Plan Nothing But A Bagged Salad

Today wraps up our first full week of school for two of the girls. I remember reading a post from last year, by author and speaker Jen Hatmaker. She advised parents to plan nothing other than an easy dinner at home after the first week. No family outings. No quick trip to the mall or movie theatre or grocery store. I didn’t listen. I took my kids to the lake and we swam and played and dug in the sandy dirt like it was our job. And then, as the sun began to settle behind the mountain, I said those four unmentionables, “It’s time to go” and they lost their guts at me. Then they screamed at each other. They wrestled their towels and mangled bathing suits as they were forced into car seats. They threw their shoes and tore apart chip bags. Who were these kids and where was their mother? We drove home with every window down to blast their yelling with the wind. Dinner and bath time were an ungodly mess. I learned to listen better to those who had gone before me. We can’t always be perfect. Thanks Jen. Barbeque dinner tonight with a bagged salad.

It’s comical how many conflicting emotions come together with the start of another school year, and what’s more, another kid joining the academia bub. By week 2 of summer, we are bored. We’ve done the park and playground circuit. We’ve swam and peed in every lake. We’ve joined in on summer parties, lazy pool days, $1 movies at the local theatre. By week 4, it’s too hot to move, let alone leave the house between 10:00 am and 6:00 pm. Go away 105 weather. You are never welcome here again. By week 6, we’ve read every library book, used up every remaining craft supply purchased throughout the school year, and have stopped in at Dad’s shop far too many times for it to be sweet and unexpected. It’s week 10. Just watch movies all day. I have no energy. Why is there so much laundry and please, oh please, just wipe down the toilet after that mess. Why are you all following me? Please send help and the first day of school already. And then it’s the week before school and I am stressed out of my good, loving mind. Why did I wait to make these lists? Where is all of our free time? It’s now the week of school and we’re at a parent meeting. I’m meeting their teachers, reconnecting with friendly parents, and we’re crying at our children’s desk. Their little butts will be sitting here in 48 hours and my heart is a puddle of sadness. I talk myself off the ledge of wanting them all to sleep in our bed that night because they were just babies. Babies, I tell you! At dinner, they’re asking me about when they were all born and I reconsider homeschooling them through college.

It is wild. I’m ready and I’m not. I’m happy for them, and I’m terrified. I’m sad and bored, but overwhelmed and anxious. Parenting is weird. But I’m so grateful for those who have gone before me and offer such wisdom like, do nothing. So I’ve collected some books, podcasts and devotionals in case you’re in these waters too.



The 20 Hardest Questions Every Mom Faces

Facing The Talk

The Podcasts

Mom Struggling Well … a personal fave:

Parenting On Purpose … why I love it … only 15 minutes .. one of my faves:

The Devotionals


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