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 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.