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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

10 school resolutions for the slacker mom

Thought I'd share this amusing blog column by Kelly Smith and Sharon Kennedy Wynne, St. Petersburg Times staff writers

About this time every year, we fall into some kind of glue-stick trance while fawning over and stroking all those organizing gizmos in the back-to-school aisles. And that same old feeling comes over us: This school year will be different. This year we'll be on top of the chaos. We'll make perfect school lunches. We'll have oh-wow ideas for every school project. Every other mom will think we're so cool.

Oh, cut the crap.

We are so over it. Truth is, between crazy work and crazy home, we usually end up overwhelmed, tired and barely holding it together. And feeling enormously guilty about it. So this year, we're not going to try to be one of those smiling ubermoms. And we're not going to feel guilty about it.

Here are 10 back-to-school resolutions for the slacker mom. Repeat after us:

• I will not do it for you, so do it yourself. Don't like PB&J in your Hannah Montana lunch bag? Then pack something else. And this extends to basic household stuff. Soggy towel and scuzzy undies left on the floor? Fine. Hungry and Mom's stuck at work? Mac and cheese, hubby dear.

• I will not sell wrapping paper or candy. Nope, nothing. We'll write a modest check instead. Heck, we'll have all our friends and family write checks, too. Just, please, no more cookie dough in the freezer.

• I will volunteer for ONE event. Maybe a field trip. No Fall Festival booth, and nothing that involves a cash register. Yeah, yeah, we hear all the ubermoms crying, "No fair, that's why we get stuck doing everything!" So true.

• I will not nag, bicker or bribe. Homework not done? See how that goes over at school. Breakfast untouched? Gee, hope you packed your lunch.

• I will not argue over clothes. Wear whatever you want, kid. Pick it out the night before, change your mind 20 times in the morning, whatever. But don't expect to get it ironed at the last minute. That's why God made Downy Wrinkle Releaser spray.

• I will not stick an erasable calendar on the fridge. Because after we fill it in once with important dates for September, we'll never look at it again. Until December. Ditto on the color-coded file folders.

• I will make no excuses when my kid's project looks like Tinkertoys. At least compared to SuperKid's to-scale replica of the White House with remote-controlled motorcade and swinging doors. At least my kid did it herself. Sure, we'll offer ideas and support (awesome toilet paper roll thingamajig, honey!), but we refuse to do it for her.

• I will not run a shuttle all over the county every afternoon. Pick ONE after-school sport or activity: piano lessons, soccer fields or karate class.

• I will not be a hairstylist. If you choose a 'do that requires gel or braiding, you better be willing to learn how to do it yourself. We'll only get yelled at when it's "not done right" anyway.

• I will not stress about my child's reading level or giftedness. It's the teacher's job to teach and my job to create a supportive atmosphere. So there will be no flash cards unless the teacher requests it.


Gina said...

Awesome! This was my mom's way of doing things. I'll always be grateful.

In fact, I'm going to send this to my mom right now with a note that says, "Thanks for NOT being an ubermom." :)

Sherrie said...

Amen. I already do quite a bit of this. I caved on the "only one activity" this year. I already regret it.

Gina said...

I did send this to my mom, and she loved it. She said, "Remember the twisted jeans in the laundry? 'I get them twisted, I wash them get them back twisted.'"

Oh, yeah...I remember that. :)

Cissy said...

You know I thought I caved all the time, and maybe I did a little, but my kids all know how to do things for themselves, like cook, clean, sew etc. So, I guess I did ok. But this did make me laugh and I shared with my kids.