Recently I wrote about how lousy it makes me feel when I read about all the ways other mothers are managing to feed their children absolutely nothing but organic, homemade, raw, freshly sprouted, GMO free, free-range, amazingly delicious, healthy food. Seriously, it’s exhausting. Well, now it’s back-to-school time and I am faced with the same kind of Pinterest-induced guilt.
For starters, there’s the Back-to-School Party.
Seriously? We are not having a party. The week before school starts my children are practically wearing sack cloth and ashes. We distract. We indulge. We don’t celebrate. We are in mourning.
There’s Back-to-School redecorating. Does making them make their beds count? I mean, we spend a small fortune on backpacks, note books, pens, markers, clothes, and Kleenex. Who has extra money to redecorate?
There’s back-to-school menu planning for the foodiest of foodie parents.
That’ll be two dozen lemon poppy seed jam-filled muffins coming right up! OR, and I’m just throwing this out there, cereal.
I found back-to-school decorations.
Okay, actually, these are a pretty cool idea because we can never ever find a pencil. Seven years of homeschooling and five years in public school, and I’ve yet to be able to get my hands on a sharpened pencil when we need one.
And finally the back-to-school teacher gift ideas.
Is that seriously deodorant in that gift basket? I’m pretty sure my kids’ teacher will just want booze.
I know I am being cynical, making fun of all these truly cute ideas, but the truth is, I really would like to be one of those moms. I wish that today, on the first day of school, all of my children had dawned adorable new outfits and posed in front of an apple tree with hand-held chalkboards upon which they had written their names and grades. I wish they had awakened to jam-filled muffins and eaten them at a back-to-school themed table where each place was set with a little back-to-school present. I wish I had put sweet notes of love and encouragement in their lunch boxes. Heck, I wish I had made them lunch. I mock these got-it-all-together Pinterest moms, but I really wish I could be one of them. I really wish I could do all that stuff. Well, except the high fashion mini-dress for my tweenager. I definitely just want to make fun of that.
Oh wait! Charming Hal did manage to snap a picture of three out of four of them. ..
After getting some feedback about this post, I started wondering why we moms feel so much pressure to have the perfect first day of school…
Of course there’s our social media-saturated world where we have daily access to ideas we never wanted to have – like literary themed lunches and cute homemade personalized pencil toppers But I think it’s more than that, at least for me. For me, I think I want to have a perfect back-to-school, so that I will have hope that THIS YEAR WILL BE DIFFERENT. This year I will have breakfast ready every day and never have to yell, “Just slap some peanut butter on a tortilla and get in the car!” as we leave for school. This year I won’t be frantically searching for clean socks. I won’t pack a lunch box with ham and cheese in a hot dog bun and a side of goldfish crackers. This year I won’t ask my fourteen year old daughter to sign the little kids’ permission slips, grade cards, and book logs, in the car on the way to school. And I will never ask her to lick her hand and smooth down her little brother’s hair as we whip into the school parking lot. This year I won’t find a two week old sandwiches in anyone’s backpack or get an email from the cafeteria lady that they are out of lunch money AGAIN. This year will be different
A first day of school is a big deal – to them and to me. It’s a lot of pressure, social media or not. Maybe this year will be different. Maybe. But my friend Darla, put it perfectly, “Do they feel loved? If I can answer yes, that’s all that matters.” Well, said, Darla. I’ll be praying for a school year of less chaos and more love for all of us.
And at The Farm Hop