I wish I was like the other moms. The ones who have an organized system in place to keep track of everyone’s schedules, lunch menus, and important documents. The kind of mom who thinks outside the lunch box and packs all organic foods inside an adorable (and reusable) bento box. The mom who has all the healthy meals prepped well in advance so she can devote more time with her family.
Instead, I’m just winging it over here. My “command center” consists of a kitchen drawer where I stuff all the important papers. It’s a very systematic arrangement in which I dig around searching for exactly what I need like I’m participating in a poorly designed scavenger hunt. Meal prep involves me scrambling to figure out what I’m going to prepare for my fam while my kids shove whatever scraps of food they can in their mouth because they’re “starving”. And the duty of packing lunches falls on my kids’ shoulders so no animal-shaped food with a rainbow of colors coming from me.
I’m a bit of a hot mess.
The good news is that I’m really good at fumbling my way through just in the nick of time that it gives the illusion that I’ve got it all together. Smoke and mirrors, my friends. Smoke. And mirrors.
And guest what, I’m ok with the facade. Because underneath all that fog is a mom who’s doing her best. I may have failed to buy bread this week, but that cheese stick wrapped with turkey was genius! Ok, sure, the 5-year-old came up with that idea, but still. I’m pretty much mom-of-the-year for training my kids to be quick-thinking problem-solvers. And believe me, they have plenty of problems to solve around here.
So, in the spirit of being just like one of those moms I aspire to be (My hat’s off to you, ladies!), here is my list of 3 (not-so-average) tips to help this back-to-school transition go smoothly.
- Don’t roll your eyes at the “other” moms, cheer them on! Let’s just be done with the way media portrays women to be competitive and catty with one another. There’s a better way to be, friends. Instead of giving each other the side eye, let’s observe those women who are killing it at the mom game and (wait for it) tell them! Yes, let’s extend encouragement like we’re overflowing with it. Empower her. Lift her up. Let her know that you find her inspiring. Tell her that thing that you admire in her. Make her day with your words of affirmation. Chances are, the kindness you extend will be the very thing that will motivate her to wanna be more like you.
- Recognize that imperfection is perfect. Girls, good enough is the new perfect. Well, technically, it’s the old perfect. Just trust me, I grew up in the 80’s and I know what I’m talking about. And honestly, wouldn’t life be a little bit better if we went back to the relaxed parenting from my youth? Let’s stop fretting over every tiny little detail. How about we spend a little less time researching the best backpack and a little more time just hanging out with our kids? What if we felt great about all the fruit our kids ate rather than cursing ourselves for not buying organic? Let’s break up with this unrealistic ideal and embrace the beauty of imperfection.
- Fail sometimes, so your kids know it’s ok for them to, too. You know that saying “failure isn’t an option?” Well, I’m calling BS on it. Not only is failure an option, but it’s entirely necessary. Without failing, there’s no growth, there’s no learning. Without failure, there’s no humility, no perseverance. We need the lows in life to be able to better recognize the highs. And no, not just the high of coming out on top or winning. I’m talking about the growth mentality that is learned from failing a little less each time effort is extended. So, be honest about your own struggles, your own missteps. Allow them to see you make mistakes, to screw up. With authenticity, be real about the things you want to get better at. Fail, so they know that it’s not only ok, but it’s an expected part of life and not a reason to quit trying.
Mamas, let’s crush it this year as we learn to extend kindness to one another, embrace our imperfections, and train our kids to be ok with failure. Virtual fist bump to every single one of you!