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Challenge: Back to School

When Imperfect Parents Raise Kids

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In case you haven't noticed, it is back to school. If you haven't noticed, then you are living under a rock without wifi. It is that time of the year when your Facebook, Instagram and every news feed and corner is filled with those precious back to school pictures.

Each year the competition gets a little stiffer thanks to Pinterest and the endless black hole of downloadable cute signs on the world wide web:

First day of _____________

My teacher is _________

I want to be a ___________

I am ___ tall

I weigh ___ pounds.

What? Weight. Yes. You read that right. Some signs include the child's weight. I am still boggled on the relevance of my child's weight to the start of the school year. I can get behind height, maybe, but weight? Next year they are going to start putting shoe sizes and social security numbers on these signs.

So no, I didn't print a sign. But I totally jumped on the sign bandwagon - and immediately regretted it.

Twas the night before Kindergarten, the kitchen was clean(ish) and my son's uniform lay starched and ready to go. Note: that would be the first and only time this year the uniform lay starched and ready. By day three we were re-wearing a shirt that deemed the best smelling from the pile.

Not only was it my son's first day at a big school, but my time to shine as a mom. This is it, I thought, my time to rock the first day picture. It was what I've been preparing for since he was born. I've got this.

I woke up a little later than I had planned. In my head, I would rise at 5:30, sit and meditate with coffee then make lunches and a great breakfast. I woke up closer to 6:45, 5:30 was a pipe dream and meditation - let's all just laugh at that attempt. Never going to happen.

Gulping coffee, I got to work. First day sign, I thought. Let's do this.

I didn't have time to search and colorfully print a sign. I'll make one, I thought. I got some sharpies and went to town. I even spell checked KINDERGARTEN on my phone because I have seen people accidentally spell is kindergarDEN. Not me, of course, nope, I'm a great speller. I know how to spell kindergarten. I DO have a college degree.

I carefully spaced out each letter and was pleased with the finished product. We took first day pictures and even woke up my bulldog to join in on the photo fun.


An hour or so later, I posted the picture with a heartfelt caption and of course Dr. Seuss quote:

And in the blink of an eye, he's off to Kindergarten. I know I will blink again and he will be off to college!
My dearest Manning...enjoy the start of your school days. May God watch over you and fill your days with love and faith. May your incessant curiosity of life continue to be quenched and sparked for more! And above all else I hope you finally get to play those Bongo Drums that you've been talking about all summer! Love you my sweet boy!
"You're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting,
So... get on your way!"

Yes, I thought, MOM WIN! I nailed the first day. Pictures, drop off, no tears. YES.

Then at 2pm, an old friend commented:

"I know momma knows how to spell."

What? I thought. I looked at the picture and my face turned bright red.

"first day of KINDERTEN"


Except, not really. I started dying laughing. Of course, I thought, I completely butchered the spelling, even after spell checking!

I could have deleted the picture, but why on earth would I do that? I am not perfect, nor do I claim to be. Every day, I write about and embrace my imperfections as a mother, wife and human being.

Social media can be a wonderful thing, it can also tear us down and make us feel less than. I feel called to embrace and share my experiences - the good, the bad and the mom fails.

It is important to raise each other up and remind each other and ourselves that we are all doing the best we can. Some days roll better than others. Some lunch boxes are neater than others. Some carpools are on time, other days we are turning into school on two wheels.

So laugh at my imperfection, my absolutely horrific spelling imperfection and laugh at yourself. Give yourself some grace. This mom thing is hard. Like really hard.

Raise other parents up, share your fails and laugh with others. Because together, we can do hard things and Lord knows this parenting thing is THE HARDEST!

Cheers to imperfections!! #MOMFAILS Unite!


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