Absolute Chaos

May is stressful for moms.
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Check On The Moms, The Month Of May Is Trying To Destroy Us

And you’ll spend like 75% of it ferrying children and class party snacks all over town.

You know that meme of Henry Cavill on the red carpet and Jason Momoa is sneaking up behind him? And every holiday season, Henry Cavill is labeled something like “mom just trying to enjoy Christmas” and Jason Momoa is labeled as all of the things you’re supposed to be doing in December like “gift wrapping” and “Christmas cookies”? Like you just want to live your life, maybe catch a Hallmark movie, and instead, there’s this omnipresent threat of EVERYTHING ELSE YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO BE DOING.

OK. Well, the month May is also a lot like that. Except worse.

There are class parties, end-of-the-year programs, literal weeks of teacher appreciation, and tons of fun activities and spirit weeks (I hope you have something with the letter Q on it for the alphabet countdown to the end of school) and events that you joyfully signed up for (you’re on fruit tray duty, by the way) before you realized everything was an event and also a half-day of school, so now you need to figure out what to do about your actual job.

Add in all of the spring sports, too. It’s your turn for snack and drinks, by the way. And last week, Sarah’s mom brought in Hostess cupcakes and Doritos and Gatorade, so like, time to pony up. Did you make sure to wash their soccer socks? You know they have to wear the black pair this weekend, but with the purple jersey. But bring the gray jersey just in case. Actually, just wash everything in your house all over again.

There’s also summer shopping to do. Not a single swimsuit your kids were wearing last year fits and they’re going to need new shorts and aren’t you going to the beach Memorial Day? Don’t forget all the sand toys. (I know, you put them in the shed on the top shelf next to the bocce ball set that no one has ever used, but they’re gone now, and they’ll reappear when you’re looking for the Halloween decorations.)

Look at these two happy children, no idea the lengths their parents have gone to in the month of May.SDI Productions/E+/Getty Images

Remember those camp deposits you gleefully paid in February because you’d set your alarm for 6 a.m. and actually got in and secured two half-day camp spots for your kids for two weeks of June that will cost roughly the same as your mortgage? Well, now the bill is here and they will not save your spot past mid-May. Don’t you know this camp has won numerous awards? (Who is voting for all these camps? Every camp has won some kind of award and I’m convinced half of them are made up groups of the camp counselors.)

But the cherry on top? The cherry on top of May is the emotions. Because maybe December leaves you feeling nostalgic and wistful, but May reminds you that time is an absolute thief. Whether your kid is graduating elementary school or starting preschool in the fall, there is something about May that just pushes that My-Kids-Are-Growing-Up bruise on your heart. It’s a bittersweet pang, watching them grow. They’re leaving this comforting cocoon of a classroom, one you swore you just walked them into last week, and everything is changing. Their backpacks fit a little better than they did in August, they know how to read now, they’ve already had to figure out the dynamics of friendship.

Once a child goes off to school, even if it’s just a half-day 2-year-old classroom, it’s like a branch of their lives no longer belongs with you. You’ve known every inch of their day, all of the things they’ve been up to, have seen every new skill blossom with you right there. And now they’re off doing all of these things. Learning how to dribble a soccer ball down the field and what a ref screaming “Offsides!” means, even if you don’t. They can tell you science facts you’ve never heard of and when they tell you about their favorite lunch at school, you find yourself wondering when they started eating green beans.

And May brings all of that into a collective box. Here it is! All the things they’ve been doing and learning for a year! And here you are! Just trying to keep it all together! Trying not to drop the box, but also trying to peek inside and remember each thing you see, even though you know you won’t. Trying to preserve the box because, before you know it, you’ll have another one in your arms.

And you’ll still need to pick up more sunscreen before camp.