Let me confess something: I have three children, two of which attend preschool regularly, one who will begin in a year and a half. I plan for all of them to go to school until they graduate. That's not the confession. Here it is:
I am not now, nor do I ever plan to be, the room mom for any of my children.
If you don't have kids, let me explain who the room mom is. The room mom is the teacher's right-hand woman; she's the one who organizes class parties, teacher appreciation, and, in elementary school, helps ensure the classroom doesn't run out of school supplies.
Don't get me wrong, I'm involved in my kids' classrooms, I know (and love) their teachers, and I attend every class party and help out as much as I can.
But I am not room mom material. And that is just fine by me.
The room moms for my kids' classes are awesome. They have seriously got it together. For example, I just got a personalized envelope with everything in it for the end-of-the-year gift for the teachers this year, including typed out instructions. Each paper was in its own plastic protective sheath. I have to complete the project with my daughter and return it in two weeks.
Want to know when I'll do it? One week and six days from now, most likely.
I am just not that "super-on-top-of-things" mama. I think I started out trying to be. When my oldest started preschool, the list for "room moms" was already full when I got to the table to sign up for stuff (I didn't know then that you have to be quick to get on that list). If it had been empty, I would have put my name down.
I'm convinced that was God intervening on my behalf.
There is a lot of pressure to be "room mom material." Pinterest shows thousands of handmade crafts done by moms in trendy outfits and cute shoes who live in pristine houses and pull off elaborate, educational crafts with their children while a gourmet, made-from-scratch dinner simmers on the stove. Facebook statuses crow about children's (or mom's) achievements, along with picture-perfect family pictures. These online communities allow us to show only what we want, or sometimes even portray a reality that doesn't exist.
So let me be honest for a minute, in case you are not yet convinced that I am not room mom material: I do crafts with my kids in a house that is more often messy than clean. Our crafts may even be educational, but then I neglect to explain the educational part (or didn't exactly understand it in the first place myself). I forget when the kids' parties are at school and, although I've never missed one, have had to do some last-minute plan changes in order to attend. I honestly am not sure what I'll do without one of my best friends next year when our boys are in different schools for Kindergarten - one woman has single-handedly kept me afloat schedule-wise for three years at preschool. We eat really healthy meals... when I cook. When I'm on my game, I cook something most nights of the week; when I'm not on my game, we eat Annie's Mac & Cheese with broccoli or edamame. Or even order pizza from Dominos.
The truth is, I will probably never have it together enough to organize something like end-of-the-year gifts for teachers and get the info out to families two weeks in advance. I can't even ever remember when everybody's field trips are, and just last night, we just completely forgot to go to soccer practice.
But that's all okay. My strengths do not lie in room mom qualities. I am so thankful that there are room moms out there! So thankful. I firmly believe it takes a village to raise children and the room moms in my life are helping me be a better mother.
This Mother's Day, I hope we all remember that there are about a bazillion different ways to be a great mom. We need to stop comparing ourselves, stop caving to the pressure, and be the beautiful women and mothers God created us to be. Mamas, parent the way your heart guides you, do the activities with your kids that you enjoy and don't worry if it looks different from other families. Don't be fooled by pinterest... in the corner behind the camera are some dust bunnies, I promise!