Monday, August 13, 2012

Mommy Competition(s)

School! The kids are heading back to school next Monday! I am so ready for predictability and a schedule. Tenly will be starting 1st grade and Gianna is starting VPK (Florida PreK) for 3 long hours a day. Not sure how it is going to feel to be without both of them 5 days a week for a few hours- although I am excited to find out. I also love that Tenly has to wear uniforms this year, no more tug-a-wars over outfits and shoes. I am looking forward to these parts.

What am I not looking forward to? 
- The outrageous amount of money to spend on school supplies.
$$PART of the school supplies$$
- The adjustment period for them (averaging 3-4 weeks). You know, they come whiny and tired- pretty much- FRIED! 
- Me losing control- again! I hate not being there to watch and protect their every move as much as I am excited to have them safely out of sight and independent.
- *Learning all of the "new" systems and procedures and people and kids.
- *Being "evaluated" and on display.

Okay, now I will get to the point of all of that.
*Those last 2 I mentioned are the ones that I, as a Mom, hate the most- it's something that my kids must face but it is also something that I face (and I am sure I am not the only one...I hope!).

As most know, I HATE the unknown- change repulses me. That is one of the reasons I am HATING that both of my girls are in new schools this year and I am going have to relearn all of the new systems/procedures: drop-off, pick-up, volunteering, PTO, office staff, teachers, pretty much everything!

I had a horrible situation last year that is haunting me this year. First day of Kindergarten for Tenly, I was both excited and terrified for her and could not wait to pick her up. I felt pretty good about the pick-up procedures, it had been explained and I even asked additional questions to clarify. I felt good until I arrived and something just wasn't making sense- it did not seem like the car line should of been THAT long! I sat in the line anxiously waiting and checking the clock. 

Then, my cell phone rang- it was Tenly's teacher asking where I was...I am IN this CRAZY long car line! She informed me I was in the wrong line, to go around all of the cars and into the loop, as I did what she said I was on the verge of tears! How could I screw up that terribly on my babies first day of Kindergarten?????

As I drove up, there she was- the only kid left standing with the Vice Principle alone. I could see both relief and tears as I got up there. Talk about Mommy guilt, and what a great first impression to leave to the administration and teachers! I felt a pretty big "fail" that day.

You better be sure that even if I know nothing else at the first day of school, I will know about drop off and pick up!

On Friday (for Tenly) and Saturday (for Gianna), we have school orientation. I always feel as if I am being evaluated by everyone for everything. How you look, how your kid looks, what you say, what you do, what you don't say, what you don't do, and every move you and your child make is on display for evaluation. First impressions- yuck- to much pressure.

Who wrote the rules and criteria that goes with this "Mommy Competitions" that we all seem to be on at one time or another? It's pretty sad, as much as we all need each other for support we seem to be always try to "one up" each other. I am ashamed to say that I am not innocent, I have done the same thing to other Mom's that I hate being done to me.

As a Christian it sure is not okay to find myself participating on either side of this unproductive "game". What type of example am I setting if I am giving an unfair evaluation and/or trying to display myself correctly for one- which will usually come across as fake. Most important, what am I teaching my girls as they observe this behavior- because believe me- they notice!

My girls do not have to better than any other, nor do I- as long as our focus is where it needs to be, I think we will be okay. I am really trying to display myself as no one else but Tenly and Gianna's Mom that loves them (and others) unconditionally. I want others to see God's love in myself and in my girls and be drawn to that- not pushed away by me trying to measure up or one-up. Isn't this special time supposed to be all about my kids anyway?

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