( be warned I am an expert curser when my girls are not around )
How is it almost September already ? I just printed out the school supply lists and I am immediately stressed out. The thought of diving back into the function of School Mom makes me sad. I want to be as happy as I am during the school year as I am right now. I have been blissfully unplugged. I work sometimes til 5 am and then sleep til noon with my kids, we lounge and laze, swim and play and I have those moments, those tiny snapshots that fill my brain. Those, what if this was your last minute on Earth, happy times. Then I realize, we are on the down slope and August 28th, the First Day of School will be here. I can't breathe, I am irrationally angry and I want to cry. This the the post I want to write, the one that asks for leniency this year, kindness and mindfulness. Not from kid to kid but from Education Leader to Mom.
Dear School Person ( teacher, PTA, Parent Leader ),
I hope you had a great summer. I hope you made memories that will last a lifetime with your families. I have the utmost respect for you. Thank you for taking your time so that you are refreshed and energized while you lead these little learners for the next 9 months.
I have a big favor to ask. Please stop making my life harder than it needs to be. I don't mean to be accusatory and maybe you were not planning on intentionally doing so but let me give you a few examples of what I mean.
My daughter does not need to dress up like a super hero for a dollar to raise money for an end of the year moon bounce.
Let me tell you how I interpret that.
a. My daughter is deathly afraid to go into the moon bounce on those days because some of the kids in her class when unsupervised in a moon bounce are fucking animals. . Unparented, unsupervised and let loose in a small space.
Not something I am interested in fund raising for.
b. Why dress up in costumes for school ? We wear uniforms. The stress around wearing a costume to try to fit in to stand out is absurd. Just let them dress down. That way, I don't have to run to Target at 11pm on a Monday night only to see the other moms from school doing exactly the same thing.
c. Skip the moon bounce all together and the dollar. I promise you that there are many almost new pieces of clothing here in our house, let's leave my dollar where it belongs ( we will talk about that next ) and let's gather clothing for those in need, fill our food banks and pantries and with all of the recent budget cuts, let's get the teachers the resources they need. My kid really doesn't need the moon bounce.
They need to be good, kind humans that are willing to help others.
What my first world kid needs is education.
Fun is my job and can be done on my time., you worry about getting them learned up.
Let's get back to that dollar..... here is the thing. I am a Mom, a working mom who owns her own company. This isn't a stay at home vs. working mom discussion. This is a proud American conversation. I don't care which side of the house you sit, our kids are the ones losing. I work, my husband works, in fact we both kill ourselves working but also trying to maintain a happy work and life balance.
Here is how these budget cuts go and why I am broken clearly causing me to write this.
When the schools need things, we ( that's a collective we, to the parents who can, the parents who do, the ones who donate their time and their dollars ) step up, as parents, as citizens, as members of the community. We don't want the kids to go without and the families that have means ( sadly , in 2017 means doesn't refer to the uber rich, it refers to those of us who can allot a few dollars from our lives to fund the greater good, in a lot of cases, time becomes more valuable than money) all do the same. Some families can't. Some can't even afford insurance when both parent's work, it's the most fucked up world I could ever imagine for myself as an adult. I can't even imagine how we got here but it's bullshit.
For me as a local business owner and a mom it is a double whammy. I give until it hurts. I literally give at both ends, and I am glad to . It is part of the reason that I work. I get about 400 donation requests a year, a year !!!
I try to select the organizations of the customers who actually shop with me. I don't think this year that is going to happen. I want to make sure that my schools have what they need, those budget cuts are going to fall upon the shoulders of the local parents, the private citizens, the ones already killing themselves to try to keep it all together so that the kids continue to get what they need. When is it going to get easier ?
This is what I am talking about , I am already stressed and so are you - we are all doing the best we can but when you throw in there those extra ridiculous requests that make my kid's day more " fun " please be mindful of me.
My time, my happiness is picked apart . The saying, "Ain't nobody happy if Mama ain't happy " is true. I can't be my best self if I am hunting down gluten free, peanut free, unbleached cookies for the 100th day of school celebration . I am not the mom that I want to be when I am stressed beyond belief from trying to keep it all together to keep my kids happy in school.
Isn't a happy home life the number one thing for a child's success ? Maybe I am making that up but maybe it should be and it could simply start by stopping these ridiculous requests.
Thanks so much !!
Jill ( barely able to make eye contact ) E.