Her joy is totally relatable
It’s that time of year, parents — back to school! Well, for some areas. While plenty of us are still in the thick of summer hell, there are moms and dads already living the dream and putting their kids back on the bus so they can get their quiet lives back.
One such lucky mom shared a photo on Facebook that illustrates what we’re all feeling when it’s time for our children to get back to the grind.
Jena Willingham is mom to eleven-year-old Wrangler, seven-year-old Emmy, and four-year-old Sykes. For the first time ever in her motherhood career, all three of her kids are going to school this year, with Sykes starting pre-k. Which means for the first time in 11 damn years, the Alabama mom will have sweet, sweet silence.
She took to Facebook on Monday with a photo that perfectly captures the mood in the Willingham house (and the mood of every mom ever when she’s finally tasting freedom) now that school’s in session.
The caption reads, “Happy First Day of School everyone!”
And what a happy day it is.
Willingham, a mail carrier, tells Scary Mommy, “I have just spent the last eleven years constantly with one of them if I wasn’t at work. If I get a babysitter, it’s for me to work. I rarely ever do anything without my kids and that includes using the bathroom, so it will be nice to get to do that and grocery shop without the posse.”
Which is relatable as hell. I work from home and unless my kids are in school, we’re attached-at-the-hip BFF. By summer’s end, I’m at the end of my ever-fraying rope, and I know I’m not alone. Willingham totally feels our pain, y’all.
She recounted to BuzzFeed the summer life story of most moms. “They have been fighting over everything all summer…over who’s going to use the charger, who’s going to sit in the front seat,” Willingham said. “So I said, ‘I’m so tired of listening to y’all argue, I’m just going to sit in the pool on the first day of school and let my brain hear the silence.'”
Willingham tells Scary Mommy her kids are loving her first-day-of-school post, even though it kind of pokes fun at them. “My kids thought it was funny but they are used to my antics! My oldest thinks he’s famous now.” She says most parents totally get her point and have had positive reactions to the hilarious photo. As far as the naysayers? “Most of the negative is just from bad assumptions that I don’t work and hate my kids and am rich, so I just can’t let that bother me because anyone that truly knows me knows that isn’t true,” she says.
Even if she doesn’t work outside the home, there’s nothing wrong with a mom feeling extremely ready for her kids to get back to school so she can have a clear thought in her head. Of course, there’s plenty of fun to be had for parents when their kids are home all summer, but let’s be real — it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. As I write this, my kids are loudly arguing over a PS4 controller and some spilled Cheerios that no one will take the blame for and just freaking clean up. I could not be more ready to send them back to school, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love them. Willingham’s post is a great reminder that we don’t need to be martyrs to be good moms.
“I take very good care of them, and I deserve a break too!” she said.