My name is Jen. I have a contagiously funny husband, three awesomely gorgeous daughters, a knack for design, a love for writing, an obsession with kids fashion, a secret desire to be a photographer and a curfew of 10 pm. WHO'S WITH ME?
OTHER PLACES I HANG OUT
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Overachiever Mom. Underachieving Every Day.
It’s not often (or even at all) that you’ll see me jump into the Mommy Wars here, because, quite frankly, it eats up too much positive energy and is not worth the crankiness that ensues from it. Arguing about how you decide to do something, ANYTHING, for your own family is about as productive as peeing with the toilet seat cover down.
Which I found out the hard way. Circa 1997.
With that being said, and now that you know something more about my life as a top-notch college student, I need to get something off my 12 year-old chest.
You can talk about breastfeeding vs. formula feeding or crib sleeping vs co-sleeping or vaccination vs non-vaccination and I won’t even blink twice, because, to me, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks of the parenting paths I have chosen.
But when you start bashing the moms who like to give their kids fun holidays, it slaps me in the ass. And not in a husbandly way.
I love holidays. I’ve always loved holidays. My parents have always loved holidays. I grew up in a home where we decorated, celebrated and anticipated the next fun calendar day. Because it was something we did as a family, together, in a silly, nonsensical, over-the-top, absolutely fun way. Holidays were amazing and magical and have lent way to some of my greatest childhood memories.
Because of this, I’ve passed the traditions down to my own kids.
Because of this, I’ve been labeled an Overachiever Mom.
And, apparently, I’m ruining other moms’ lives.
I am not sure why this is even a topic of discussion. It just seems so ludicrous that any mom would actually be upset with another mom who decides to imbibe in holiday spirit. Why any mom would care what type of craft or hunt or elf-stunt or Santa story another mom entertains her family with is beyond my comprehension. (And I comprehend almost everything from Monday through Friday.)
MOMS, WHY ARE YOU SO MAD?
I am an overachiever. But I am an overachiever who doesn’t get out of pajamas on most days and sends their child’s lunch into the fridge instead of into the car for school drop-off. I am an overachiever who refuses to enroll any of her kids in sports so that MY schedule doesn’t get messed up. I am an overachiever who forgot to bring her daughter to art class not one, but three times.
I AM THE OVERACHIEVER WHO DOESN’T CARE WHAT ANY OTHER MOM DOES.
If I had to live my life worrying about what the mom down the street did with her version of the largest, best, most colorful mother effin’ rockstar of an Easter bunny who handed out iPads and $100 bills, then someone needs to just lay me down to pasture and throw corn at me. Who purposely allows that kind of worry in?
Yes, we have the Internet now. It shows us all the lovely hand-crafted Valentine’s tutorials or the perfect way to blow out an egg shell or even the rules of the leprechaun hunt. It floods our feeds with accomplishment and craftiness and family traditions. We also have Pinterest which makes it all look pretty and easy and attainable (even if it’s not). Guess what? That’s what Pinterest is for. That’s what the Internet does.
Guess what else?
I just forgot that I never fed Charlotte lunch.
OVERACHIEVER, AT HER BEST.
I mean, imagine if a mom cures cancer? The Internet, as we know it, might just shut down forever.
St. Patrick’s Day was Sunday and, like years past, I take a piece of copy paper, I grab green tempura paint, I stick my hand in it, and I make footprints. And then throw them in the hallway and drop some gold chocolate coins in front of them.
But, the Overachiever that I am, I didn’t feel like getting both hands painted, so our leprechaun as two right feet. And, I blanked on doing this Saturday night, so I did it Sunday night instead.
It took me a whole 3 1/2 minutes. And cost a couple dollars.
And you know why I did it?
Because that moment in the morning, when my kids walk out of their bedrooms and screech at the top of their lungs, while jumping up and down with unadulterated joy, while calling out for their siblings MAKES ME HAPPY.
It’s as simple as that. I don’t do it to make other moms mad. I don’t do it to win any awards. I don’t do it be called an Overachiever Mom Ruining the Rest of The World and Maybe Even The Unborn Generations.
I do it to make my kids happy.
Does this raise them as “materialistic brats?” Or “spoiled and ungracious?” It pains me to even quote these phrases from angry moms across the cyber space, who can’t stand moms who do things like I did.
I dare one person to tell me that my children are any of those above-mentioned things. Because, they’re not even close.
My best piece of advice is that if your kids come home and say, “Why did Billy get a pot of gold and 62 PS3s in his hallway this morning?” is to respond, “Because, they do things differently in their family.” Or maybe, “Because, their parents like them better.”
Like everything else in life, I take what I want from my observations around me. I will never be able to sew my kids a face cloth, no matter how many “easy” tutorials I find. I will never know how to properly braid their hair. Shit, some days, I won’t even clean the pee that the middle mon chi chi trailed on the bathroom floor in an effort to walk away before wiping. But does that mean I can’t hand-craft Jack Skellington Valentine’s cards with my 5 year-old because it makes her happy?
No. It means I choose my path. I choose what makes us happy. I choose what I want to do with my own family.
I choose to be an Overachiever.
The magical thing in this world is that you’re free to do what you want to do. If you don’t like something, don’t do it. If you love it, go for it. If you need every other mom to stop doing their holiday stuff in order to take the pressure off of you? Well, I can’t help you with that. But I think wine does the trick just fine.
So, should we tame the holidays?
Only if you want to. I know I’ll be looking for the next cool idea.
Now, I must go put away the Christmas tree runner that’s still on the hutch.