Thursday, February 12, 2015

Under Pressure

I have a 4 year old in preschool..

and with preschool, there comes another realm of rookiness for me. I have this sinking feeling that I will forever be a rookie in this thing called parenting. Even when and if we have another child, it will feel like starting over again. Sleeping habit routines and breast is best vs. formula debates will fill my Google web history once again.

I have noticed lately an increased amount of pressure on me in the mom world. The pressure for my child to be stylish yet comfortable. The pressure to get him into the next available sport for his age group or else he will have no chance when he is in high school. HIGH SCHOOL! We have not even made it to Kindergarten yet. *sigh*  And most recently the pressure of competing with the Pinterest mom for any and every holiday that the school celebrates.

This year at school, kids were to make their own Valentines box at home for their school party. Which after looking at the finished products in the classroom this week (ours included), it really meant the parents make a valentines box and child sat and watched (maybe helped a little bit). Of course, I turned to Pinterest for ideas and if you are familiar with this site, you know what I saw. All of these elaborate, there's no way that was made out of a box, valentine themed collection boxes. Ugh. I had P pick one out and away we I went. I like a good craft and I like crafting with my child, but this was just frustrating and not full of lots of fun for either of us. Mainly me.

Here is the thing...there is no one to blame but me. I put the pressure on myself to make sure he had a fun themed box. I didn't want him to feel left out or maybe I was trying to prove something. To who?...I don't know. This invisible Pinterest Mom?...Maybe. When I dropped the box off this week, one of the teachers said, "Oh wow! I just handed my child some markers and stickers and told him to have at it!" I felt immediately embarrassed and a tiny bit ashamed because there was no way Parker made what we brought in. To be fair, he cut out a few hearts and glued all of them on. But, I can't help but think, did HE even feel proud or a sense of accomplishment about this box? This is not the lesson I want him to learn in life.

Proof he did something... haha

Why am I letting this imaginary standard lead me by the reins? This standard that makes me feel like there is always someone better that I have to live up to or compete with. He probably would have had just as much fun with what his teacher described above. Instead he had a stressed out and irritated mama. I feel dumb. I also feel like I cheated him a little. I can not and will not be a helicopter parent.

I have decided that I am taking my reins back and directing myself back towards the stables. Get it together, Cheri. Stop competing and stop worrying about what everyone else is doing. YOU are a full time working mama, who has hobbies and interests and wants memories in your child's head to be full of love, fun and honest creativity. I guarantee he will  not remember having one of the coolest boxes on the block. I see you Pinterest Mom, and you can keep your throne. I don't need any more grey hairs.

It's easier said than done, to stop worrying about others and what they think, but I am promising myself to work on it. I own my rookiness and refuse to feel bad or embarrassed about it anymore.

On that note, I need to go buy me some STORE BOUGHT VALENTINES that already come with the candy! Easy Peasy and no resentment for staying up past my bedtime for cards that will just get thrown in the trash by the end of the weekend anyway.

The finished product.
It's not the Taj Mahal by any means, and one of the less elaborate ones in his class, but still...
next year...Markers and Stickers. Maybe some glue.

Have a happy Valentines Day, Lovies!

Rookie Iowa Mom

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