“Have u signed your son up for summer camp? Just know it fills up fast and you want to get in the best program. Has your child done his homework? He really needs to work on his coloring and fine motor skills. You know next week is your week for snacks. Remember little Sally is allergic to peanuts and can’t have soy. Ut oh, your little Carlos peed on his nap mat again so can you wash it and his clothes and send them back ASAP? Remember to pay your tuition for next year, you don’t want your kid to lose his spot. There’s a wait list a mile long. Oh, and don’t forget to sign up for the swim and soccer camps that everyone is doing, you don’t want your kid to be the only one not participating. Think about what that will do to his self-esteem….We really need to start thinking about the end of year party and teachers gifts. I was thinking we could each make an art project that highlights our child’s naturally given abilities. What do you think?”
When the heck did being a mom of a preschooler become such a big damn job?
I’m telling you that if you are anything short of an overachiever, you are in for it when they start preschool. I’m always a day late and a dollar short when it comes to being on top of things at my son’s school. Thank God for my amazing friend who is always on my ass about what I need to be doing or my kid would be going to school naked (I would’ve missed the uniform deadline) and he would be home all summer because I dropped the ball and forgot to sign him up for the 4 vacation bible schools and kid ventures. I seriously need a list for my list to keep up with this shit show. Most days I’m still in my robe and slippers when I show up to carpool. I’m just not cut out for this business.
I feel like things were different when we were growing up. I know my mom wouldn’t have partaken in all these “jobs” and obligations. Maybe she stepped up her game when I started kindergarten but I can assure you she dropped me off at preschool and never looked back. She just wanted a break and for them to keep me alive for 6 hours, plain and simple. She wasn’t breaking a sweat everyday just trying to keep up. She had a life for crying out loud.
My saving grace is that I have the best moms at the school and we all have each other’s back and usually never try to upstage each other. I’m actually not sure how I would get by without the group texts that keep me in line, day in and day out. I’m amazed by these women. Most of them work full time jobs and have two plus kids. Me, I’m unemployed with one kid and still can’t keep up. I really wish all this organization and being on top of things came to me naturally but it doesn’t. I try though, and I guess that is all that matters. I continue to volunteer and be involved even though my efforts are sub par. I do it for my son because I can. I’m not working much right now so I may as well try to do as much at the school as I’m capable of.
This still doesn’t change the harsh reality that even on our best days, us “doing the best we can” Moms need a little guidance and help when it comes to preschooling. Here’s my best attempt at keeping us on our game.
1.) Get in with the Moms in the class-They will be your rock and your compass as you navigate through the rough streets of the preschool. Don’t try to be Super Mom. Let these women take the lead. If they are anything like my Mom Squad, they are experts. They know who is sick, who is moving and which Mom was hungover in carpool. You need them to survive. And if you are lucky you get life long friendships.
2.) Keep a detailed calendar-Know your sh*t. I cant tell you how many times I have shown up to chapel or a class holiday party with no make up on and wet hair because I didn’t write down the date correctly or even at all. Thank gosh I only live 2 miles away and can show up at a moments notice or my child would need years of therapy for my absentee parenting.
3.) Get in good with the faculty- I don’t want to brag but my son’s school has a kickass faculty so building relationships with them has been easy. But even if they are boring and you have nothing in common with them you can create a relationship on the sole fact that you both have the best interest of your child at heart. They are responsible for keeping your child safe and alive on a daily basis and that is HUGE. You need to invest. Bring them gifts. Invite them over for wine (this may be against school policy but I’ve never been a rule follower). Ask about their lives. Be-friend them.
4.) Know when to step up- Even if you know you can’t compete with the other Moms, just try. A little effort goes a long way. I may accidentally squash the cupcakes in the car on the way to the party or drop the nugget tray in the parking lot but I’m always putting my best foot forward. I may be a hot mess but I know that even my mediocre attempts are very appreciated.
So as we wrap up this school year, pat yourself on the back if you survived preschool. And keep in mind that there is always next year to perfect your game. Be strong. Be brave. Be mindful. And always remember, preschooling ain’t for the faint of heart.