The Two Words Every Mom Dreads in the Summer

Before the dread, let’s talk about the joy.

Yesterday, we finished school. Sayonara 7th, 4th, 3rd and 1st grade. Hello 8th, 5th, 4th, 2nd and pre-k. Yes, that just happened. Somehow I just became the mom of a final-year middle schooler, a budding tween, a sassy elementary gal, a first communicant, a pre-ker and a newborn. I know, I can’t believe I look this young, either.

school, blog_027

school, blog_026

The end of the school year was a flurry of 33 emails from room parents (all of which I deleted without reading), recitals, parties, teacher gift requests and a bunch of other stuff I don’t remember because {hi, newborn fog}. Amazingly, I got showered and made it four, yes FOUR, class parties with a 4yo and newborn in tow.

Miracles happen everyday folks.

We snapped some photos and then came home and cleaned out backpacks. Fifteen minutes later all the papers and backpacks were filed, recycled or trashed. Man, that felt good. Pre-newborn nesting does pay off. I have proof on Instagram.

Exactly 37 minutes after we arrived home from HOORAY! SUMMERTIME! SCHOOL’S OUT! I heard:

I’m bored.


Please don’t tell me about that sign you saw on Pinterest. You  know, the one that has the “bored” acroynm with things like “been creative” or “read a book.” No, in our house when you say I’m bored you have just lined yourself up for some serious slave citizen of the household duties. Latrine duty, game room closet organization, scrubbing sinks, doing laundry, vacuuming. Whatever I feel like needs to be cleaned. The more miserable, the better.

Let’s just say our toilets are already really clean the first day of summer.


*If you’re looking for some practical tips on surviving and loving summer, here’s a post I wrote last year for Austin Catholic New Media. Slip ‘n slide not included.

summer is for living


  1. Lisa Jones on June 5, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    A mom after my own heart! When I hear those two words from my kids, I tell them the same thing – Something needs to be cleaned. Suddenly, they have found something to do! A great way to motivate them to deal with the down time. And oh, how I LOVE down time!!!

    And can I just say that you make having newborn #6 look AMAZING!!!! I’m in total awe!

  2. Beth (A Moms Life) on June 5, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    Tomorrow is our last day of school and I am ready with my toilet brush! 🙂

  3. Kimberly on June 5, 2014 at 3:48 pm

    As a friend of mine likes to say…time to lean, time to clean!

  4. JenniO on June 5, 2014 at 5:15 pm

    A few years from now those two word you fear might be: “I’m pregnant”.

  5. Lisa on June 5, 2014 at 5:57 pm

    My kids are a bit younger than yours, but the chores start when the fighting begins over summer break! My oldest has even started referring to summer vacation as “workcation” because of the chores she anticipates doing! Good luck surviving the summer!

  6. Terri on June 5, 2014 at 6:00 pm

    My now grown kids will attest to the cleaning when bored method. But I also applied the “insult your sibling” or “duh” method to the toilet cleaning. There was one week, we truly could have eaten in the bathroom it was so clean!

  7. Mia on June 5, 2014 at 8:16 pm

    Oh my goodness your family is so beautiful *tears in eyes* Seeing those beautiful children makes me want to pop out numbers 3,4,5,6 and so on and so on RIGHT NOW. (Irrationally emotional right now) God Bless you and your beautiful family!

  8. Connie on June 5, 2014 at 10:04 pm

    Can I borrow a couple of them for 3 days – food & lodging— included to clean my house?????

  9. Nicole on June 6, 2014 at 6:24 am

    The word “boring” or any form of it is banned from our house. On occasion I do hear, “I don’t know what to do.” And I kindly remind them that they need to find something FAST or I’ll find something for them… 🙂 Enjoy summer!

  10. Karen on June 6, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    You look amazing! Perfect stylish mom haircut (got my second really bad haircut in a row yesterday, I’m still a little sore).

    • Karen on June 6, 2014 at 2:19 pm

      (Along that line, I would LOVE if you dedicated an entire post to your hair routine. Like exactly how you look totally cute with 6 kids including a newborn. I’m not kidding, Me and my fine, body-less, doesn’t even look good in a ponytail hair are totally dying over here.)

  11. Jenna Parkins on June 17, 2014 at 7:49 pm

    Wow! Our kids are the exact same ages! I too now have an 8th, 5th, 4th, 2nd, pre-ker and newbie! And I like the way you think with the “I’m bored” rule! I think team Parkins may adopt that one!

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