I can’t throw a basketball to save my life, I’m horrible at calculus and I burn most of what I cook. That’s me- horribly average at everything and not a competitive bone in my body. I’ve pretty much succumbed to a life of metiocracy, except for one thing. I’m damn good at having kids. Seriously. I’m ubber fertile and produce 10 pound giants without breaking a sweat. I’m great at raising them too. At least I think I am until I’m put in place by every other mom on the plant.
Every day when I pick my kids up from school and try to be the first one there, some other Super-Mom always gets the best parking spot. If I try to be the most excited parent in the lobby when my kids come barreling out of the classroom, someone else out-does my enthusiasm (by the way, it’s been 7 hours. You can’t miss your kids THAT much!). I volunteer for field trips when I can, but someone always does more. On snack day, I’m secretly judged for bringing store bought treats instead of hand decorating eyeballs on 32 Oreo sculptures. The point is- just when I thought I could be good at something, someone comes along and out-moms me in that rude and condescending way and I’m calling bull-shit.
I’ve had enough. I think it’s time for parents to get real with each other and admit our faults. My three year old can’t read, and most days it’s a struggle to do anything without a meltdown. I would love to ask other PTA parents for advice. Even just venting and finding support might keep me off the brink of insanity. But I keep my mouth shut because instead of a shoulder to lean on, I’m answered with cold comments about how their three year old is perfect. Life would be so much better if we could all stop pretending to be perfect parents. Maybe we could find the support we’re so in need of. Maybe we wouldn’t feel like complete failures when we make inevitable mistakes. As parents, so many of us live in fear of judgment with this ‘living up to the Johnsons’ attitude. If we took that judgment and fear away, maybe we could bring a true meaning of community back. Maybe we could rely on each other, genuinely and altruistically. Maybe we could feel good about being good parents again, instead of feeling like we aren’t good enough.
So to all parents out there, cut the bull-shit. Stop trying to be better than the rest of us because we know you’re not. We know your home is flawed and your kids are flawed. Everybody is, and that’s ok. Let’s just be human.