesterday! I hope you can get a break or find some peace or SOMETHING. SOON.
    Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect recently posted…Monday Morning Mmmm- Cheesy Beef EnchiladasMy Profile

  17. oh, hai. yep, me too. Except my kid started school yesterday.
    designHer Momma recently posted…7 hours 5 days a week Year round For the next 13 yearsMy Profile

  18. Oh, honey.
    Here’s the good and bad news: those feeling are so very, very normal… AND, they don’t go away!

    My daughters are now 14 and 18. My oldest will be going to college next year, which sounds impossible to me. They are lovely, interesting, spiritual, funny, incredible human beings, so much nicer than we deserve. And Every. Single. Day. I wonder what I could have done better, if I did enough, if they are ready to head into the world, should I have made them work harder for their allowance, did we spend enough time together as a family, are they too self-centered, will they fall in love with the wrong guy, do they know they can tell us anything, was I too soft/hard on them, and on and on and on.

    Self-doubt: it’s built into the job description of mothering! I don’t have easy answers or a neat wrap-up either. But I do know that loving them as well as we know how and trusting that God loves them even more than we do does give me some comfort. No one expects us to do it perfectly– even our children!
    Babybloomr recently posted…Photo Friday- Random Smattering EditionMy Profile

  19. Hi Jill,
    Do you know what mostly brings these same feelings out in me? BICKERING, I’m SO over their constant teasing and nit-picking, AHHHHHH!!! Now I know why my sister always said her favorite color is “school bus yellow”!! :)
    Kelly the Kitchen Kop recently posted…Get an early DISCOUNT &amp Watch “The Top Ten Reasons to Take the Real Food for Rookies Class”!My Profile

  20. Here’s the thing, you are doing the best thing by recognizing how you feeling, ownin up to it, and working through it. It helps so much to read posts like this because we all realize we aren’t alone when we struggle. I just said a prayer for you.

    Oh, and I love this comment: lean on your friends. lean on your Savior. and drink more wine
    Jane Anne recently posted…Separation – Choice Part IIMy Profile

  21. oh amanda says:

    Jill. I’m twins with you. I think it’s just the ebb and flow of motherhood. Some days we rock it…and some days we don’t. But Jesus chose YOU for your kids and your kids for YOU. You are His first choice for them.

    love you.
    oh amanda recently posted…More Random Social Media Stuff- Top Ten TuesdayMy Profile

  22. There isn’t a Mom out there who hasn’t been in your shoes. I’m at a point where I’m wanting time to slow down because my oldest is going into middle school but I do remember the years you are dealing with now and how badly I just wanted a tiny slice of sanity every once in a while! You are doing a great job, don’t be so hard on yourself!

  23. My kids have watched TV almost all day, every day this summer. I could feel guilty, but I’m cutting myself some slack because I know that I know that have a 2-month-old child in addition to the three others. I know that it won’t kill them. I know that it could be worse. Sometimes us moms need to cut ourselves some slack.
    Melissa Brotherton recently posted…Shots- a Sucker and some GraceMy Profile

  24. Andrea says:

    I’m with you! I understand 1000%. Thanks for the honesty!

  25. How appropriate that this should be the first post I read tonight. We’ve been just crazy the last few weeks, vacation, then my husband being gone visiting his dying grandfather, and then having his wisdom teeth out, leaving me to be a single mommy for days on end while trying to get life back in order after being gone for 3 weeks. Leaves me frustrated, overwhelmed, and yup, feeling pretty inadequate. To boot we’re supposed to have dinner with our new pastor and his family this weekend and as much as I want to get to know them I almost feel like I really don’t want to go with all the bad feelings I’ve been having. Ugh.
    Unfortunately my kids won’t be going off to school when school starts, just the hubby. But hopefully being back on more of a schedule will at least help… Here’s hoping

  26. (((hugs)))

    You aren’t the only one!!!
    Valerie recently posted…Before &amp AfterMy Profile

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