My 3-year-old son ran up to his teacher to give her a Christmas present, and my heart sank. She was wearing holiday pajamas, and my son wasn’t. In my euphoria of having both teachers’ gifts assembled, wrapped, and tagged — as well as the extra jars of candy we gave to his Spanish, music, and art teachers — I had forgotten to dress my preschooler in his festive PJs for his book swap party today. (I did remember tobring a wrapped book, though, so that counts for something!)
Being a mom to school-aged kids is so hard, especially this time of year! I have a calendar of reminders set to alert me of every Alphabet parade, letter snack, classroom fundraiser, book fair, book swap, PJ day, costume day, early release day — and yet, it still feels impossible to keep up with every single thing that goes on at my three kids’ schools (even my 9-month-old participates in dress-up days and teacher gifts!). On days I send my kids to school with nothing planned, I have a mini anxiety attack thinking I forgot something…again!
The good news is, I am not alone. Many moms feel the same chaotic mental crumbling going on as we try to work and get ready for the holidays before winter break. One mom in particular vented about this stressful time on a now-viral TikTok video, and it makes me feel so much better.
#momlife #momsindecember #momsatchristmas #momsover35 #oldmillenialmoms #momsover40club #momhumor
“I don’t know who needs to hear this,” Darryl Prendergast (@d_prend40) said on TikTok earlier this week, which now has over 457,000 views, “but your kid has some kind of pajama-wearing, winter fest, book swap, secret Santa, cookie-sharing, Twelve Days of Christmas Spirit Week —something happening at school tomorrow that you need to get ready for.”
Prendergast, who was wearing a gingerbread-patterned sweater and drinking a Starbucks coffee in her video, wrote “You’re welcome.” In the comment section, she wrote, “And PS- There’s a signup genius somewhere out there with your name on it. Go get your item.”
This is so painfully relatable. I was up late last night packing candy into jars and writing notes for my son’s teachers (and finding a spot for their Elf on a Shelf!), and I completely forgot about PJ day. I didn’t forget to bring $5 for his special school brunch, though — this fact alone deserves a mini parade in my honor, or at least a glass of spiked hot cocoa.
Why does it feel like moms already do 110%, and then the holiday season rolls around, and we are somehow supposed to find another 50% more to give? Last night, I joked with my husband (who is awesome and helps with all the school stuff too!) that I need to take off work the whole month of December just to keep up with the school requirements. We laughed and laughed and laughed, not knowing that we were forgetting something the whole time. To be fair, though, we had just spent the last two weeks taking care of sick kids and dealing with the stress of that, so maybe we weren’t at the top of our mental game (are we ever?!).
Many other parents felt the same way. One person wrote, “Why do they do this to us???!! Like I’m not stressing enough for the holidays.”
Another said, “OMG. You’re right.” Still another commented, “Me checking the calendar to see what i forgot about, as the room mom.”
Prendergast, who is a mom to a 6th grader and a 10th grader, talked to Today about the inspiration behind her video. “I had just gotten an email from my child’s middle school about a Holiday Spirit Week that entailed various outfit changes,” she told the outlet.
“There is an ice cream truck one day — don’t forget to send money — Wednesday is ‘Red and White’ Day, Thursday is ‘White Out Day’ and Friday is ‘Pajama Day.’ Oh, and there’s a teacher’s luncheon.” It’s like they’re trying to torture us.
She added that her kids get out of school on Dec. 21, and she is trying to not stress about things. “This is a crazy hectic time for all of us and we have to stop and laugh together,” she told Today. “And appreciate that one day we’re going to miss this.”
Listen: I am no Grinch. I love that my kids get to do fun things at school, especially during my favorite time of year. All I’m saying is this: I’m tired. And out of money. And my brain is maybe (definitely) not at 100% right now. Maybe parents could start a GroupMe to remind each other about this kind of stuff? And when that doesn’t work either, I’m just going to start keeping extra pajamas in my trunk in case of party-related emergencies.
Looking for some adorable stocking stuffers for your kiddos that won’t break the bank? Check out these options.
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