School Parties & Perfect Parenting: Our Imperfect Valentine’s

Imagine, if you will, a time before you were a parent.

A time when all your visions of yourself as a parent were unrealistic, perfectionist conjecture and pure pipe dreams.

I think we all had an image of the kind of parent we thought we would be, and as much as the motivational speakers of the world will tell you to envision the future you want in order to realize success, I doubt there is a parent out there that could have envisioned their ideal selves enough to overcome the blind-siding realities and barrel-rolling train-wreck that is parenting.

For example, how I respond to school parties…

This moment brought to you by I-really-thought-I-was-going-to-be-one-of-those-crafty-over-the-top-moms, but it turns out I’m more of a phone-it-in mom. Oh, and the Target dollar section and five minutes of printing and stapling. At least I busted out my paper cutter to get the lines straight?

PS – I totally signed up for juice boxes on the party snack list to avoid absolutely anything that requires preparation or (heaven forbid) refrigeration. #platesandnapkinsforever

How is everyone else’s school party prep going? (Bahahaha)

In related news, my son was given his first ever preschool homework craft assignment two weeks ago – his Valentine’s card box.

I am a FIRM believer that you should not do your child’s assignments for them – it’s not developing their skills, it undermines their confidence in their own abilities, and the teacher can so-totally tell the parent did it instead of the kid.

(Again, one of my tightly-held beliefs before I became a parent.)

So, we took a shoe box, I covered it in the colored paper of his choice – blue – and let him do absolutely everything else.

Sat on my hands.

We were all so proud. Still proud. Since we did this on the snow days last week, we even brought the assignment almost a week before today’s due date. (The sooner it’s out of our house, the less chance we’ll lose it, right? Lol.)

Well. Now everyone else’s boxes have arrived, and our little shoe box is getting trumped by every other kid’s elaborate creations at school.

And I have a lot of feelings about it.

How did I not see this coming?

I am competitive. I am artsy and crafty. I want to be the BEST. By golly, I want my child to be the best too.

I talked about it with my hubby over lunch – he’s good at perspective. He asked if Teddy was still proud of his, even having seen the others. “Yes, he is.”

“Then that’s all that matters.”

Yes, it is.

I never thought I’d be one of those parents to project my sense of self onto my child, but here we are. Spending some time today getting my head right so I can hopefully never let on to Teddy that I ever felt that way in the first place, and continue to always show my pride for everything he gives his full effort to.

Then maybe I can rescue a bit of that pipe-dream parent I envisioned not so long ago. 😉

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