What's A-Parent

Mom's Hilariously Relatable Story About Summer With Kids Starts With Chaos At The Mailbox

It was "mail-mageddon."

What's A-Parent is a series highlighting those who get real about the hardships that come with raising kids. These often untold stories help show parents they are not alone in their struggle, and are doing an amazing job.

Most kids can't wait for their summer break from school, but not all their parents feel the same way. For some, it means trying to find them care during the day while they're at work. For others, it means being witness to a lot more drama at home. Writer Karen Johnson, who runs a mom blog called The 21st Century SAHM, recently shared her musings on the latter in a viral Facebook post which included a photo of herself drinking a beer. 

The mom-of-three was cooking grilled cheese on the stove for her kids' lunch when her 8-year-old son asked if he could go get the mail. Her 4-year-old son quickly chimed in and asked to join. The family's mailbox is a few houses up the street. 


"I give them the mail key and out the door they go. How could this go wrong? Such a simple task," she wrote.  

Even moms can be wrong sometimes. Johnson was reminded of this soon after giving her boys the go-ahead. 

"The thing is, my boys fight," she explained. "All day. Every minute that they are awake. And sometimes in their dreams. So apparently a battle breaks out at the mailbox. (I still don't know the whole story.) As I am cooking their grilled cheeses on the stove, my 6yo daughter (the reporter of all things non-compliant) comes tearing into the kitchen, yelling, 'They're fighting at the mailbox! And then mail went flying everywhere all over the neighborhood!' Shit."

So, she abandoned the grilled cheese and ran outside only to see her boys scrambling to pick up the mail that's flying everywhere. "We live in Kansas where it's windy 364.5 days of the year, so that helps," Johnson wrote. 

Soon, she sees her 4-year-old son heading directly for a busy street.

"I know him. He'll think nothing of running directly into the street in order to capture that last piece of random junk mail that Mommy will be tossing as soon as we get home," she wrote. "I am now chasing him, screaming his name, and also trying to pick up mail that is blowing all over the neighbors' yards. I finally catch up to him, prevent him from darting into the busy intersection, and we all turn around to head home, hands full of papers."

Things manage to get worse. Her 4-year-old son is barefoot outside and falls down. "He rips open his foot on a rock or the pavement or whatever is in the road because THIS IS WHY WE WEAR SHOES," Johnson wrote. "So now I am half-carrying, half dragging a bloody-footed, crying 4yo, a crying 8yo who thinks he's in trouble because of mail-mageddon, and piles and piles of junk mail and flyers that I will never look at ever back to my house. Once the papers are tossed and the bloody foot is bandaged, we all smell the sulfur of burning grilled cheese and I remember what I was doing before this all happened." 

So, Johnson made the most of the situation. "I did what any good mother would do. I scraped off the burnt parts, threw them on plates, and said bon appetit, kids. And I poured this beer," she wrote. 

The post has since been shared over 500 times and many parents took to the comments section to share that they know exactly how Johnson feels. Spending the summer at home with the kids may not be a breeze, but at least parents know they're not alone in the chaos. Most importantly, regardless of the messes they make during the season, summer break gives many parents the opportunity to some quality time with their kids and make some unforgettable memories. 

Or at least, we're pretty sure Johnson won't be forgetting "mail-mageddon" anytime soon. 

Cover image via Unsplash 

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