|Guest Blogger: Jenna
I’m the mom of an athletic 8-year old boy who attends The Buckley School in Sherman Oaks. Our school is one that some parents may consider to be little more than an expensive, swanky, elite private school. It has a reputation as a school filled with wealthy, untouchable “perfect moms”. It definitely has those moms. But it also has moms who are warm, wonderful, down-to-earth and funny. I’m very involved in my son’s school. This year, I’m excited to serve as chair of the Buckley Fair. I’m working with a great group of parents on this big event (the Fair is in May and open to the families in the community). I can honestly say that no matter what school your child attends (or ends up at), you will find every type of mom there. We love Buckley! However, I steer clear of the moms I find to be too judgmental, too difficult to volunteer with or those who only speak to their “BFFs”.
It’s you who must make your way at the private elementary school you choose. Each of us has a unique personality, some more driven by insecurities than others. For example, those moms who live vicariously through their children’s experiences. The great thing is that we each have the opportunity to express our individuality. I wonder if, as private school moms, we lose sight of that. Have we become clones of each other? Same clothes, hair, car, jewelry? What then is it we are truly calling our own?
As parents, we are our children’s first and best role models. There is no such thing as a “perfect mommy”. Striving for perfection sends the wrong message to our kids. It’s not an attainable goal for us, or them. The closest we can come to perfection is meeting our own expectations. That is what really matters. We can’t get stuck on someone else’s version of what perfection is—or should be—for us, or our kids.
Women have an amazing ability to bring out the best in each other. But, sometimes we are sadly the ones who viciously attack each other. At private schools, volunteer projects can turn into ugly, bitter squabbles. But why? At what point do we begin to accept each other for who we are, similarities or differences? At what point do we rise up and become real women? Women of compassion, acceptance, guidance, forgiveness and gratitude are the women we should look to for inspiration. These are the women and moms who don’t pass judgment on each other. Instead, they nurture, guide and teach us the mysteries of life. I hope we are all lucky enough to know at least one of these amazing moms. If we are too busy worrying about everyone else, we will be too checked-out to hear these messages. What will our kids hear and absorb?
I was intrigued by the guest blogger Jenny Heitz’ piece on “Perfect Mommy Syndrome At LA Private Elementary Schools”
and actress Mayim Bialik’s response
. Christina’s response
with her own very personal story got me thinking about my son’s delivery and the pressure on moms to be perfect. My birth story couldn’t be further from Mayim’s or Supermodel Gisele’s. After laboring at home for 30 hours, with no forward progression, I decided it was time to head for the hospital. Once there, I had to be induced and the contractions began at an intense rate. I am not ashamed to tell you that I asked for pain relief from the most painful thing my body has ever endured. After 40 hours of labor, I delivered a healthy baby boy. It wasn’t easy and it certainly wasn’t painless. In some ways, I feel a bit betrayed by my fellow moms who never told me how difficult and painful labor could be.
I didn’t breastfeed. My milk never came in. Formula was my choice to feed my newborn baby. What would I have done if breastfeeding were required by law as Supermodel Gisele recommended?
We have an opportunity to embrace our own differences and attributes. Too often we choose to pass harsh judgment on each other. LA private schools can be a perfect breeding ground for this type of behavior. As private school moms, I truly believe we should celebrate our differences and those of our children. Let’s embrace each other as moms!
Jenna and her husband are the parents of an 8-year old son who attends The Buckley School in Sherman Oaks. She is current working on a Blog and a book tentatively called, “The Power Of Going Goddess”.
6 thoughts to “Guest Blogger Jenna: Buckley School Mom Weighs In On “Perfect Mommy Syndrome" In LA Private Elementary Schools”
I love the guest blogs to get different perspectives on the themes covered in this blog!
Thank you for your honest words of wisdom. When my first daughter got to our preschool, perfect mommy syndrome dominated. Moms talked about natural childbirth. I had an emergency c-section and I could see the disapproval onvtheir faces. When my kids get to elementary school, I will take your advice and try to find a small group of "real" moms. Shrewd celebrity moms make it even harder for the rest of us when they sound off about being moms.
One of the things I liked most about this post was that it would be so simple to judge Jenna by her beautiful photo as one of those "perfect moms", but once you take the time to get to "know" her and read what she has to say about her experience as a mother, you see that there is so much more going on. Perhaps if we all stopped judging each other, as Jenna says, and instead take the time get to know each mother's story, we could remember that everyone is truly doing their best. I'm so glad this conversation is continuing…thanks for posting this, Christina!
i am disappointed that the content of this blog has deteriorated from informative, constructive and professional to preachy, hypocritical, judgmental and catty. please get it back on track!
I disagree with the person above who made the comment about the tone if this blog. We are applying to Buckley and it is refreshing to hear that the hype isn't true. Jenna's message and experience are relevant to where I am in the application process. Many thanks.
It's nice to see moms being so open and honest about their own experiences. I applaud the author for sharing her difficulties giving birth and breastfeeding. It's not an easy process and I'm glad some moms are willing to tell others about their struggles. I know I struggled with giving birth and breastfeeding both of my kids. It's comforting to know I'm not alone!