As if I needed another reminder that I am killing it as a parent, as I sat down to eat my breakfast at 10:45 AM, it hit me that the kids went to school for the second Friday in a row without their show and tell items. When I first discovered our kids’ teachers scheduled a weekly show and tell, I was filled with nostalgia of my own elementary school days at St. James Catholic School–remembering once that a girl brought a real, live, breathing, and pooping sheep into class to show and tell. I don’t remember anything I brought, but I remember selecting my show and tell items and the excitement I felt the night before. Despite my fondness for show and tell, I can’t, for the life of me, remember to tell my kids about it on Thursday nights.

When I realized we again neglected show and tell, I pictured my kids riffling through their backpacks for something to show. I knew K had a painted rock in her backpack I bought for her from some local mountain kids on my last trip to Colorado because she tried to give it to her teacher as a gift this week–so maybe she pulled that out. But J…what would he show? Since trying to smuggle in a squirt gun to school last year, he hasn’t packed many random items in his backpack. The only contents of his backpack are a folder, two library books, a note I gave him on the first day of school, and some crumpled math assignments. The sentimental part of me likes to think he’d remember the note I wrote for him reminding him that I loved him and to be kind to others and proudly show this off as evidence of how much his momma loves him. The more likely scenario is that he’d pull out the crumpled math assignments since they’re easier to notice; he’d show these off and say something like, “Here’s my math…my mom forgot about show and tell again” ousting me for the irresponsible, scattered momma I am who is just freaking killing it at this parenting gig.

I’m a part-time stay at home mom, so you’d think I could remember to add a cute, loving, Pinterest-y reminder on my kid’s chalkboards to remind them to think about their show and tell schedule. However, even though I’m not at work everyday, I’m still working at home chipping away at the ever-present pile of laundry or dishes, paying bills (usually on time), grabbing groceries, cooking, scrubbing toothpaste off the counter (seriously kids, what is with all the toothpaste?!), wiping my always sticky tables, scheduling doctor appointments/oil changes/hair cuts, cooking, and generally just getting stuff done for my family. I rarely sit down on my “off” days to do something for me.

This all makes me wonder: When did moms come to be so critical of themselves? Is this our female disposition? Has it been since the advent of the Internet when productivity became synonymous with success? Or did it happen with the social media boom when people were free to filter their lives posting only the perfect moments? At first I felt terrible about realizing we forgot show and tell again this week. Though, the more I write through this and take inventory of the things I do remember to do for my family, I don’t feel so bad.

Fellow mommas–if you’re feeling like you’re drowning today, please pause and take inventory of all you do for your families: You really are killing it.

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Danielle Helzer

A former high school English teacher, Danielle now splits her time as a stay at home mom and a Writing Coach at a local community college. She is a wife and a new mother of two hilarious and resilient first-graders who she and her husband adopted from foster care. Danielle has a passion for writing and living purposefully. She enjoys listening to NPR, running, reading, music, sipping on coffee, making lists, and diversifying her collection of cat tchotchkes. You can find more of her writing about parenting, faith, teaching, and living at http://daniellehelzer.blogspot.com/. Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter (@DMHelzer).

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