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Mom vs. Mom

The JetSet Family Moms

Random Thoughts

Don’t hate me because I’m that mom.

Next time, before you fly off the handle on Facebook about overachieving crafting moms at school and on the playground, I want you to consider something: Some of us really ENJOY doing it. For the record, Martha Stewart has never been my friend, and I use Pinterest strictly as an online filing cabinet. I’m REALLY bad at baking and have no clue how to use a glue gun. That doesn’t change the fact I love and look forward to the next class event or project.

It’s not about me, it’s not about you – it’s about them. 

It’s about the quality time I get to spend with my daughter, her friends and getting to know the other parents. I am (slash) we are, not trying to one-up you, or make you feel badly. I promise – you are not in my thoughts when I’m doing these things with my kid at home or sharing our creations on social media. However, I’m not greedy only doing this stuff for my kin either. At school… chances are your child(ren) is/will benefit greatly if our kids share the same teachers as well.

Mean Girls: The Plastics

Let’s just all worry about ourselves, shall we? 

I get it – quite frankly, it can resemble a popularity contest from afar. Who cares? You’re right though, there are quite a few moms running around vying to be the next Queen Bee. Truthfully, I’m not trying to impress anyone except myself with these half-arse crafting attempts and party planning skills. And I’m definitely not looking to snake your spot in the cool moms club should you want it. It is widely known that I sprint away from the “it-moms”. That exclusive members-only clique scares me more than American Horror Story. 

I do it because I have one child. This is the only time I will experience these milestones, holidays and grades. You might have three or four kids and the thrill has worn off. But please don’t dismiss or take this really special time away from me that I value so much. 

And I do it because I think your child(ren) is rad. 

Crayon Hearts

I may have a more flexible schedule than most at the moment, and I clearly remember what it is like to be a working parent AND to *have* a working parent. As a working mom, I never felt like I knew what was going on in class or at school and I hated missing things. But, I loved being able to have a conversation about my child’s day at the dinner table as though I was there the whole time. And as I child of a working mom, I hated not having her be able to show up for events. I never told her that because I knew she had to work, but you can bet she was sorely missed at every holiday party. 

So in my own adult parenting life, on the rare occasion I could participate at school activities, I appreciated and counted on the updated class calendars  and would jump at the chance to volunteer or attend. 

We’re all just doing our best. Right?

While I was working, pictures, Facebook pages and classroom websites acted as my day-to-day connection. Some class parents responsible for this have been really rad and I’m so grateful, while others have been just meh. Commit all in or leave it to someone else who will go beyond, the “It’s fine,” or “It’ll do.” Do it for the kids and the parents that need and depend on this. Pretend as though you are a working parent as well. 

Perhaps you want to be there, but you can’t. That’s where I come in. My only M.O. is I don’t want you to miss out on one single thing. Consider me your ambassador. Your friend. If you’ve given us permission (I take photos of kids and social media very seriously,) I promise to post non-blurry photos of your child(ren) and their friends. I’ll clearly include descriptions of what they are doing on the class private Shutterfly site so you are kept in the loop. And to be fair, I even keep a list in my pocket so I know if I haven’t uploaded your child’s gorgeous mug in awhile. (Side rant since it was recently brought up on Facebook: I know I’m supposed to be thankful for *any* effort, but in the age of iPhones, Androids + auto-focus, can we collectively agree to stop posting blurry photos? Specifically, when you’re responsible for a group share site? Also, can we please edit? We don’t need 47 of the same blurry subject. xo.) 

I want you to feel included. I want you to know this is important to me, even if it isn’t to you. These aren’t the actions of someone who is trying to “one-up” anyone. And if it were up to me, I’d also plan parties and events way far in advance. I remember what it was like to try and schedule days off, or run it by my boss. I wanted to be there, and you might really want to volunteer, but a week notice is just not cutting it. 

Why do I do these things?

  1. For them to feel safe and know I care. If there ever is a scary situation, they can come to me for help. I will help your child just like I will help my own. 
  2. For the ones that might not have moms and dads, or anyone for that matter. 
  3. For the kids that just do not feel like they belong. Maybe my words, smile or attention will make them feel better during a lonely time. 
  4. For the parents that are working so hard everyday and can’t make it to functions, events, assemblies, or volunteer. I am there cheering your kid on. 
  5. For those children who might not have holidays because their families can’t afford it. It should still be joyous.
  6. For the kids dealing with any type of loss or life change. 
  7. For the shy ones that just need a familiar face. 
  8. For the children whose parents or guardians just don’t care. And for those that do, but might have a hard time showing it. 
  9. For the children who needed to grow-up a little quicker than others – if I can make their childhood happy and kid-like for even a short moment, I want to. 
  10. Because I hope in times of trouble, you’ll do the same for my child without thinking twice, or wondering why I can’t be there. 

I do it because I have one child. This is the only time I will experience these milestones, holidays and grades. You might have three or four kids and the thrill has worn off. But please don’t dismiss or take this really special time away from me that I value so much. 

I’ve got a confession to make…

I don’t know your story, but I adore your child. And I’m incredibly proud of who they are and who they are becoming week after week. So before you judge me and my overachieving craft skills, know I’m doing it for the kids — yours and mine and theirs — not to feed your insecurities. 

Again, can we please just agree to worry about ourselves, shall we? 

Photo credits: Nicole Standley

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8 COMMENTS
  • Kristin November 25, 2014

    My youngest is a senior in high school but I totally get where you’re coming from. I can only imagine what the pressure and insecurity (and meanness) is like now, with the cell phones and social media. Ugh! It must be awful.

  • Melanie K. November 25, 2014

    Being a parent is one of the toughest things there is to do. I agree that we shouldn’t judge people, but all to often it is done to our fellow parents.

  • Patty November 25, 2014

    Times are so different from when I was a child. Or maybe my mother was just different. I don’t have any kids so I don’t begin to understand the feelings on either side.

  • Jenn November 25, 2014

    This is such a great post, I agree we try our best and its all for the kids. Not to impress anyone but them.

  • Heather November 25, 2014

    Its so hard you get judgement from both sides of the table, if you are working parent, you clearly don’t spend enough time with your kids, if you are a stay at home mother, oh that must be so luxurious. I think people need to just worry about themselves and not about a title they need to give themselves or people. Great post.

  • Mistee Dawn November 25, 2014

    I totally agree. If everyone worried about themselves and not everyone else… maybe there would be a lot of happier children and people in general.

  • Travel Blogger November 25, 2014

    We all just really need to be more supportive of each other because really, parenting is hard enough as it is and at the end of te day we’re just doing the best we can. We make excel in some areas but that doesnt mean we don’t falter in others.

  • Jessica Cassidy November 26, 2014

    I cannot imagine if somebody is mean to my kids. I will do anything to fight for my kids. I do not care who they are. Those mean people are just unhappy and wants to ruin somebody’s life. This post is so beautiful and inspirational.

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