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Pinterest Is Not The Boss Of Back To School (and other mom pep talks)

If Pinterest were in charge of back to school, here's what it would look like:

pinterest back to school 1

if pinterest were in charge of back to school

if pinterest were in charge of back to school

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And here's what I have to say: No Pinterest.

I will not measure my success as a mom by your tantalizing images of perfection. INSTEAD...

PB&J = Yes

I will pack PB&J for school lunches. Not everyday, but on the days when I'm pressed for time I'm totally going to slap together white bread, peanut butter, and jelly and wrap it in plastic. I might even include a soda wrapped in foil in the name of nostalgia. And throw in a bag of chips for good measure. The whole thing will take me 3 minutes. Don't judge.

Organized = Yes...then NO

I will spend one heavenly week totally organized. My schedule will be color-coded. My calendar will be displayed like a badge of honor. I will bask in my efforts. It will be glorious.

And then it will all spiral into decay. Fast.

By mid-September I'll be peeling out of the driveway throwing cold Pop Tarts over my shoulder at my kids in the backseat and then circling back because the baby isn't wearing shoes and the 3rd-grader forgot his backpack.

I will do this at least 3 times per week until June. Let's not pretend otherwise.

Here are other things I will do, think, and feel as school picks up again:

I will register my kids for one hundred things and then immediately regret the insane schedule I've created for myself and my family. This will cause deep reflection, prayer, and some weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Eventually I'll console myself with a resolve to do better next year and then engage in a series of positive pep talks, like, "Well, if I weren't experiencing these challenges, I'd never pray. And God wants me to pray. So really all this stress is good for me. You know--spiritually."

I will get angsty about my kids.

I will fret about their friends. I'll scrutinize their faces in the morning (do they look rested? do they seem stressed?), and their tone at night (are they picking up that extra sass from school? I knew that Susie was bad news...).

I will worry about their schoolwork (are they keeping up?), and lament about how they're growing up too fast.

I will vent about how expensive school supplies are these days and cry when they won't let me help pick out their clothes.

I will picture them standing alone on the field during P.E. after every other kid has been picked (even though they're great at sports and the chances of this happening are next to nothing) and then give them an extra 5 hugs before they leave in the morning just in case.

God doesn't require origami napkins...

And I will remind myself that in spite of the visions of perfection that motherhood and back to school conjure up on TV, Facebook, magazine ads and yes, you, Pinterest, I am a daughter of God and he doesn't measure my success by my ability to execute the perfectly balanced school lunch complete with origami napkins, scented love notes, and pita-hummus-cut-out-faces.

imperfect back to school is okay

The love I have for my kids, the deep desire I have for their success--these things I get from God. And he is helping me everyday to raise them. He gives me strength, grace, and freedom to live day by day as a mom. Cold Pop Tarts and all.

So, in close, Pinterest, here's pretty much what I want to say to you about your back to school perfection:

Nailed it.

messy mom

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Showing 4 comments
  • Annie

    Awesome article. So true so true. Thanks.

  • Melissa

    I laughed out loud! I have public schooled, private schooled, hybrid schooled, and home schooled, and it oddly applies to all of them! Thank you for helping add some levity to my “back to school” anxiety too!! : )

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