The Lament of the Bad Mother.

And now I will telleth the story of the Bad Mother. It was the Summer of 2012 and lo did she have the big plans of how things would be Different this year. How the children, no, they would not watch so much of the Yo Gabba Gabba and also the Phineas and Ferb. O no, the children, they would engage in activities such as Go Play Outside, and also The Eating of the Healthy Foods by the Seasons would occur.

The Spelling, it would be practiced, and the Reading Lists, they would be tackled, so that by the end of the summer the children would receive the crappy free paperbacks from the Barnes and Noble in reward. Books that would never ever be read and that would be placed not-so-gently into the Closet of Presents to be pawned off on less-beloved school friends during The Season of the Many Birthday Parties, often at the Chuck E. Cheese or The Little Gym.

And O, the Mother had declared that This Summer would be the Summer of the Family Outings and the family would Take Advantage of the Beauty of the Mountains. But The Mother found that she did not enjoy the slathering of the sunscreen and the whines accompanying the spraying of the bug spray and the packing of the snacks and the water bottles and the extra clothes and the picnic blanket and the towels and also the water shoes. And always, always, the swim mask would be forgotten, and it did make The Mother envy those upon whom the fugue state had descended, like fog, one morning.

And lo, The Mother did not plan the Family Outings anymore.

Instead, much of the time was wasted. For The Mother, she often felt the Exhaustion, which drew her buttocks as though lured by a magnet to the comfy couch night after night. For The Mother did also attempt to Work and to Do Her Job and also to Bring Home the Bacon and sometimes she would utter things to the children like “I have a job, you know!” and sometimes also “Mommy is a Person!” and yes “Mommy can only do ONE THING AT A TIME.” Which was a lie because lo, The Mother could do at least four things at a time, but she did not want the children to know this.

But the children, they did not care.

And so the junk food was eaten in great quantities, and the children did become whiny when it was absent. And the television was watched as though the children had taken soma, drawn to its flickering images of unintelligible blue dogs and CGI Barbies in peril.

And so it did become August and The Mother realized that the spelling apps had gone unused, and the books unread, and the family outings untaken, and The Mother was sad.

But then The Mother did look at the calendar and she did mentally check off the days until the Start of School. And The Mother smiled a Grinch-ish smile.

And it was good.

lament of the bad mother reedster

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About Cindy Reed

I hate pants.
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38 Responses to The Lament of the Bad Mother.

  1. Chell says:

    Ha ha.. This is exactly how I feel about this summer- and I’m a 2nd Grade Teacher Dammit!! Nicely said Reedster!

  2. Love the Bible-speak; someone just needs to begat something and then maybe we could have a little water-turning-into wine party? Cheers for a great post!

  3. Love the “Go Play Outside Faces” of the chicklets!

  4. Abby says:

    OK. That picture is priceless. And summer isn’t meant to be planned when you’re that age, right? I mean, no one remembers the fun they had studying 😉

  5. outlawmama says:

    Yes, the picture is awesome. I am glad you didn’t draw inspiration from the Revelation part of the Bible, because those kids are too cute to be covered by the blood of the serpent or the Loins of the lion. I didn’t even set goals this summer except for take a zumba class. I haven’t done it.

  6. I can’t even say which expression is better. The hand on the hip is sassy but the arms crossed firm-staring glare is really intense. My FAVORITE part of the day is when I say, “Okay Noah, in 10 minutes it’s time to brush your teeth, get dressed, make your bed and READ FOR 30 MINUTES.” This is at like 11 because he wakes his lazy just-turned-teenager butt up at 9:40 much to the chagrine of two dogs sniffing at his door for 2 hours, and he never ever ever ever ever EVER says, “Okay Mom! Good idea! Maybe I’ll read for an hour! You’re beautiful” I don’t get it.

  7. Anita V says:

    This Bad Mother just realized that our season pool passes have been used all of three times, we visited the museum and zoo all of zero times (glad I got that membership) and the math that was supposed to be worked on has long been forgotten. But my daughter now has pet snails and my son made his own lunches for camp. That has to count for something.

