Mom Fail

It’s happened. To my kid. And it all hit the fan this morning. I guess I should be glad that it’s taken this long for us to hit this particular road block, but it still sucks. And I can officially claim the title of Worst Mom Ever.

What happened, you ask? Here’s the dirt. Minion 1 brings home a conduct card every Wednesday from school. I go to sign it this morning and see notes from both teachers about missing homework. TWO WEEKS OF MISSING HOMEWORK. I saw red. Seriously. That kid has been telling us for three weeks that he’s had no homework because of testing at school. Made sense to me, since that was the policy at the minions’ old school, and this one is in the same district.

That was stupid of me. I should have known. This school doesn’t mess around with homework. Ever. So why would I think that they would actually cancel homework because of testing? Stupid, stupid me. Basically my kid has been lying to me for almost three straight weeks and I had no clue. None. Zero. Zilch.

HOW STUPID CAN I BE?? I’ve had this conversation for years with parents of my students. Kids lie, they all do, and it’s just part of parenting, right? That’s what I’ve always said – every kid lies at some point to try and see what they can get away with. Doesn’t make them bad kids and doesn’t make parents bad parents.

So why in the heck do I feel like the Worst Mom Ever?

Because, that’s why. I tend to look in the mirror whenever there’s a problem, no matter what kind of problem it is. Raining today? What did I do to cause that? Part of it is my ego getting in the way (since everything MUST be all about me, right?) and part of it is my self esteem cracking the whip (you MUST have done something to screw this up somehow). And that’s a problem.

I was a stellar mom this morning. Take the homework issue in stride? Calmly talk it out? Right. Granted, I started out that way, but things escalated, I lost my temper, and completely blew the issue out of proportion. By the end of it I had unloaded all over the Spouse about how the real problem is my job and its long hours, and if I stayed home the minions would never turn in homework late, lie or fail to clean up their rooms when asked the first time.

That’s total crap. They’re kids. And boys. They’re going to screw up now and then, and it isn’t ALWAYS going to be my fault. But losing my temper IS my fault and that’s where I am feeling the guilt today. And where I also unloaded on the Spouse, saying that if it weren’t for my job I wouldn’t be so stinkin’ tired, nasty and crabby. Which may be partially true.

I’m dropping the ball all over the place. Parenting, work, spouse, home – it’s been a crapshoot this week. We haven’t gotten home before 8:00 yet. My grand weekend plan? Forget it – not this week. I’m doing good to remember to take out my contacts before I pass out in the bed, usually by 9.

Somebody throw me a bone here. Or a floatie. Because I feel like I’m drowning and the shore is nowhere in sight. Mayday!!

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2 Comments

Filed under Homework Issues, kids, Parenting, working moms

2 responses to “Mom Fail

  1. I don't have kids of my own, but I see my sister struggling with a lot of the same issues. Not to downplay how great I think my mother was and what a great job I think she did, but it seems so much harder to be a mother than it used to be. You all seem pulled in so many more directions than in previous generations. I can't really offer any good advice except for this one thing. I recently went to this women's networking event. A lot of it seemed a little over the top and all designed to convince me that women are just automatically superior at everything (might be true), but there were 2 pieces of wisdom that I took away from one of the speakers. We as women don't take care of ourselves well enough. Perhaps if we did, we could handle the stress of situations like yours better (or at least more to our satisfaction). The other piece of advice is that we are terrible at forgiving ourselves. We are going to continue to be pulled in all these directions. The stress is going to be there. If you need to blow up a little every now and then, do it!!! And try to forgive yourself for it.

  2. Amy, I really do know how you feel. I have been right where you are in life, and had the same struggles. Unfortunately, I reacted the same way you did. Would I do things differently now? You bet I would. In what way? For one, I would try to squelch those perfectionist tendencies that plague me (and you, I think). It really is OK if the house isn't perfect, or you feed your kids trash some of the time, or you sit and watch Pawn Stars (Hey–it's educational! That's the History Channel, dammit!) with glazed eyes because you are too tired to think. Give yourself a break. I bought the lie that I could do it all and do it perfectly, while my husband was working 80-90+ wks and many weekends. Many of the women who appear to have it together either have hired help, or really do NOT have it together. They just fake it well. Don't we all do an admirable job of masking what is really going on most of the time? You have mentioned a medical condition a couple of times, and I don't know what you are dealing with. It sounds as though stress and fatigue aggravate it. I deal with that too, and have for about 20 years. Only those close to me know about it. That's how good I am at faking! You have to take care of yourself. Kathleen is right as rain about that. If you aren't tiptop, you can't do a good job for your family or your bosses. Rest, exercise, read–even 15 minutes. I didn't take care of myself as well as I should have. That is one of my biggest regrets. I could have done better with my family and my job and my relationships with others if I had been taking care of me. Cheer up. You are not a bad mom. Congratulate yourself for having such a wily little man, learn from this, and keep a sharp eye on him. ;-). GMaclaskey

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