The Back to School Frenzy: Why we Need a Bro Code for Moms #BackToSchool (PART 2 of 2)
We continue with Part 2:
He doesn’t see the competitive chaos that has crept in everywhere. Lining up the tutors, coaches, instructors, and activities is the baseline. Then I hear about all the skills training and amazing adventures all the other kids had. Shoot! I should have skipped the relatives and sent my child to an academic boot camp or a total immersion language program. I start to second-guess myself. Am I doing enough?
I already have a pile of back-to-school nights on the calendar.
The back-to-school frenzy is one place a mom’s code would help. I will illustrate with a few true scenarios.
The mom who asks at the sixth grade session, “What can be done to accommodate my child who studied math at John Hopkins and should really be working above grade level?” makes us cringe. As my friend Lanie says, “I wish someone would sew her mouth shut.”
Or the mom at the seventh grade session who says, “I think exceptions should be made for some children to take Latin and another language. Latin will help on the standardized tests, but it’s a dead language so the brightest kids should take two languages.” I think she believes we live in the Netherlands where every eleven year old should speak at least three languages. Then again, being able to talk in a dead language to zombies and vampires might come in useful. I’m joking. Comments like these add too much pressure and ‘schedule panic’ to the laid back ‘meet and greet’ atmosphere the teacher is struggling to create. Please reserve this for a one-on-one with the teacher.
Or, one of my favorites, at the fourth grade open house, all the good field trips are filled up before the back-to-school event starts and the guilty parents run to the bathroom as the other parents, who are first in line, start to point fingers. Add on pick-ups and drop-offs rules that are never followed by some parents who think they have more rights than the rest of us. Every year there is a mass of chaos. I think the school should designate a ‘for special people only’ line as this is one line people would want to be seen in. There should be some line, somewhere that moms feel embarrassed to cross.
School hasn’t even begun and the voice classes are full. The same is true for drama and dance. My kids sometimes change their mind about what sports or activities they want to sign up for, but by then there are no spaces left! Things filled up months ago. How I can execute my strategic mommy agenda when my little monsters keep weighing in and asserting their strong wills against my overscheduling and worry?
My kids aren’t worried about a lack of college prep or making a sports team at school. Or advancing a level in piano or starring in the school show. Or securing the best tutor. I worry that they are not worried about the right things. But deep down inside I know they are worried about the right things (like humongous kicking giraffes and clowns) and I need to step back out of the competitive chaos and keep some perspective.
I will participate to some extent because some of it is okay. But we need a few ground rules. I’m hungry and sleep deprived and don’t have time for the competitive nonsense. Or else I’m going to buckle and eat a bowl of brownie batter. And I’m only one day into my diet.
It’s time we admitted that we need a Bro Code for Moms. The Mom’s Code.
Eileen Wacker, a Harvard Business School graduate, lived and worked in seven different countries, including the United States. She commuted to Asia for nearly three years as part of a business development team, which sparked her interest in Asian culture, then lived in Seoul Korea for four years. Wacker now resides in Honolulu, Hawaii, with her husband and four children, one of whom is a daughter adopted from China. She wrote the Mom’s Code, which includes over 100 stories from women around the globe about raising kids in today’s challenging arena. She is also a passionate and involved advocate for children’s literacy. For more information please visit her new website: https://momscode.com/preview/tenets