  8. I don’t even have kids and I can’t wait until mothers aren’t dragging them around all day through the food stores and other places I can’t avoid… Yea school!

  9. Haha, I just loved this! It reminds me so much of my own summer…

  10. Katie The Reedster's Number One Fan! says:

    I am picturing you dressed in flowing white robes with a long beard.. looking a bit like Charlenton Heston… carrying two tablets that read….

    Thou shall play out side
    Thou shall eat fresh seasonal organic produce
    Thou shall do thy Math workbook (that one is for my kiddo)
    Thou shall read
    Thou shall not whine
    and the most important of these
    Thou shall worship thy mother, and father if you must!

    CIndy this is absolutely brilliant!!

  11. KeAnne says:

    Can we form a club? Let’s see: water table on the porch has been played with twice. Decided against buying D a swingset for his bday b/c it is too hot to play outside. Weekend trips to the park or museum? Nope. I suck. I suspect I use the heat as a cover for laziness. Ye are not alone 🙂

  12. Ah, yes, I doeth feel your pain. I did manage to do more this summer than last summer and yet here I sit a little more than a week before school starts feeling guilty that I did not do more and feeling even guiltier that I am counting the seconds until these children are back at their tiny desks away from me! 😉

  13. cjmoy says:

    Every year my children accuse me of being inappropriately happy on the first day of school. I don’t know why. (It could be the martini in my hand at the bus stop.)

  14. Mom101 says:

    Bad mother? No way. Not meeting our own absurd expectations? Yeah, maybe a little.

    A little Yo Gabba Gabba never killed anyone–although I do hear playing Party in My Tummy repeatedly for days is an effective torture device in some countries.

  15. Having been on a family beach trip with four kids 5 and under – that sunscreen hassle is for reals.

    Eh, you don’t want to over schedule the kids…

  16. 50peach says:

    what. a. picture. Oh goodness. I love the use of the descriptive caps and biblical-speak. So creative! 🙂 Keep smiling that grinch-smile… it is good.

  17. Oh my goodness. This is so perfect. Thanks for wrapping up every summer I have ever hosted for my children. Big dreams, big failures. Every last one.

  18. Erica M says:

    Please tell me your girls posed for that photo. Find some time in your day to become a stage mother. I can’t wait to see them on the Disney Channel.

    • The Reedster says:

      It is NOT posed, but it was also not on my watch. Their father was watching them during my “girls night out.” Everything went swimmingly, it appears.

  19. dalrie says:

    This sums up my good intentions mixed with my lazy inaction perfectly. Bahahahaha.At least I’m not the only one who does this.

  20. Larks says:

    “Indeed, I find this very relatable and hilarious,” quoth the Mother who whose child doth sit on the couch watching Fistronaut so the Mother can get a break from the Nigh Interminable Questions.

  21. jamie says:

    Awww just enjoy the moment. That photo is priceless!

  22. For a second, this brought back memories of my own childhood, when I was old enough to stay home by myself, without my sister. I was maybe twelve? I watched so. much. tv. Cooking shows, mainly. Yan Can Cook and the crazy Canadian that liked to beat chicken breasts with wine bottles. My parents never told me to do workbooks. I wonder what my life would have been like now, with so much on the internetz.

    Now I need to go take that kid to the Gulfarium again before the summer is really over. Now that school is in it will be so quiet….

  23. IASoupMama says:

    Loved this. My kids went back to school last Tuesday and it is no coincidence that my sense of humor has returned. Nope, none at all. 🙂

  24. Pingback: Where Do Moms Go To Hear “Thank You”? | Outlaw Mama

  25. “Mom doesn’t let us watch more than one show,” #3 told me, his gram.
    I smiled. “I’m not your mom.”

  26. Carol davidson says:

    Just so right on even for those of us that have no kids living at home. Lol

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