August is National "I'm Bored" Month

Really. Look it up. Except it's pronounced differently than it's spelled.

You pronounce it, "I'm booooorrrrrrrrreeeeed." Usually prefaced with "Moooommmm".

Remember that scary and dark section of the clock, usually about 4:30 in the afternoon or so until about 6:00, that's lovingly referred to as the "arsenic hour"?

Welcome to my arsenic month.

Here in the great midwest, our kids are on summer vacation from the beginning of June until about the first week of September. That's three months. The first two months usually fly by, filled with Park and Recreation activities, camps, vacation Bible school, etc. You get the idea. Sleepovers during the week are still fun and exciting, there are hours of shows on Netflix you haven't watched yet, days and nights are spent blissfully schedule-free.

And then August rears her humid, bitchy head. Hello, my pretties, I imagine her cackling.

August. The month when all of the activities are finished, the lakes start to stink, the mosquitoes are more prolific and annoying than the Kardashians. The month when it's a pretty safe bet that most moms you run into are getting desperate for something, anything, to fill the hours that make up the long, endless days. It's also a pretty safe bet that those bottles of "Diet Coke" they're toting are actually bottles of "scotch". Seriously...watch those mommy reflexes snap into high-alert when a kid tries to mooch a sip. "That's MINE, honey."

This is the month when every flat surface in your house is coated with a fine, sticky film made up of powdered Cap'n Crunch, Capri Sun and dried tears.

Time moves slowly in August. Slower than the bowels of a child who has ingested nothing but string cheese, GoGurt and bananas for a week. Tick. Freaking. Tock.

In my house, this is the month my child whom I secretly worry is a future basement dweller starts becoming fixated on one of his online games. I find him standing next to my bed at midnight, mouth-breathing and pleading, "Just $9.99 mom, please, I can get new armor for my character!!!". The youngest of my crew starts roaming the neighborhood with his little tween boy posse, I can hear them yelling from a few yards away right this second. They beg me for daily trips to the hardware store to procure duct tape and scrap lumber. I am afraid to ask what they need it for.

I stay in my pajamas until noon on these days. Just because to get dressed is to give my kids the signal that I'm ready to go somewhere. Somewhere that costs a lot of money and is sure to be non-air conditioned.

But don't worry, this isn't all doom and gloom. August is also the month that you can walk through the front doors of Target and are greeted with a whiff of Eau De Crayola. Big cheery signs that say "School Supplies Ahead!" lead you to the corner of the store that's crowded with sweaty weary ladies clutching supply lists and pushing a cart filled with crap that we swear we have at home somewhere. The registers are like bar closing time back in the day except the only thing we're going home with now is a ten-foot long receipt and seventeen plastic bags full of hope.

You start to go through the kid's dresser drawers, looking at and touching longingly, the corduroys and the sweaters. Soon, my loves, you whisper to them. Soon.

I stop to remind myself that as summer winds down it means the onset of alarm clocks, homework, kids reminding you that they're out of lunch money as they walk out the door in the morning. It means endless curriculum meetings, choir concerts, conferences and book fairs.

But that's ok. Because we need this balance, this yin and yang that makes up our parenting-calendar. These stop-motion days of August will be the days I dream about in January, when every single mitten and glove I've ever purchased has mysteriously disappeared and wet boots are flung hither and yon throughout my house and I'm trying to psych myself up for the daunting and painful task of hauling the bone-dry Christmas tree out to the curb.

And so, as hard as it may be, I will put on some pants, make another jug of lemonade and see if I can find the duct tape. All while giggling to myself: Fall is coming

Originally published Aug. 11, 2010 (oh my how times have changed...)


  1. This is why I'm so glad the kids go back to school the beginning of Aug--they're already starting their 2nd week! I used to think 2 months was impossibly short for summer vacation...but it's really just about right :)

  2. Jenny -

    This is a great post but when can we expect some new content from you? You are my favorite blogger and I have been missing hearing from you!

    1. Oh man. You are too kind! I don't know what's going on...I'm just at that point where I don't feel like I have anything of value to say anymore. Feeling like the well is dry :(

      Thank you for this, though.

  3. Hi jenny in new to ur site but ive found pieces on it that have helped me through some very difficult times. I too was left for the secearty an older one by a few years but still he left me and 3 kids after 14 years and within a year moved in with her and had a new son. Its now been 2 years post my world being turned upside down and left up shit creek without a paddle and in stilk not ok with any of it. I cry every nite coz i just cant believe this has happened while he is off playing happy family with his new family his old family miss him everyday. I just feel sometimes what is the point why im i beung punished when he cheated and i have to now share my kids with a homewreaker.they get to do family stuff with the kids while i miss out because he cheated its not fair. Does it get easier? When does the hurt stop? Im so heartbroken i just dread having to do another day without him.

    1. Amanda, it does get better. Reach out, you do not have to do it alone. Find others in your area, find a church, a bible group, online groups etc. Just get out of self!! Mine took to cheating online, it has taking me almost 18 months to move on. I deserve better! I thought why me? I was a good wife, etc? But now I can see where I was naive back 16 yrs ago about things. Wrong wrong wrong! It is time to take care of YOU! Not only for you but your kids! They deserve the best you! Best of Luck! Your friend in Texas

    2. Thank you so much. Ive started going to a counsillor and im feeling alot better. I live in ireland so it so nice that you replied to me from texas i guess coz it been 2 years i feel embrassed to still feel so raw about all my friends are in happy family units and im the first to be left. It hurts he left one family and started another so quickly but im starting to learn to let go and put me and the kids first. Thank you again i was just feeling so low and now he is taking me to court its very over welhaming and also sad how its all turned out. It is noce to know people still care thank you once again

  4. I think I may be the only parent that mourns when August arrives. No more sleeping in. No more homework free evenings. No lazy summer days at the pool. Maybe I'm lucky because my kids are rarely bored (thank you. Lord, for neighborhood friends!!!). Sigh. We start school on August 10. 😢

  5. So funny! Glad I have you bookmarked for late night and early morning nursing sessions...


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