The Myth of Motherhood: Teacher Appreciation Week
Its teacher appreciation week….. Before I begin let me say I love our teachers! They are amazing, committed, passionate, loving, firm, intelligent, available, and, nowadays, protectors from harm. I am thankful every day for them and the work they do for my own children and others. Thank you teachers everywhere!
And…its teacher appreciation week. As a parent, this is the week we feel like we should be Pintrist moms and most of us fall short. There are a few out there who manage to rally their kids a week in advance to make homemade cards for their teachers, bake yummy homemade treats and have perfectly decorated baskets assembled to present each day of the week. I’ll be honest – as much as I wish that was me, its not.
This week stresses me out. It always creeps up on me after I have already done my Target run for the week and all of a sudden it’s Sunday night and I have to figure out how to have a specifically assigned type of gift for each day of the week. If youre a single parent you probably feel the pressure to make sure your kids have a gift even on their days with their other parent. It’s exhausting!
I manage to pull a note-card out of the drawer and have the kids write a little note, find the last pack of wipes from the big box of Costco wipes or the last container of disinfecting kitchen wipes to send in on Thursday (that’s classroom supplies day), and maybe, just maybe, will make brownies for Friday as a ‘special gift’ to say thank you. That brownie mix is also going to serve as an appetizer before dinner on Thursday night – that’s right – sugar before dinner – and I assure you its not going to be a home cooked meal if I have to prepare for a ‘special gift’.
I wish I had the wherewithal to plan ahead and really put thought into it – our teachers deserve it. And, our kids deserve to present their beloved teachers with a token of their love. We, the moms, deserve to feel ‘good-enough’ when we are dropping off in the morning and standing next to the Pintrist mom who did make a fondant cupcake, a homemade basket and brought the entire big box of Costco wipes and a box of tissues too!
Its in the line, waiting with my child, next to the ‘perfect mom’ that I feel my worst. I feel like my love, my attention, my interest in their drawing the night before wasn’t enough, wasn’t special enough, that I need to have googled Pintrist ideas in order to be a good mom. I love that some moms have the time, energy and desire to do this. I also know that these moms are not perfect. They are struggling with their own stuff and I hope that in addition to the teacher feeling attended to and special, that their children do too.
My goal, every day, is to make my child feel loved with the basics – hugs, eye contact when they tell me a story (even if I’m bored out of my mind), snuggles at bedtime, limits when they need it, help with their homework (this gets harder after 2nd grade) and laughing at their jokes.
As a therapist I know the one thing our children want most is our attention. As a mom I struggle to remember this.
Tonight, pay attention to your child. Look them in the eye, listen, laugh, and use your attention to let them know they are appreciated. And good luck with the last two days of teacher appreciation week.