Okay. Look. I know what I said.

I told everyone that this summer would be the "summer of all summers." The greatest one yet. I promised to live my life to the fullest and embrace the short, sunny season with my three beautiful kids.

Full of enthusiasm I rejoiced in my love for my babies while lamenting how the time passes so fast. I swore I would be more present in their lives. From early evening bike rides for an icy treat to happily running through the sprinkler on a hot summer day, I was determined to live like a kid again. Carefree and ready for fun, I would embrace all that summer had to offer. I would reclaim my youth and be an active participant in my kid's childhood.


And you know what? I did it. All of it.

I know what you're thinking, she couldn't have possibly done everything she set out to do. Why it's only mid-August, how could she have made so many memories already?

I played soccer with my children (and got accidentally kicked in the face with a soccer ball while my little angels laughed hysterically). When my kids had a water balloon fight, I laughed when they surprised me and pelted me with a few from behind (and only yelled ONCE when they narrowly missed my phone).

I jumped through the waves at the pool while frantically grabbing onto my kids and my swimsuit. And when my son requested my participation in five (hundred) rounds of a game he invented where I shake my booty and he bounces off of it, I shook until I could shake no more. 😂

(Yes, it's as hilarious as it sounds and let's just say any neighbors who happened to be walking by my house during those moments got an eyeful—you're welcome.)

Maybe I aimed a little low? I'm not sure. But trust me when I say I did it all.

And I am over it.

Turns out, making the most of summer doesn't ACTUALLY take all summer. One and a half months probably would have been fine. Especially with kids like mine who apparently need to do approximately five activities within a half hour (my kid's teachers deserve a raise).

I might anger a few parents by saying this but I'm going to say it anyway:

I love my children but I'm ready for summer break with my kids to be over.

I love the long summer nights, the lazy mornings, and the ability to sleep in but I miss our school routine. I know when I'm in the thick of the school year I'll regret saying this but, right now, I miss having scheduled wake-ups, drop-offs, and pick-ups.

I know that I'm fortunate to be home with my kids right now but I had no idea how close to impossible it is to get any work done with three kids around all day (again, give teachers a raise).

My understanding of how much my kids would yell, sing, chat, and babble during one 24-hour period was way off. Maybe it's all the YouTube they've watched but it's as though they think we're being filmed on a live-stream reality show and they're all trying to guarantee they'll get the most airtime. Oh, in case I didn't mention it—my kid's teachers, educators, and caregivers all deserve a raise.

I miss being able to think of a complete sentence and having the chance to say it out loud before being interrupted. Without a school or preschool, I'm forced to wait until all three kids are in bed to get any coherent sentences out of my brain and onto a piece of paper. (School, I took your schedule for granted. I'm sorry.)

I am OVER being interrogated by my children every day as to what we are going to do. First, are we supposed to do things every single day? Second, who is paying for all of these things? Third, how many times in one day do I have to tell my kids to figure out how to entertain themselves and then threaten—I mean calmly advise—that they clearly do not need the bazillion toys in our home since they obviously do not use them.

Thank you, school, for planning field trips, activities, extracurriculars, and events that keep my children occupied, happy, and out of my hair (and wallet).

I miss actually missing each other every day. I know I'm lucky to be at home with my kids right now and please, believe me, I am grateful, but dang, can a girl get some personal space? I haven't gone to the bathroom alone since the summer solstice.

I love my kids. And I'm so thankful for the life I have with them.

Now, let's go buy some school supplies because this mama is done with the "summer of all summers" and ready for the best school year yet. 📝

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Motherhood is a practice in learning, growing and loving more than you ever thought possible. Even as a "veteran" mama of four young sons and one newly adopted teenager, Jalyssa Richardson enthusiastically adapts to whatever any given day has in store—a skill she says she's refined through the years.

Here's what just one day in her life looks like:

Jalyssa says she learned to embrace agility throughout her motherhood journey. Here's more from this incredible mama of five boys.

What is the most challenging part of your day as a mom of five?

Time management! I want to meet each of the boys' individual needs—plus show up for myself—but I often feel like someone gets overlooked.

What's the best part of being a mom of five?

The little moments of love. The hugs, the kisses, the cuddles, the smiles... they all serve as little reminders that I am blessed and I'm doing okay.

Are there misconceptions about raising boys?

There are so many misconceptions about raising boys. I think the biggest one is that boys don't have many emotions and they're just so active all the time. My boys display many emotions and they also love to be sweet and cuddly a lot of the time.

What do you think would surprise people the most about being a mom of five?

How much I enjoy it. I never knew I wanted to be a mom until I was pregnant with my first. My desire only grew and the numbers did! I am surprised with every single baby as my capacity to love and nurture grows. It's incredible.

How do you create balance and make time for yourself?

Balance for me looks like intentional planning and scheduling because I never want my boys to feel like they aren't my first priority, but it is extremely difficult. What I try to do is not fit it all into one day. I have work days because motherhood is my first priority. I fit in segments of self-care after the kids' bedtime so I don't grow weary.

What's the biggest lesson you have learned from motherhood?

I have learned that sacrifice is actually beautiful. I was terrified of the selflessness motherhood would require, but I've grown so much through the sacrifice. There is nothing better than living for something bigger than myself.

When did you first feel like a mom? How has your motherhood evolved?

I first felt like a mom when I was pregnant with my first son and I intentionally chose to change my eating habits so my body could be strong and healthy for him. I didn't have to think twice—I just did what I thought would be best for him. That decision being so effortless made me realize I was made for motherhood.

My perspective has changed with each baby as I've realized motherhood doesn't have to be one-size-fits-all. With my first son, I was a by-the-book mama and it was so stressful. With each baby, I have felt more freedom and it has made motherhood so much more beautiful. I have evolved into the mother that they need, I am perfect for these boys.

This article was sponsored by Dr. Brown's. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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As mamas we want our babies to be safe, and that's what makes what happened to Glee actress Naya Rivera and her 4-year-old son Josey so heartbreaking. Late Wednesday night news broke that Rivera was missing and presumed drowned after her 4-year-old son, Josey, was found floating alone on a rented boat on Lake Piru in Ventura County, California.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Ventura County Sheriff's Department Capt. Eric Buschow said the mother and her preschooler were swimming near the boat Wednesday afternoon. Josey got back into the rented boat after the swim but his mother did not. The preschooler was later found by other boaters, sleeping alone in the boat. Rescuers were able to figure out who he was because Rivera's wallet and identification were on the boat.


Our hearts are breaking for Josey and his dad right now. So much is unknown about what happened on Lake Piru but one thing is crystal clear: Naya Rivera has always loved her son with all her heart.

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