The Four Letter Word No Mom Wants to Hear {Welcome to Hunting Season}

Earlier this month we got to enjoy a short, but very sweet preview of fall weather. I am starting to anticipate the posts about pumpkin spice everything (NOT my favorite, but that is for another day). Running in the morning, I get to enjoy the cool 59 degree air. This just means that the cool air makes it more difficult for my neighbors to tell I am struggling to make it 2 miles. The darkness helps as well, but anyway… The kids are playing outside after school without melting and there have been at least four dinnertime picnics in the back yard. My husband wore a sports coat to work the other day. He didn’t have a meeting, just because it was cold. WHAAAAT???

Here in the South, we get very excited when it drops below 70 degrees in the morning with mid 80’s during the day. With this change in temperature, we get amazing things like gumbo, football, open windows, and hopefully less mosquitos (if not, I will give you the number to my mosquito guy – it is worth every penny!!). But there are other things that come along with cooler weather.

Hunting season…

The four-letter word no mom wants to hear. CAMP. “I’m going to the camp this weekend.” NOOOO…. How is this possible, it was just hunting season???

I do not come from a family whose father did much hunting or fishing, at least not on a consistent basis. With that being said, I have known my husband since 2001; so let me be very clear that this is nothing new to our relationship.

But the struggle is still very real. Different, but real.

We now have two children that are left behind on the weekends. Someone has to take care of these two angels when there is no school. There are social functions, birthday parties, festivals etc. on the weekends. How can I take a three and four year old in public by myself and ensure that everyone returns in one piece? And God forbid it rains all weekend, we will get a month worth of screen time in two days. This is not even taking into account the never-ending honey-do list around the house. The kicker is, it is not JUST hunting, there are “work weekends” to get ready for hunting season. Can I get a second WHAAAAT??? Between this and fishing he is out of the house two weekends a month, not every month, I will throw him a bone on this one. But most months …

Even though I do not get MY way every weekend, there have been some very positive things that have come from this hobby. One, I have realized I can keep the kids alive on my own. And two, our children are now at the age where they can go with dad to the camp, or we can all go together as a family. This is the first place that my kids slept in a bunk bed and where they learned what a VHS tape was. “What do you mean we have to wait for it to rewind!?!” They can stay up past their bedtime and take showers instead of a bath. Or not bathe for two days. My son caught his first fish at this camp, he has lost about 100 fishing rods overboard in the duck lease, and they get to see lots of alligators. Last year my husband even took both kids hunting by himself so I could host my month of supper club kid free. (On a side note, he says he will never do this again. The boat broke down in the marsh … Insert palm to face.)

As much as moms like to get together and complain about this, as I have done as recently as a week ago, it is not as bad as we make it out to be. In the moment, it is difficult to not be a LITTLE dramatic about it. Because that creates guilt and we all know that is what a good marriage is based on (again, just joking!). And for the most part, we have all experienced this because hunting and fishing is something that is very popular in the South. South Louisiana is surrounded by an amazing and unique environment that is full of wildlife, how can we not take part in exploring this?? So I guess what my take away point is ….

As much as I love to hate this hobby of his, it has taken a natural progression over the last 16 years from bachelor weekends to family friendly weekends. And it will only get better. There are boatloads of camp memories in store for this family.

Lauren James
Lauren is a native New Orleanian that was transplanted to Lafayette in 2008 by her husband of 11 years, Daniel. She has a B.S.N. from Louisiana State University – School of Nursing and a M.S.N. from the University of South Alabama. Her “paying gig” is as a Nurse Practitioner with a focus in Quality/Infection Prevention at a local hospital. Her other full-time gig is as keeper of her home and mom to William 7, Mary Kathryn 6, and Benjamine 2. Most of her days at home are spent picking up toys and socks off the floor so the family Bernese Mountain Dog, Tipper, does not demolish them. When she has a spare moment, she enjoys reading crime novels, playing board game with her kids, cooking and baking foods that are not on her diet, and finding any reason to celebrate by drinking her beloved champagne. To burn off a few calories and any leftover energy, the family enjoys walking or riding bikes on the shaded boulevard on which they live. Lauren has fallen in love with the people and city of Lafayette and is very proud to raise her family here and to now call it home.


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