Monday, April 28, 2014

Bad Mom

This does absolutely nothing to protect against the elements
(aka:  my  kids)
Maybe it's just me.  But, I'm venturing to guess that other parents have the same screwed up view of their own parenting as me.  Like, any negative trait of my kids I'm positive somehow came from me and my lack of cultivating better ones.  Lack of study habits?  Sloppy bedrooms?  Totally my fault.  Positive traits, I assume are inbred and I can't take any credit.  So this would account for kindness and ingenuity.  And a host of other wonderful qualities.  Because being a parent is extremely humbling.  And, I screw up and make a mess of this mom thing daily.

Here is just a minuscule sample of some of the most recent bad mom evidence.

I prodded Ember who is the biggest dawdler in the family.  And yes, I have labeled my youngest "The Dawdler".  I say it all the time and she hates it.  (Of course, somehow she got this trait from me even though I am the least dawdliest person on the planet.)  After finally getting her out the door and to the school, I notice something.  No one else is there.  At which point, I ask Ember, "Do you have school today?" "Oh, the teacher did say something about not having school."  She says.  But,  I'm skeptical. "It's not a holiday.  Why wouldn't you have school?  Why?  Are you sure?" Of course, I'm grilling her when I should have known she didn't have school in the first place.

Of course, this is the day I made lunch plans with a friend who desperately needed to get out of the house.  What to do?  I don't want to cancel.  And I want her to get out of the house.  Never mind that  my youngest is home and I should have completely changed my plans to have alone time with her.  But, no.  That's not what I did.  I got take out and invited my friend over.  I  made Ember her favorite lunch, grilled cheese, and allowed her to watch tv during the day.  A very special treat.  And a way to placate her while rewarding my own douchiness.

Jade is my organized child.  She of course did not get this from me, as I'm completely disorganized, which is why she missed that orthodontist appointment last month.   I  didn't even realize it until a few days afterward when I finally checked the calendar. But, this isn't about that.  This is about her making it into the school talent show with her all girl rock band friends.  Then a field trip ( I didn't know about) conflicted with a dress rehearsal (I also didn't know about).  Until a friend brought this to my attention and asked me what I was going to do about this conflict.  Ummm…what conflict?

This is a case where my laziness worked itself out.  When I excavated Jade's pile of papers, and found the field trip form, I had already missed the deadline.  Which just frees her up for the dress rehearsal.  But seeing as some of her friends are going on the field trip, she might have to play a couple instruments.  Unless one of the other moms arranged for them to have a special dress rehearsal the night before.  Wait, I think that might be what happened.  I should double check that so I can get the band equipment there. 

River wanted new glasses for quite a while.  Ones with transition lenses, like a friend has.  I didn't think much about it, until I finally scheduled an eye exam for him.  Didn't he just have an eye exam a couple of years before?  What could change?  Until the optometrist examined him and the kid is almost blind in one eye. Holy shit!  Omg! How could I not know this?  

I felt so guilty, we got him the fancy frames with transitions.  Hell, I would've taken him on a vacation to a Caribbean lasik clinic at that point.  When his glasses arrive, he's ecstatic.  He can finally see, even though the lens isn't full strength because the lens would be too thick to fit into the frames.  Two minutes after putting them on he leaves to go play tennis, of all things.  So my advice?  "Take off the glasses when you play tennis!"  Because seriously, he's been blind for god knows how long and if he gets smacked in the face, it's only a tennis ball, so it won't hurt that bad.  Not like a lacrosse ball or anything.  When I thought about the message I was sending, it was really 'you can break your face, just don't break the glasses.'  Which in retrospect, seems harsh.  Like my priorities are wrong.

Sky, the oldest,  has always had first born syndrome and felt compelled to keep the other kids in line.  No matter what we do, he will not stop giving advice no one wants and telling them exactly how to do everything. Even though I've made a desperate attempt to relieve him of this internal responsibility and compulsion,   I'm positive I'm somehow to blame for it.  And because of this and other factors at play, he is the child I butt heads with the most.    

 I was driving him to a track meet at Palmer High School, completely unaware I was taking him to the wrong Palmer High School, because there are in fact three.  Three I said!  How stupid is that?  And how stupid is it that I was sure there was only one in town without fact checking that first?

 Anyhow, I was telling him about my latest faux pas moment where I thought I said something to offend someone.  I have no recollection of the particulars of the story, because there are simply so many to choose from.  After I shared my complete embarrassment, expecting him to laugh,  he said the most touching thing to me. "Mom, you would never say anything to intentionally hurt anyone."

I'm not a bad mom.  I'm not a good mom either.  I'm both at different times.  And everything in between at others.  And my kids will learn from both.  At different times.  As I learn from them.  All the time.  

(And learn from my very latest mistake:  Do not search up google images for "Bad Mom". )


Joy Page Manuel said...

You're right about parenthood being very humbling. We all screw up and the fear of not screwing up screws us up even more! I think you're giving a good example by simply accepting your imperfections (which is really healthy anyway) and loving each child as best you can. We are the parents they need and love and I'm sure you are the perfect one for them, just as they are the perfect kids for you! *hugs*

joeh said...

I don't have any of these issues, I always assume they get the good stuff from me and blame the bad stuff on their mom.

Iuliana said...

Parenting is the most humbling experience. At the end of the day what matters most is that our kids know we love them.

The Loerzels said...

@ Joy and Julianna- Yup, this is the thing that we moms get. Wanting to be perfect and feeling less than when we inevitably fall short.
@ Joeh-Ha! My husband doesn't get this mom guilt stuff either.


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