How to Make a Preschool Mama Crazy

12 Feb

We have some of the very best preschool volunteers in the world.  We really do.  My girls have grown up at our church and God has blessed us with the cream of the crop.  However…

I will admit that I have been the crazy mama the preschool volunteers talk about.  There is something in all of us mamas of preschoolers that can make us have momentary moments of crazy.  Maybe it is because we spend more waking hours talking to people who pick their nose than we do grown ups.  Maybe it is because since the day our babies are born we are inundated with unsolicited advice from relatives and strangers in Wal-Mart.  Maybe it is because we are always living with some sliver of fear that we are going to do something to permanently mess up this sweet little kid.

Whatever it is, there are things that we should give our preschool volunteers a heads up about.  There are things that we can inadvertently do that can turn a mama into crazy mama. Even the best volunteers need a reminder about some of these things…

If you want me to be a crazy mama, then by all means…

1.   Make entry into the classroom as difficult and stressful as possible. My child may or may not be excited to come and play in your room.  I need you to be excited to see us and to do everything possible to get my child in the room.  Greet me pleasantly. Make a fuss over my child.  Make the process where I can quickly give you my child and all of his/her belongings and escape.

2.  Make me feel like I’m inconveniencing you by bringing my child. You may already have a lot of kids in your classroom and  several of them may be criers.  Or maybe mine is a little too hyper for you.  Or maybe you’re just sleepy this morning.   Or maybe you just didn’t smile at me and I misinterpreted it that way.  Please don’t react like it is a burden for my child to be there.

3.  Give my child someone else’s cup/passy/bottle. I know I’m supposed to label everything before I come.  But, honestly, there are some days when I am just happy to have shoes on.  Have a back-up plan for labeling everything and triple check before germ-sharing.

4.  Don’t change diapers. I know there are a lot of babies in the nursery and you are very busy.  However, a leaking diaper at lunch after church can certainly make a mama crazy.  Please make sure you check everyone’s diaper before you send them out the door!

5.  Offer unsolicited advice. I really do know that you are just trying to be helpful.  But telling me what diapers I should be putting on my child or how they really should be potty trained by now or anything else that  I should be doing differently is really going to just come across as you suggesting I don’t know what I’m doing.  I really know that’s not how you mean it, but that’s how a mama hears it.  That and we haven’t slept through the night since we were pregnant.  Have a little mercy on us.

6.  Talk about my child to other people. Probably the only thing worse than telling me what I should be doing differently is telling other people what I should be doing differently.  Please don’t talk about my little one unless you are talking about how they are obviously a genius and the most precious child ever.

7.  Give me zero information. As much as I have enjoyed my “break” from my little one while I went to church, at least 75% of the time I was gone my brain was wondering what she was doing.  When I pick her up I want to know what she did, how she acted, and if she pooped.  Sorry, that’s just how a mama is.  My favorite nursery class ever gave me a little sheet that gave me a report of what she ate, how she acted, and what diapers were changed.  Information for a preschool mama is good stuff.

What would you add to the list?

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3 Responses to “How to Make a Preschool Mama Crazy”

  1. Lynne Payne February 14, 2011 at 3:01 pm #

    Awesome post, Jenny! I just spoke with a hurt mama today of a one year old whose daughter goes to a daycare and the mother was hurt by the actions and attitudes of the daughter’s teachers. It’s so important to remind nursery/preschool teachers to be intentional when communicating with parents and welcoming parents and babies. Can I print this article (with your name) and use it in an upcoming training meeting with my nursery leaders?

    • Jenny Funderburke February 14, 2011 at 8:24 pm #

      sure, Lynn. Thanks for your sweet words.

  2. Chelsea Anne February 17, 2011 at 12:28 am #

    As a preschool director, I appreciate this post immensely. It gives me some insight on a parent’s perspective. Thank you for your honesty! 🙂

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