School-age

Parenting through the chaotic month of June

"When I say that June is the craziest month of the year, you know what I mean, don’t you? I think it may even be worse than December."

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Photo: iStockphoto

When I say that June is the craziest month of the year, you know what I mean, don’t you? I think it may even be worse than December.

Almost every day requires ridiculous demands on your time. There are championship games, recitals, award ceremonies, teacher appreciation lunches and graduations (all of which often occur in the same week, if not on the same day). Not to mention the huge to-do list to prepare for summer and all those projects you’re trying to wrap up at work before July starts.

I’m literally sitting in the middle of it all right now, kicking myself that I agreed to host a class party today. Yesterday’s trip to Costco resulted in a small mortgage and a fridge full of hot dogs, but if the weather doesn’t comply tonight, I’ll have 30 kids running through my house with water guns. My fingers are literally sticky from applying labels to camp stuff, and all my son keeps asking about is if I got him swim goggles (no, for the last time!).

And who the hell decided Father’s Day was a good idea in June? Am I really supposed to make a brunch for extended family on Sunday? Hopefully, there will be some hot dogs left over because that’s all my brain—and budget—can handle at the moment.

At least I’m not alone. Every parent in the schoolyard looks beleaguered with the stress of it all. (I just did a series of CBC radio interviews talking about the “June panic” and every host I spoke to told me stories of their own crazy Junes as well.)

It’s stressful, and our kids can feel our stress. And stressed-out kids aren’t always the most well-behaved kids. Sure, they’re counting down the minutes before the last bell rings and those school doors fly open. But they may feel some anxiety about next year, or the fact that they may not see their friends over the summer break. Change is hard, no matter how old you are.

My daughter is changing schools next year, and she is a hot mess of emotions. This also means these are my last days at the school where I’ve sent my kids for the past 10 years. I’ll miss the support group of the schoolyard, and I’ll cherish those fleeting memories of the kids showing me their moves on the playground and their first tenuous steps toward independence. The fact that I get teary every time I’m near the school is probably not helping my already not-so-great organizational abilities.

But there’s no time to be maudlin; I have parties to plan, camp stuff to label and vacations to organize (and somewhere in there, I just might find some time to have a shower). I’m working hard at forgiving myself for dropping some of the balls sometimes—so far, I’ve forgotten to sign the teacher’s card and get those darn swim goggles. At least those are the things I know I’ve forgotten—my guess is that the list is much longer and I don’t recall what’s on it.

But the end is in sight. At least I won’t have to pack any more lunches after next week. (Cold hot dogs for lunch is OK for just one more week, right?)

How’s your June going?

Emma Waverman is a writer, blogger and mom to three kids. She has many opinions, some of which are fit to print. Read more of her articles here and follow her on Twitter @emmawaverman.