family pic

family pic

Monday, January 20, 2014

My scribbled on, sticker patched, angled car sign

Quinton and Carter's school requires all the parents who pick up their children in the car line to have a sign with their children's last name and grade numbers.  They even provide parents with a piece of card stock paper with some sort of hanger drawn on it for parents to cutout and use for their sign.

As I was rushing out of the house to pick them up from school with no time to spare, I realized I forgot to cut out their sign. I frantically got out a pair of scissors, haphazardly cut out the sign, scribbled their names down on the sign, and ran out the house. I went to remove the sign from the mirror after I picked up the boys… and ripped it. The next day I pulled in the car line and realized that I couldn't hang my sign. Thankfully, my van was a mess and I just so happened to find a pack of thomas the train stickers. I used the stickers as some sort of tape and managed to adhere the two torn pieces together. 

It didn't completely fix our thomas the train "decorated sign" as it now hangs at an angle. I'm reminded of this every time the teacher comes out to my car and tilts her head as she says "BROOKS….um…. 1 and ……. 3???" 

And I'm reminded of how poor my sign looks as I see other parent's signs. Many have printed out their children's names. Others have gone so far as to laminate the sign, put it in a page protector, and hang it up on an actual hanger with clips. 

Now let me give you a bit of background information about myself. I used to so so wish I was That responsible, organized, take it to the next level parent. We all know what That parent looks like. The one who packs her kid's lunch in the tuberware container with different compartments for each item of food… which she didn't have to even pay money for because she purchased her food with her triple coupons and actually earned money from her grocery trip… and she writes a little note on the kid's napkin wishing him a good day at school. You know… the mom we who actually does the organizational ideas that us other moms only pin about on Pinterest. 

I used to compare myself against That mom and struggled with shame and defeat. I struggled thinking, 

"My house should look like hers, my car should be as clean as her car, I need a color coded calendar like hers, why can't I stick to a chore chart like she does."

Somewhere in between failing at my 4th chore chart with the boys and throwing away an entire notebook of expired coupons, I finally admitted to myself that I was not That mom. There is nothing wrong with her. Our world would be a disorganized mess without her! She keeps our children's teachers sane by turning in permission forms on time and by actually remembering teacher appreciation day (by making one of the crafts we pinned about on our teacher appreciation gift board :). The world NEEDS moms like them… but it's ok if you aren't that mom. 

God created you with your own unique personality. Once you make peace with that you will slowly feel the pressure to be something you aren't start to lift off your shoulders. In turn, you will also be able to love That mom better. You cannot love her well when you feel threatened and intimidated by her!

I am not organized.. I like to be doing several projects at once. I'm flexible and like to leave my plans open-ended. I'm full of ideas and like change. That's how God chose and carefully planned out to make me before I was even born. So now as I pull through the car line, I proudly sport my scribbled on, sticker patched, angled name sign. It's unique to me… and I'm okay with that :)

Friday, January 3, 2014

Reality vs. Facebook caption

About a year ago I had a few people tell me that they were envious of my life. It really took me by surprise and left me a bit speechless. I thought "Seriously, look at me. Look at my life. Really… I mean REALLY… you wish your life was like this?!!"

But then I realized that most people gain their perspective of my life by what they see on Facebook. They see a picture of me and the kids all smiling on our little family movie night and think.. "I wish we did family nights like Christina's family." What they don't realize is that the kids might have… ok… probably did… fight during half the outing!! I probably ended up loosing my cool with them and yelled at them a few times… and that picture you saw of them with their arms around each other was staged. Yes staged. I told them to put their arms around each other or they wouldn't get any candy during the movie. I put the picture through a few filters.. blurred out the kid pitching a fit… to create a picture perfect family movie night. I delete the 20 other photos that show traces of the tension we had that evening and proceed to post the leave it to beaver photo on Facebook. Don't judge me. You know you do it too ;)
Here are some examples

Reality: Easter Morning
Facebook caption (picture taken with the screaming baby slid  behind me): "Easter morning fun!"
Reality: Birthday message to grandma
Facebook caption: "Happy birthday grandma… We love you! ~ Quinton, Carter, & Kydon"
Reality: Fighting over the dough the entire time we made Christmas cookies
Facebook caption (after removing 2 children from the shot):
"Making homemade Christmas cookies with the family #family#traditions#fun"

Now don't get me wrong. I don't think we need to put all our dirty laundry on Facebook. We all know that person whose statuses cryptically seek pity or affirmation. I think we need to keep our lives real (don't paint it out to be something that it is not) and just realize that on Facebook we are only seeing each other at their best.

Moral: Don't let Facebook form your perception of others' lives ;)