Back to School Advice for Parents

Well my Pretties, school has officially begun for us here in lovely Atlanta, Georgia. So many emotions flood my brain this time of year: pride, nostalgia, confusion…

‘How are my babies old enough to go to school… alone… without mommy to make sure they’re ok? Maybe I should just shadow them’.

Then my husband reminds me that I’m being creepy and says he will not bail me out of jail this time if I get arrested again for public weirdness. Fair enough.  He wins… for now.

If we’re being honest, from one Pretty to another, there is one more emotion that tries to find its way into my brain during this time of year.  That would be the feeling of… wait for it… inadequacy. 

Schools give us parents plenty of opportunities to compare ourselves to other parents or just adults in general: Open House, Parent-Teacher conferences, class parties, Wednesdays… You get the picture.

The next time you’re in a PTA meeting or at a school picnic, just sit back and observe for a minute. You’ll notice a hoard of parents who know they’re being watched by other parents and by school administrators. They are members of the hoard doing their best to be at their best.(Isn’t that what a group of parents is called? A hoard? Not sure, maybe I watch too much The Walking Dead but I’m going with it).

And then there is me, dazed and standing in a corner, remembering the full day I lived in the hour it took me to get my kids up and ready for school as I question whether or not I remembered to brush my teeth before I left the house and wonder how this mystery stain appeared on my shirt while I was in the car.  It certainly wasn’t on my shirt when I left the house.  Impossible.  I think. 

At first I was very intimidated by the hoard. Everyone seemed to have it together.  I started to psych myself out.  Just to pain a picture, here are things that would go through my head while at my kids’ school:

  1. “That woman has deodorant stains on her shirt. How did she have time to put on deodorant?”
  2. “That mom is so patient with her kid. I would have lost my shat by now. Seriously, how many times is she going to let her kid smack her in the fupa?”
  3. “Wait, that kid has a fully cooked meal packed in his lunch box. You can do that? Is his mom an alien? Probably. Oh well. Bella seems to like her Lunchables. And all the sodium is drying out her skin quite nicely.”

I always try to look for the positive.

But as I went to more and more events at the school and started forming my posse of “pretty” moms (and by “pretty”, I mean ‘my kid threw a 15 minute tantrum this morning because the sun was shining in the window so she went to school without her teeth brushed and shorts from yesterday.  Sometimes I have sucky mom-skills… but at least I’m pretty!’) I started to see that some of the parents who seemed to have it together the most, really were just barely hanging on. The more I opened up, the more I was joined in a chorus of desperation, self-doubt, exhaustion, and alcohol.

So, to the moms of kids starting school for the first time this year, I have a message for you and some advice. 

First the message: you’re doing just fine. Better than that- if you’re not on drugs, your kids are bathed semi-regularly, fed almost every day, and not serial killers, I’d say you’re better than just fine. Breathe, smile, and go. It’s going to be ok.

Now for the advice: I’ve been a mom of school-aged kids for 4 years. I’d like to bestow upon you some lessons-learned. Let me help you by sharing what not to say out loud at a PTA meeting, or really any school function. Don’t think that these things aren’t happening around you. Just know that it’s not OK to say them out loud. Kind of like Fight Club. Don’t talk about it. Anyway, here we go:

The Top 10 Things You Don’t Say at PTA Meetings:

  1. Dang, I spilled my drink. Does anyone have some Chardonnay they can spare? I’m not picky about the brand.
  2. My daughter says you treat her like everyone else in the class. Is there a specific reason you hate her?
  3. I would appreciate it if you could dumb-down the homework. I’m having to Google way too much and I’m losing what little credibility I had left with my kids.
  4. Could you please point me to the bathroom? I need a quick smoke.
  5. I don’t do name tags.
  6. Is there a VIP section?
  7. Ewe, gross! This Thanksgiving food is nasty. Is this what you guys normally eat? Honey, I’m packing your lunch from now on. Is your lunchbox big enough for Lunchables?
  8. Don’t you know who I am?
  9. I would volunteer to help but I don’t like other people’s kids.
  10. Can I bum a Xanax from the school nurse?

This is just a starter list. I’m sure I’ll have a follow up list soon. Let me get a few school visits under my belt this year. Best of luck to all of the precious littles starting school this year. And Mommies, hold your head high. You got this. Daddies, buy lots of wine. Trust me. #happywifehappylife  Stay Pretty, ma friends.

