Jun 01

Frenzy, Frazzled, Frenetic…Not After My Martini Breakfast

It’s that time of year….  that frantic, frenetic pace…..

Leaving me yearning for my steel cut oatmeal, followed by a Grey Goose Dirty Martini… extra olives please.

Which left me giggling when I came across this:

Alas, I stay clear of the martini and opt for my protein -power-packed breakfast – though, I suppose I could put my protein shake in a martini glass…

It seems like moms we’re also rushing, racing, running…

Like this morning… we raced up to school in the frenetic pace of  the last-of-the-school year marathon of activities.

But today, a special ceremony.


My Twin Boys – Kindergarten Graduation

My sweet ‘babies’ – graduated from Kindergarten.  Complete with ceremony and celebration.  I tried so hard to see what was going on, but my tears kept getting in the way.

My twins – making the transition out of kindergarten to 1st grade. While it’s not high school graduation or college graduation yet… it goes so fast, and I choose to breathe these precious moments in…and relish in this priceless joy.  Because I know I’ll never look back and regret having spent this time with them and being there for them.

So many things to do, places to be, a pace impossible to remember to breathe.

But I realize that all these ‘little’ things  – are anything but.


And for another perspective on the end-of-the-school-year-scramble, here’s article of the same name, End of Year Scramble Article in the New York Times.

The End-of-School-Year Scramble


In the conversation on Motherlode last week about how some parenting norms differ by neighborhood, many of you mentioned relationships with teachers. In some school districts, it is expected that parents will be present for all school activities; at others a parent who shows up too often is seen as pushy. In some places showering the teacher with end of year gifts is expected; elsewhere, is it frowned upon.

On Patch.com’s Chevy Chase site, Maura Mahoney looks not only at the expected end-of-school behavior in her community, but also at how these do’s and don’t’s are moving targets — changing within the same town over the years.

For instance, she wonders, when did the last two months of school become a marathon of activities in her particular neighborhood? And what can a parent do to make it stop?

As she describes it:

Between the end of spring break (a shadowy, distant event — I seem to recall — that took place in late April) and the end of school, my two fourth graders will have attended nine birthday parties (including their own), one fourth-grade “School’s Out” party, one town-wide “School’s Out” party, one “Register for the Swim Team” party, one field day, one fourth-grade art reception at a local museum, one end-of-year orchestra and band performance, two author’s teas, two end-of-season soccer parties, one end-of-season baseball party and one Girls on the Run 5K.

All this on top of “the usual soccer and baseball games (counting, of course, the 500 makeup games that have been scheduled thanks to April’s showers), the increasingly menacing e-mails from various activities announcing that ‘fall registration is upon us’ and reminders that the dreaded camp forms are due. Make that overdue.”

Things wouldn’t feel so frantic, she continues, if all these “for the children” were actually that. But nearly every event seems to require parents:

Field Day requires parents to walk the kids to the park and back, to schlep the equipment and to supervise the activities. The art reception needs parents to cart the artwork to the museum, to provide snacks for the reception, and to, well, show up at the reception. The orchestra performance means finding white shirts,  black pants/skirts and dress shoes (WHAT?! Dress shoes?!! Um, does that mean ones that fit?) for the musicians, a few parents to supervise “the green room” and a school auditorium’s worth of music, ahem, lovers.

Ms. Mahoney has some suggestions that would ratchet down the frenzy. “Couldn’t the fourth graders celebrate a year of learning with just a cupcake?” she wonders. “Are two-and-a-half hours of pizza, activities, games and a movie REALLY necessary to mark the transition to fifth grade? And couldn’t the sports teams do something quick right after the last game, on the field, to celebrate and acknowledge their season? And call it a day…?”

It doesn’t seem likely. Because while the rules differ over time and between towns, they seem to share a general direction — and that is not in the direction of making things less frantic or fraught for parents.
What does the end of year calendar look like in your neighborhood. Are things getting worse?




  1. Dave Holcomb

    You don’t have to be a parent to face this! Those little pebbles being thrown into bigger and bigger ponds make ripples that affect us all, which is why we all need to pay attention to these events even when the kids belong to somebody else. My neighbor’s grandkid is one day going to be my doctor, or my CPA, or my congressional representative; my recognizing and celebrating her personal successes and transitions isn’t just a way to support her and her family, it’s insurance for my future!

    1. The Empowered Mom

      You are absolutely correct, Dave! So we do good and we (hopefully) get good! Let’s just hope that someday they aren’t the IRS agent coming to audit… kidding. Not really.

      As they say, ‘it takes a village’ and we DO all impact each other’s lives by all being on this tiny globe together.

      Thanks for your feedback, your CONTINUING support and your creative buh-rilliance!

      Maria Luce AKA THE Empowered Mom

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