Like many parents, Jena Willingham, and her husband Edd, of Beulah, Alabama, have survived long summer with three energetic kids, and are excited to enjoy some peace and quiet (at least during the day) now that the school year has started up again. To celebrate the occasion, Jena shared a perfect take on the classic “first day of school” lineup: a picture on Facebook of her lounging in the pool with a drink, while her kids stand on dry land behind her, looking school-ready and very forlorn. It’s Internet gold. Jena told BuzzFeed News that her three kids, Wrangler, 11, Emmy, 7, and Sykes, 4, have been fighting the entire summer over every little thing — from who’s going to use the charger to who’s going to sit in the front seat of the car. “So I said, ‘I’m so tired of listening to y’all argue, I’m just going to sit in the pool on the first day of school and let my brain hear the silence,'” she explained.
Jena also told BuzzFeed that this school year is an even bigger deal for her and her husband, because their youngest child Sykes has started his very first year in school, making it the first time in 11 years the couple haven’t had a kid at home. “I was excited to get a break, because they’re a lot of work,” she said.
Of course, the post received a lot of criticism along with praise (and I mean, is a photo ever even really viral if people don’t offer it their unwarranted criticisms?). But Jena told BuzzFeed she wants moms to see the post as a reminder that deserve some me time, and there’s no shame in that. “I would just say not to feel guilty about wanting a break from your kids, because we do a lot for them,” she said. “I take very good care of them, and I deserve a break!”
And hey, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, the average mom works the equivalent two full-time jobs per week, so hear, hear, Jena. Relax away!