Yesterday was a serious Mom Fail. And I really have no excuse. We were busy? I just forgot? My brain has been replaced by marshmallow fluff? (which incidentally, I don’t even like)
Yesterday was Catie’s end-of-season soccer pizza party. And I was the assistant coach. And I totally forgot to take her.
That’s it – I just forgot. At party time, we were either sitting on the porch watching the rain, or blowing bubbles to see how long they would survive amongst the raindrops. That was the pressing appointment that kept us from her soccer party.
And also kept her from receiving her medal.
Thankfully for me, she has not yet realized we missed it. Unfortunately for me, she will be none too happy when she does. Considering she also missed last fall’s party.
I feel just awful about it. But in reality, this is not the first time – or the biggest time – I have failed them as a mother. In ways big and small, I screw up daily, and pray nightly that the damage I do won’t be permanent.
Moms are in a tough position. There is a perfect Father, but there is no perfect mother. So I can’t even say, “Hey kids, I’m sorry I’m such a trainwreck, but look here! Here is someone who did it all right! Don’t look at me, look at her!”
Nope, only dads get that privilege. I’m left to do the best I can, carry lots of guilt, and apologize profusesly, hoping that’s enough. But of course I know that it isn’t. I know I’m a mess. That nightly praying to be a better mother? Not so much nightly, since sometimes I’m so exhausted I fall asleep mid-prayer and don’t even make it to that part.
All of the craft projects I come up with and the handmade clothes I make the girls draw lots of compliments from people we meet, but what they don’t know is that sometimes I’m a grouch the entire time we’re making the craft, grumbling over spilled glitter and fussing over painted-on clothes. Sometimes I make them play outside so I can sew in peace.
I hate it when someone admires their outfit and says what a good mom I must be. The outfit has nothing to do with anything. What good does a cute dress do when your mom neglected you to make it?
My own mother says I remember my own childhood through rose-colored glasses, and while I don’t really believe her, a not-small part of me hopes that it’s true. I hope that she did lose her temper or get impatient or say ‘no’ a little too often, because I don’t remember it at all and that gives me hope. Hope that one day, maybe my own daughters will block out my shortcomings and remember only the good moments.
Of course, the very real possibility exists that I’m right, that I did have a fabulous mother, and that I am falling hideously short. And that’s what keeps me up at night.
It all comes down to patience, I think. If I were more patient, everything would be better. Except I’m not [generally] all that impatient. And I know all about not praying for patience because then you’ll get things that help you develop it. I don’t pray for patience. And I already have that development tool in the form of my husband.
But I’ve gotten sidetracked, haven’t I? The whole point was to make you feel like a better mother by exposing what a lousy mother I am. (Because let’s face it, no matter how awful it is to admit, we all like to feel like we’re better than someone. No one wants to finish a race last. No one wants to be the fattest woman on the beach. No one wants to be the worst mother in history. It’s true – don’t even try to deny it. It’s not that you’re wishing ill on someone else, it’s just that you need someone or something to make you feel like you aren’t so bad, and you certainly could be worse. Like her. I get it.)
You know how sometimes you’ll hear someone say that they aren’t winning any Mother of the Year awards? Just this week I read a Facebook status from a new mother who was devastated that she bopped her child’s forehead with the plastic wipey box.
Are you kidding me lady?
My children have rolled off the bed, rolled off the changing table (yeah, yeah, never step away, I know), fallen down stairs, had their heads bonked into a doorframe while I was carrying them…and that’s all within the first few months of life. I couldn’t even begin to name the rest of that list.
When Annie was 6 weeks old I was nursing her in the middle of the night, and I fell asleep and dropped her. Onto the hardwood floor. True story. She cried for a few minutes but then went back to sleep, so obviously it was a life-threatening concussion and my child might never recover. So like any new mother, I rushed her to the emergency room of the nearest children’s hospital. Where they were much more concerned about the woman sobbing hysterically than they were about the baby sleeping peacefully. And they laughed and hugged me when I asked if they were going to call CPS.
Live and learn.
So I promise you, my story isn’t one of those lame, ‘we’ve all done that’ stories. Oh no. This is a mom failure that is nothing short of spectacular, and it is previously unconfessed [publicly]. So read it and feel fantastic my friends, because you surely are a better mother than this lunatic.
Annie was about 3 and solidly in the middle of her asking-a-thousand-questions-a-day phase. It was annoying, but only because I had no idea how much worse Catie would have it. If I’d known I would have counted my blessings back then. So we’re out running errands, and I’m losing my mind. I’m in my husband’s compact car because our van is in the shop, it’s hard to get her in and out of the back seat, and I’m hugely pregnant. And it’s hot and humid, and pouring down rain. It was a trying day – that’s my only excuse. Somehow we landed on the topic of the weather, with Annie asking a hundred questions about how rain is formed and why it rained and when it rained and what if it rained. No newbie to this, I had learned a long time ago that if the answer was God, she stopped questioning.
Where do babies come from?
Worked like a charm.
But in my harried state that day, I didn’t stop to consider my words before they exited my mouth.
But what if we don’t want rain?
God knows what we need better than we do. He sends rain for a reason.
But I don’t want it to rain!
Well God doesn’t care what you want.
-backtrack, backtrack, backtrack-
I meant, God doesn’t always give you what you want, He gives you what you need. And sometimes you might think He is making a mistake, but He isn’t. He never does. So you just have to trust Him.
And mentally I added and please forgive me for being such a horrible jerk of a mother.
I mean seriously, what kind of slimeball tells a 3-year-old that God doesn’t care about what they want?
So take comfort in knowing that no matter how you’ve messed up today, at least you’re not that bad.