Tuesday, March 17, 2015

What the Leprechaun Trap??

I've said it before and I'll say it again. The internet provides a whole new way to feel like an inadequate parent. It is an entirely ever-present forum for posting and sharing everything that every parent does absolutely right and creative and wonderful. And nothing they do wrong or mess up on or fail at. It is like seeing only the best side of everyone. The edited, touched up, filtered perspective on parenting. And it is daunting.

I, for one, cannot compete in that amphitheater. I am highly unqualified. You want a full confession? I cannot cook perfect biscuits or bake a perfect cake. I cannot do fancy braids or sew beautiful costumes. I cannot construct a bunk bed out of pallets or a suspension bridge out of popsicle sticks or a diorama out of Play-Doh. I do not build fun forts or plan fun science projects. I do not squeeze my own juice or make my own granola. I rarely take my kids to Wal-Mart with me. Let alone hiking or on fun vacations to Disneyland or Mexico. Those times when my kids look so adorable I am tempted to take and post pictures of them? Usually I cannot find a suitable background. Because my yard looks like crap and my house is a disaster. I barely...BARELY...do anything for my kids on their birthdays and Christmas. Let alone Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Easter, the 4th of July, or Arbor Day.

This is no judgement against the people who do. I admire you. You inspire me. It makes me happy to know that there are fun and talented and innovative parents out there like you. Really. And those days when your kids tell you that you're the worst parent ever and you never let them do anything? You pull up those pictures and posts and remind them of just how awesome you are. Seriously. Do it. Me? I'll just have to rely on faulty memories. And that one time I took them to the mall.

My mom never made a huge deal out of holidays, but I do remember the time that she gave us raw instead of hardboiled eggs for breakfast on April Fool's Day. Or when she made heart-shaped pancakes on Valentine's Day. She was that kind of mom. I am pretty sure my kids rarely even eat breakfast before school. And when they do it's usually cereal or a Pop-Tart.

As far as parenting goes, the things I regret are many. The things I do right are few. Do I wish that I took the time to make every holiday magical and wonderful for my kids? Often. Do I have the strength or energy to actually do it? Never. Am I super glad that my kids are mostly understanding and forgiving? Always.

All we can do is our best. And those days when we can't even do that? Well, all we can do is keep trying.

So to all of you parents out there who put cute shamrock bows in your kids hair today, or left leprechaun footprints for them to find when they woke up, or made the extra effort to make rainbow waffles for breakfast:
You are an awesome parent. You obviously love your kids very much. They are lucky to have you.

To all of you parents who forgot completely that it was St. Patrick's Day and you are hoping that your kid is wearing SOME kind of green and is not being mercilessly pinched at school all day:
You are an awesome parent. You obviously love your kids very much. They are lucky to have you.


  1. Amen!! I was so glad Madelyn didn't ask me this year if the leprechauns were going to come leave a trail of gold coins that led to a prize (because that's what happens at her friend's house). Same goes with Elf on the Shelf, which is never happening under this roof. Ugh. I enjoy certain holidays but not the increasingly ludicrous expectations for all these minor ones!

  2. I second that emotion. And, as much as I feel bad that I don't make a big deal about pretty much all holidays (or birthdays, for that matter), I have to remember that the things that my kids will mostly remember me for (I hope, anyway) is that I loved them like crazy and tried to be there for them as much as humanly possible.