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  • Bless me, cowbirders, for I have sinned. It’s been a particularly long and hot summer, and I seem to have lost my parenting mojo.

    I confess to the following transgressions:

    • I yelled at my children and accused them of being spoiled brats even though they know no other reality than the fortunate life into which they’ve been born.
    • I skipped yoga last week, the week before, and the week before that and have instead been relying on liquid faith, and praying to any deity that will listen to bring summer to a swift end so that I may resume my weekly routine without three children in tow.
    • I finished a novel in which the lead character was a successful, childless 40-year-old woman, and envied her. The childless part, that is; unfortunately, I already know what its like to stare down 40.
    • I bought a candy bar and hid it in the refrigerator so no one would find it. I have no intention of sharing it with anyone, including my husband.
    • I lied when someone asked me how my summer was going. I said it was “fine” when I really want nothing more than for my children to get the hell out of my house.
    • I also lied to my middle daughter when I told her that that I “got” the spider that scurried into her bedroom. Truth is that I couldn’t find the little sucker, but needed her to get dressed.
    • I harbored unkind feelings for several people, including but not limited to the mean 11-year-old girl who preys on my insecure 10-year-old at the swimming pool, Teresa from Real Housewives of New Jersey, the guy who didn’t let me into his lane on the highway the other day, and everyone whose kids are more well-adjusted than mine.

    But worst is the sin I have committed against myself by falling into a pit of self-pity and self-doubt as I prepare to send my youngest off to kindergarten next month.

    For 10 years, I have been home with my daughters, dedicated to my daughters, and distracted by my daughters. Soon, in mere days, I will finally (finally!) have the spare time I’ve been romanticizing for years, and I’m scared that I won’t spend it wisely.

    More than that, though, I’m scared I’ll have to admit that staying home all those years didn’t, doesn’t and won’t inoculate them against whatever life throws at them. This, I fear, will be the harder of the two to reconcile.

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