My failures as a mother…..you’re asking yourself, “why would anyone want to put a spotlight on their failures as a mother?” Well, I really don’t want to. But, its been one of those weeks you know? One of those weeks where you forget about that fundraiser, or dinnertime has come and gone without anything but a few scraps of crackers to be eaten. I was sitting in my “blogging chair” last night thinking of all the things I have missed this week… and it was only Tuesday. TUESDAY I TELL YOU! There is no way someone should be failing so bad at life with only a day or two under their belt for the week. Ugh, say it ain’t so. Well, it is.
So, I thought I would just get it right out of the way, here and now. I am even going to organize it with a nice bulleted list. This will be the first thing I’ve organized in quite a while. My list of failures:
- I can’t remember the last time my kids had a haircut. I tell you this. Who would have thought that having three boys would be so labor intensive! I mean between stepping on Lego’s and one day realizing your sweet little rascal of a boy has turned into a mean and ornery girl, just from the lack of a haircut is quite a shocker. Sadly, I rarely notice the overgrown mop until I randomly see them in a picture or up in front of 100 people for a performance. Forehead moment. Yes, I see you up there, sitting with all your sweet boys who always have a freshly trimmed head. I don’t see any hair hanging over their ears. Their neck has not become a carpet of wildness. My propensity for neglecting haircuts are made all the worse by the fact that I, myself cut their hair! Yes, I am also too cheap to spend money to get it done….but that is a whole other bullet point unto itself. Since writing this list, I have cut my kids hair…while also shaving some letters in the backs of their head, just like they asked. I aim to please.
- I forgot to do a fundraiser because I HATE them. You heard me right. They give me the most intense sense of anxiety. Wandering around asking for people to support my kids in their miscellaneous endeavors is downright physically painful for me. Even when we do successfully sell a few boxes of doughnuts, that’s the time I will go out of town, and forget to turn it in. Then I will blame it on my husband. Yes, I can connect that blame to just about anything. Can’t you?
- I yelled at my kids like 8 times today…..and that was only within a few hours. I read all these wonderful articles about how to speak calmly to your children in the midst of an intense situation. Well, I bet these experts have never had a parade of kids drag out all their Lego’s and make some toast with honey all within minutes of each other. Ah, sticky honey Lego’s. I know later on that I could have calmly explained to them that mixing these two activities is precisely ridiculous and will result in some unfortunate consequences that are not desirable. But, guess what. That is not what comes out of my mouth. My response is more like….”WHY DO I HAVE A LEGO STUCK TO THE BOTTOM OF MY FOOT WITH HONEY!!!! ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME??? GET ALL THESE TOYS CLEANED UP BEFORE I THROW THEM ALL AWAY!! Yes I use the threat of trashed toys all too often. I don’t only threat though, I have thrown away many a toy.
- I don’t want to go to the bathroom with you. One more to go. One more that needs my assistance in the bathroom. But if you think that I want to sit and discuss politics with you while you’re stinking up the place, you are sorely mistaken. I don’t want to congratulate you anymore. Its no longer an accomplishment, it is a reality. And please don’t look me in the eye when doing your business.
- I distract my kids with technology. Yes, that would be me. Here, watch these My Little Pony videos so I have have a moments peace. I can only entertain you so long before I am going to crack, like an egg.
- We had cold cereal for dinner. And no, it was not the healthy kind, it was the sugarry kind that my husband sneaks into the shopping cart. I will blame this one on him too. I won’t buy the stuff, but I guess I will serve it when I am knee deep in heaven knows what that I can’t pull together a dinner.
- Guess what? I do not like waking up early to start laboring away the second me feet hit the floor. In fact, I down right detest it some days. How I wouldn’t love to stay in the warm embrace of my bed instead of stumbling forth into a mess of breakfast and lunch making chaos with a little hair gel thrown in for good measure.
- I make my kids do the chores I absolutely abhor. Unloading the dishwasher? Oh, my gosh. I cannot tell you why I hate it so bad, but it is the worst! Kids, its all yours. Those bags you fill up with trash…that’s yours too. Well, if I am being completely honest, I’d give them it all if I thought I could, but they wont go for it, even with all the bribery in the world.
- We don’t have any clean socks. Have you ever wondered where all those socks sneak off to? Without fail, at least a few times a week, someone has no clean socks. How could this be?! I just put a weeks worth in your drawer last week? Ah, I see, that was over a week ago. I still have a giant basket of mismatched socks sitting in my room next to the various baskets of clean laundry that has never been put away either. They can wear mine can’t they? Oh wait…I am out too.
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This is only a snapshot of what it is like to be a mom for me. Each and every day, we work, we try, we think that even sometimes we might have it all together. That is when chaos comes a knocking on your door. Its like the other day, when I was so proud of myself for having all my kids school forms filled out and ready to go, only to find out later that I had filled them out for the wrong children. Bite me.
Life has a way to remind us that we cannot control everything. Life has a way of letting us know what we cannot do it all. Everyday moms and dads feel the insulting sting of failure. Maybe your failures are different from mine, but we all have them. I have to believe this. Because if it is only me……..well, that will result in a completely different kind of list.
But, guess what. Your children do not see your failures. My children do not see my failures. Well, at least not the way we see them. Sometimes I feel like they are never listening to me, only to find out later they heard each and every word I said…even the bad ones. But they also see your good. My son used his invisible ink pen to reveal this message to me the other day when I was feeling especially overwhelmed.
He reminded me that maybe I was doing something right.
So when you see that lady with her kids that have the perfect hair, or the best manners, remember….she might have yelled at them an hour ago, 8 or 9 times. We don’t know how hard each others lives are. We only see just a snippet of each other. There is so much more that goes on beyond that snapshot. Just because my kids havn’t had a haircut in the last few months doesn’t mean I am a lazy mom. Maybe it means I was spending that time working with them on their homework or practicing their violin. Maybe it was that we were hanging out together watching a movie or going on a hike instead. Or maybe, just maybe, I have homework of my own that requires some attention and a little priority. If someone has the recipe for doing it all, I would like a copy.
I don’t tell you all these failures of mine to point out each and every flaw I have. That would take much too long. I write this to convince myself that it is okay. It’s okay that my sink is overflowing with dishes. Its okay, because I know it will get done…eventually. It’s okay that I yelled at my kids, because the hugs and kisses far out weight the yelling. Its okay that I don’t want to go to the bathroom with you, because, well, I just don’t! I love my kids so very dearly. Even all my failures, I do for them. I hope that as they grow up and look back at who their mother was, that they see the real me. I want them to remember the amazing things I did for them, but also that I may not have been perfect. That I made jokes, that I even swore, but no matter what I was always there. If that means I have to have some failures, I am okay with that.
I am a mom, I am a wife, I am a friend. And I am also a failure. And those failures can be my strength.