Being a mom is tough—seriously. Most days, I really suck at it. Last week was one of those weeks. To be honest, this week is starting out that way too. Actually, most weeks are at least partly full of mom mess-ups.
Last Friday, I forgot to get the twins at school—I’m not even kidding. I stood at the bus stop that afternoon and waited, and waited for the bus to arrive. The bus came, but Madison and Claire did not get off the bus. I couldn’t believe they would have gotten on the wrong bus. Then the light bulb flashed in my head through all my brain fog and through all the stuff piled up on my imaginary plate. I had written a note to the teachers that the girls would be walkers, and I would come get them up at the school. So, 30 minutes after school had let out, I rushed up to the elementary school, and I found my girls standing in the school office, waiting for me to come get them. Madison, my straightforward child, had her arms crossed in front of her and gave me her “you messed up” look and eye roll. She also reminded me that I forgot to give her a water bottle for the day, and I also forgot to fill in her reading log indicating how many minutes she read the night before. She got over it, and I felt bad for forgetting Madison’s things, but I had huge mommy guilt for forgetting to get the girls at school. What mom does that? What mom forgets her actual kids?
This mom does. I’m not making excuses for my absentmindedness or for my “I Forgot My Kids” episode on Friday. Like most moms, I’m one that has a ton on my plate (it is a turkey platter-sized plate by the way). I have a husband who travels and is away one or two weeks each month, which leaves me doing the single mom gig often. When he is in town, he works long hours, getting home well after the girls’ bedtime. That leaves me as the sole parent almost every night to help with homework, to drive all three girls to their after-school activities (thank gosh for carpools, which are a lifesaver on the nights we are double-booked with sports), and to cook and clean up dinner each night. I have to remind the girls to shower and get ready for bed, make sure they’ve picked out their clothes and have packed their backpacks for the next day, and after about thirty minutes of needing bedtime drinks and arguing about not being tired, I finally get everyone tucked away. Once everyone is settled in for the night, I work on my preschool lesson plans, make lunches for the next day, get laundry folded and put away, iron clothes, empty the dishwasher, and complete all the other home-based chores that need done daily. Don’t even get me started on all the other weekly errands on my list that are such a JOY to do with children in tow—grocery shopping, pick up dry cleaning, and trips to Target. Do I watch TV? Hardly—there’s not enough time in my day. Read a book? I try—but I usually fall asleep as soon as my head hits the bed pillow. When I get a few free minutes, I write (like now) or I scroll through Facebook to try to keep up with what the people I know are up to.
When I look at the list of what I do as a mom each day (and what a lot of other moms I know complete daily), I know it’s OK to have a forgetful afternoon. Yes, with so much going on last Friday, I forgot my children of all things. You know what? They were safe at school, and it had never happened before (although it could happen again in the future). It taught my girls (and reminded me) that this mom is only human. This mom is not perfect and doesn’t try to be because no one can get everything right all the time. I make mistakes and screw up—a lot. It’s OK. There will be more bad days—and I will let those days and challenges inspire me to take a deep breath and keep trucking on. As parents, we are just doing the best we can.[contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]