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10 Awesome Reasons to Drink Wine

Lol, like we need a reason to drink wine… Anyway, I thought I’d share a few random thoughts I’ve been wrestling with today. Maybe y’all can help me through my issues.

  1. Does Rachel Ray have a speech impediment? Why does she always use half-words? Does it drive anyone else cray when she says “delish” or “nutrish”? It’s so totes obnox.
  2. I want a hammock in my studio at home. Is that weird? My hubs says it is. But I’ve always been weird and he married me so I feel like I’m just giving him more of what he wanted. PLUS, I’m convinced that I would be so much more creative in a hammock. With a fully stocked wine fridge. Hidden in my panic room. Oh, yeah, I also want a panic room. Am I alone in thinking that all of this would be awesome?!
  3. My youngest, my big little man starts kindergarten in less than 2 weeks. Check my blog for lots of alcoholic beverage recipes, coming soon (that’s what she said). I’ll be trying out lots just to stay sane. If you have any good ones, feel free to share. No one likes drinking alone.
  4. Is there crack in Thai food? No, not ass crack. I also think it may be sprinkled in gelato. All of it. Oh, and in Starbucks coffee. Wait, I see a pattern emerging…
  5. Can I start a Go Fund Me page to fund my beach house or is that tacky? I feel like I’m prettier when I’m at the beach. And that benefits everyone.
  6. I read a headline (uh, yes, just the headline) the other day suggesting that salads are bad for you. Since then I’ve decided that I might as well go out in a blaze of deep fried Twinkie glory because it’s all bad for me anyway. Anyone wanna come with? There’s plenty of room on this pretty train of crazy.
  7. Do you ever see those moms who are always dressed like Barbie in unglamorous places? Do you ever wonder if they regret wasting time to get dolled up to watch their husband compete in a mud race? Or wonder if they’re really time travelers who thought the DeLorean would drop them off somewhere else?

{“Wait…………. What?! WHERE ARE MY RAINBOOTS?”}

  1. I watched the movie Sybil as a kid and it creeped me out somethin’ fierce. Now that I’m grown I realize that this movie is really just about the everyday woman.

{“Yesterday I could speak French. Today I can’t even speak English. I don’t even know where my youngest kid is… wait, I have kids?!?”}

  1. How many times a day do you pick up your phone to look up something important only to get distracted by a new text and forget what you initially HAD TO FIND OUT then put your phone down and immediately pick it back up because you remember you were going to look something up but can’t remember what it was? So far today I’m at 3… I think. I can’t remember.
  2. Nope, never mind. I only had 9 things.
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Back To School Supply List For Parents

My kids went back to school this week.

back to school

Aren’t they cute???  Summer is too short.  Waaay too short.  As a mom who works full-time I look forward to, and very much enjoy the more laid back summer schedule and lighter morning traffic so that I’m not beginning every day screaming like a banshee just to get my kids dressed and out the door to make it to work by lunch.  But being that this is my third “back-to-school” season I’ve compiled a list of supplies that may make it easier to get back in the groove.

  1. Ear buds

To drown out the whining when morning comes too soon.  You may want to invest in more than one pair in the event your whining wakes up the kids as well and your husband doesn’t like to share.

  1. Coffee Mug

To fill with Baileys.

  1. Ruler

To threaten your kid with when you realize on the FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL that your second-grader has PE ON THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL so you ask her to go upstairs as quickly as possible and put her sneakers in her book bag but she comes downstairs and has COMPLETELY changed into a ratty t-shirt and cheer shorts that show her butt cheeks and you now have 10 minutes to get her to school before the late bell rings.  Oh, and she still doesn’t have her shoes.

  1. Hand sanitizer

Self-explanatory.  Kids are dirty.  Ergo, schools are dirty.

  1. Erasers

To erase the memories your kids will have of you screaming and pulling your hair out.

  1. Notebook

To document mantras such as “With God all things are possible.  God is with me so why are you still here?” and “Keep Calm and Don’t Get Arrested.”

  1. Planner

To attempt to keep up with all of the activities only to realize you are still only prepared about 80% of the time.

  1. Water bottle

To fill with vodka.

  1. LittleHoots App

To record the hilarious exchanges between kids about the start of school.  For example:

littlehoots
littlehoots
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