Favorites, Parenting

We’re Ruining Our Kids for Life

This morning I finally broke the bus stop/jammie barrier.  For weeks now, I’ve managed to pull on jeans, shorts, or at the bare minimum, my butter-stained yoga pants, but today, today I went in patterned jammie pants flowing in the early morning breeze.  It’s only October, and I’ve already landed in this dismal lack of caring.

I wore my glasses, the ones I always switch out for contacts before going into public.  I left my hair exactly how my pillow made it.  And I pulled on a bright blue Kentucky hoodie to cover up my extreme bralessness.

I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.

One of the other parents moseyed over to talk to me, and I used tiny words without opening my mouth more than a crack, for fear my morning breath would kill him dead on the spot in front of the children.

At this rate, I’ll be wearing my bathrobe by January.

It’s just so early, this school thing.  At the beginning of the year I felt a sense of purpose.  I was infatuated with my own awesomeness, an alarm-setting, lunch-packing fiend.  I was unstoppable, and I looked good.  It was light outside when we took off for the bus stop and I managed teeth brushing and actual shoes.  I was impressive; that is to say, I impressed myself.

But as the mornings get darker and we find ourselves creeping out of the house in the pitch black to gather with the entire neighborhood, I try to use the darkness to hide what’s really going on, a total abandonment of style and I daresay hygiene.

Just whatever.

That any of us can get kids off to school before the butt crack of dawn is nothing short of phenomenal, and as long as they’re wearing clothes and have changed their undies at least a couple times within the last week, then I’d say that’s winning and we deserve cookies for breakfast.

I can’t keep up.  Every day I thumb through article after article giving me ten steps to pack the perfect lunch, three things I must absolutely teach my kids, eight ways to talk to my children about hard stuff, and the twenty words I must absolutely never use with my kids or I will ruin them for life.

I will ruin them for life.  No matter how many articles I read and how I try to nail the perfect daily routine involving the right balance of nutrition and memorizing the Bible, I will ruin them for life.  Someday, they’ll sit in a room with a therapist or a small group and talk about how Mommy got it wrong.

But I’m holding out hope they’ll also talk about how Mommy got it right.  How it wasn’t perfect, but it was perfectly good enough.  I hope, no I know, that God will let his grace trickle down through the cracks in my parenting.

I don’t sign my daughter’s agenda every day and we forget to practice Awana verses and I’m pretty sure my kids lie to me about brushing their teeth and they don’t shower every day and I’ve discovered Smuckers Uncrustables instead of all natural perfectly packed lunches and my son is completely addicted to zombie books and my daughter picks her nose and my littlest eats napkins.

And apparently now I go to the bus stop in my full-on jammies.

And we’re all fine, and you’re fine.  I mean, we’re ruining our kids for life, but only the doesn’t-matter parts.  I think the parts that matter, the love between the chaos, I think that’s just fine.  We’re all going to be okay.

 

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