Why I Always Bake Cookies on the First Day of School

Years ago, when my college Junior was around two, I received one of the best pieces of parenting advice I’ve ever gotten. I am sure at the time I was beating myself up for some typical human shortcoming such as raising my voice or not brushing my son’s teeth within two hours of eating raisins or skipping playgroup because I just couldn’t deal that week with an obnoxious, braggy mom even though my son loved to play with her child. Whatever it was, and I truly cannot remember now, I’m sure A) It was completely trivial, unimportant and/or stupid, and B) I made a big giant deal out of it.

Anyway, my friend said something like, “Kids don’t need perfect mothers, they need Good Enough mothers,” and it stopped me in my tracks. While I never stopped trying to be the best parent I could be, I also cut myself more of a break when things turned out less than ideal in Momland. Which, it turns out, would be lots and lots of times when multiplied by three kids over twenty years.

I say all of this because when I mention that I am baking cookies on the first day of school (and I actually requested off from work this year to do so), inevitably people will say, “Oh, you’re such a perfect mom.” And then that makes me feel like a big, fat fraud, since I am sooooo far from perfect and have long given up the quest to be so.

But you know what’s perfect? Fresh baked chocolate chip cookies are perfect. Starting a new school year is always a little difficult and scary (for me, too), Transitions can be tough, so it’s nice to come back home to something safe, familiar and comforting like a warm chocolate chip cookie and cold milk. Every family has their traditions, and this is ours. It’s a tough world out there, and I always want my kids to feel like home is their happy space. I will never be the perfect mom, but I can do my best to create some perfect moments along the way, and that’s Good Enough.

Wishing everyone a wonderful school year and some good after school snacks!

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