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Last week when I was brainstorming a topic for this newsletter, I had a deep feeling of dread: “How am I going to write the newsletter? I have so. Much. Going. On.” Just last week, while solo parenting, there was a neighborhood block party, an evening violin concert at the school, a two hour field day volunteer spot in the middle of the day I signed up for, a meeting with a school board member, a Shavuot-themed potluck/end of year preschool party, and last day of school community Shabbat for the twins. Ya know, in between doing work that pays me money. I’m also coming up against my writing deadline for my New America report that I’ve been working on since January which requires large blocks of uninterrupted time to focus. There are also multiple additional end of the school year parties on the horizon in the next 2 weeks. AHHH!!! I knew this month was going to be busy because of personal/professional commitments both my husband and I had planned, but all of the *waves hands frantically* extra stuff I really didn’t see coming.
At first, like so many experiences in motherhood, I thought I was alone in this situation until I read this piece in Romper called “Check on the Moms, the Month of May is Trying to Destroy Us.” So how did this mayhem catch me (us) all so off guard?
What I’ve realized is that even though my oldest kid is finishing second grade, this is my first “normal” end-of-school rush and my first one with three kids. My oldest’s school really did not resume in-person indoor gathering for parents until midway through this year and I was truly not attuned to the onslaught of end-of-year activities that I guess are standard for elementary school kids? While COVID winters were a break from typical holiday season festivities, I can clearly remember how busy that time of year was in the Before-Times. I truly had no idea that this “May-hem” is a “thing” one should expect.
Even though I’m an extrovert, I was dreading getting through the last week of May. While I do like socializing, I have to admit to myself that small talk while also watching our twins is usually not that great, especially solo. After all, they are three and still have to be watched somewhat closely in sprawling public settings, and did I mention there are two of them? I also feel like I haven’t recovered some of my social stamina for large groups since the pandemic. I’m not sure if this is a permanent personality change or just a phase in my parenting life. But either way, I’m being kind to myself about it.
So how am I coping? By keeping my expectations for myself at rock bottom. Travis and I decided as a team to completely shit the bed on all Cub Scout-related end-of-year points and ceremonies. The potluck is getting store bought food, kids will get extra screen time when I need a break. I’ve lined up our caregiver so if our twins can’t make it through the violin concert, I don’t have to miss it. I’m completely ignoring the spirit week clothing instructions. Asher is getting an extra overnight at his grandma's. I ordered some prepared food to minimize cooking and cleaning.
So anyway, today’s newsletter is just a brief waving of a white flag of surrender to the end of year “May-hem.” If you are feeling this too, you aren’t alone. Hope I’ll see you on the other side.
For this week’s members-only thread: I wanna hear: are you experiencing “May-hem?” and if so, how are you handling it?
June 6th 3pm EST Member Hangout
W/ Author Abby Davisson
Save the date! Double Shift member Abby Davisson will be leading us in discussion and a lil workshop in decision-making framework at June's members-only hangout! Abby is passionate about helping people make more intentional decisions. She's an author, social innovation leader, and career development expert; most recently, she served as President of the Gap Foundation and co-founded Gap Inc.'s employee resource group for parents. Along with labor economist Myra Strober, she wrote Money & Love: An Intelligent Roadmap for Life's Biggest Decisions. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and two sons. We'll also be giving away a copy of her book! Members will get a separate email and calendar invite to their inboxes. Don't miss out on the fun!