I'm not cut out to be Class Mom

Growing up there was this perfect mom in our neighborhood. I’ll call her Mrs. Brown. She looked perfect, her kids looked perfect, her house...was perfect.  Year after year Mrs. Brown was the Class Mom.  She organized our Halloween and Christmas parties (oh the 70's) and she did it all so well.   When Sarah started preschool, I hoped to be that kind of mom.  You see I really wanted to do the whole School Mom thing well, so I thought that meant being just like Mrs. Brown. For the first 7 years of being a School Mom I held a modern version of that standard in my head.  I failed miserably.  I was miserable.  You see the truth of what kind of School Mom I am is:  

I don't make bento box lunches
I forget which day is a black and white day, and dress my kid in pink. 
I don't clip Box Tops
I have attended exactly 1 PTA meeting and it nearly killed me. 
I am late for pick up most days
I've taught my kids to forge my name because I just can't sign ALL THOSE PAPERS!

I spent seven years feeling like a bad School Mom.  I beat myself up over forgotten empty cereal boxes, and missed class parties.  I looked at the moms who seemed to do it all so well, and been terribly jealous of them.  At the girl's school the principal suggests the Class Moms.  It's a seal of approval that you are indeed a "good School Mom."  I was pretty sure that seal was never coming my way - and frankly that hurt me.  
But surprise, surprise last fall I got a call.  I was told the principal had suggested me to be the 5th grade class mom.  I started to laugh.   In the moment that should have been a triumph, all I could do was laugh and ask, "What has that poor teacher done to deserve this!"  In that moment it became crystal clear to me that I'm just not cut out to be a Class Mom.  I was never meant to be Mrs. Brown. Then and there I admitted defeat, and politely declined the offer.  

In admitting defeat and stopping the battle to be Mrs. Brown, I was finally able to see that there’s more than one way to be a good School Mom.  

There was another mom at Cottonwood Creek Elementary, her name was Mrs. Bowler. She was crazy.  She taped balloons on her daughter's head to find her in parades.  She had a Ping-Pong table in the living room.  She never wore the latest fashion, played in the local mom's tennis league, or was our class mom.  There wasn't a house in the neighborhood I wanted to go to more than the Bowlers' house.  In that house, that was always a mess, I was loved.  In that house Jesus was everywhere.  

Mrs. Bowler and Mrs. Brown did the School Mom thing in completely different ways - and they both did it well.  Along with 50 other unique moms, they gave us Cottonwood kids a great childhood.  When I admitted defeat in trying to be Mrs. Brown I realized I might just be Mrs. Bowler, and that’s pretty awesome.  Suddenly the weight of mom guilt was lifted off of me.

In the last week three of Sarah's friends have asked me when they can come over.  I love those girls.  Our house is a mess, and most days I am completely crazy - but they still ask to come over.  I know they want to come play with Sarah, but I also know our house is a place where kids are loved, and Jesus is everywhere.    The truth of what kind of School Mom I am is:

The more kids in my house, the happier I am
There are no “kid free” zones in my house
I listen to kids and care about their ideas
I feed kids sugar
I hug kids and tell them I love them often
I have extremely loud sing-alongs in my car
I pray for these kids

Since that call to be the Class Mom, I have embraced the School Mom that I am – and it’s a good one.  I’ve also stopped being jealous of all the Mrs. Browns walking around our school. Heck, I'm grateful for them!  They’re working their tails off to support my girls’ teachers, to plan our class parties, and organize our field trips – and God Bless their organized hearts they're probably saving two cereal boxes to save my neck when I forget.  I pray this year they’re also blessed by the role I’ll play in their kids lives.  Together we're creating a great childhood for our kids.

Fellow mommas, do you need to admit defeat to a type of School Mom you’re not cut out to be?  I’d love to hear the unique way your being a good School Mom this year.  Give yourself some credit - I bet you're doing a great job! Please share below. 

Join me this fall for a new spiritual parenting class

Last August Bay Leaf Baptist Church launched the Legacy Track of spiritual parenting classes.  This series of classes aims to equip parents to become the primary faith trainers in their child’s life.  I have the joy of co-teaching these classes with Billy Driver, Director of Adult Education.   

Billy and I are excited to announce this fall’s class: 
   (we need a drum roll here..)
Peacemaking for Families by Ken Sande
Wednesday Nights starting Sept 10th
6:15 – 7:45
Bay Leaf Baptist Church

As much as we desire to have peaceful homes, conflict happens.  We have conflict in our marriages, with our kids, and between the kids.  How are we to resolve our conflicts, and how can we teach our children to resolve their own conflicts?  This 12-week class will help parents see God’s plan for resolving conflicts and understand how to utilize peacemaking skills in your home. 

The great thing about the Legacy Track is that it is not a “church class,” it’s a community of parents.  If you live in the Raleigh area, we’d love to have you join us, actually we’d love for your whole family to join us.  Wednesday nights are a family affair at Bay Leaf.  You can come for dinner at 5:30, there is childcare, Awana, and youth studies going on at the same time.  Everyone is welcome.  If you’d like more information, call the church office at 919- 847-4477 or register online HERE. 

I hope to see you there!

Emily Burned Down the House

We have a Christmas memory book where I write down the best memories of that year’s Christmas season.  Each year I am sure that this will be the year I write…

Emily burned down the house.

Each December we change up our family devotions by doing them at night around an Advent wreath.  We light the candles… and EVERY night Emily is a little moth getting closer, and closer … so very close to the flame.  Most nights I’m sure she’s going to topple the candles over and burn the house down.   There have been many close calls, and a whole lot of spilled wax.  

I think, “Why can’t this simple thing be easy!”

No matter the season that’s how it goes with family devotions.  If you make the radical choice to be super weird and teach your children the Bible, it’s not going to be easy.  There are no Norman Rockwell nights.  (If there are at your house, please don’t tell me. I can’t handle it.)  Things go wrong when you try to have family devotions… the dog barks non-stop, drinks get spilled, the phone rings 7 times, parents cry.  Why?  The enemy doesn’t want you to do this one very powerful thing…

Open the Bible and read it to your children.

It seems like you’re doing this simple thing, so it should be easy.  But you’re not doing something simple, so it’s not going to be easy. 

When you open the Bible with your kids…
…you give the Church a future.
…you plant seeds for the third and fourth generation.
…you train an army for the Lord.

 You may appear to be doing something simple, but you’re actually doing something remarkable. 

This morning was the second day of school.  I forgot to set my alarm.  (On the second day!)  We ran around rushed, and late, and disorganized, but Pete herded us to the kitchen table and he opened the Bible.   As he read the Word of God over our girls I was reminded yet again that training them for the Lord is never going to be easy.   We may have rushed mornings, spilt cereal, and come December more close calls with candles, but what we’ll have done with our girls will have had eternal impact – and that’s so much better than easy.  

Looking for a devotion idea for this school year? Subscribe to The Celebrated Family and I will send you Our Salvation and Song as a free gift.