I absolutely agree that some of the activities brought home from school need to be cut out. As a former teacher, I sent home as few projects as possible, and I absolutely refused to send home anything that was busy work for the students (aka the parents). I also agree that the holidays have become crazy. We don't just invite Santa and the Easter Bunny into our homes, but also elves, leprechauns, and tooth fairies--who, by the way, must have won the lottery since I was a kid. But guess what: You don't have to participate in anything you don't want to. Nobody is putting expectations on you except for yourself. We have GOT to stop comparing ourselves to other people! If I want Stella to wake up to leprechaun footprints, some clues, and some gold candy, why does that have anything to do with what traditions you have or don't have with your children? If I want to send her to school with homemade valentine bags, why does that make you think your valentines aren't good enough? Trust me when I say this: when I create traditions, send goodies to school, throw birthday parties, get dressed, buy a car, buy a home, or make any other decision, I don't base ANY of them off of what someone else thinks. I do things simply because I want to. And if you feel any type of pressure because of someone else's decisions, I hate to break it to you, but that's YOUR insecurity, not their expectations.
There is always going to be someone prettier, smarter, more talented, etc. I would be lying if I said I never compared myself to others. But, the truth is, I know that when I do, it's my problem, not the prettier, smarter, more talented girls' problem. Do what you can and want to do. Don't be hard on yourself, and use these opportunities to explain to your children that they don't always get everything everyone else has. It's part of life.
If you don't want to "give into holiday overkill," then good for you. Don't do it. I respect you for that. BUT, if I do want to, respect me. Doing or not doing any of these things does not determine what kind of parents we are. It just means we're different. It means that our traditions are different, or that we spend our time differently, and there's nothing wrong with being different. At the end of the day, we're all just doing our best to be good parents and do what's best for our families...with or without the leprechauns.
|image from Something Charming|