Sunday, November 3, 2013

Define bad mom

"Mommy are we going to stay inside ALL DAY!!" 

I had gotten off work at 4am and was promptly woken up by my 5 year old at 7am. The day was a haze of half sleep and, the sound of feet running up and down the hallway. I was instantly angry at the question. Why was this kid giving me a hard time? Why isn't the fire season over so Micah could be here and I could be sleeping? Why is there so much laundry to fold? 

Then the shame washed over me. She was right. The kids were bored and bouncing off the walls. It was a beautiful day outside and they felt trapped inside. I wasn't doing any craft projects with them or playing with them. But I was so exhausted I couldn't imagine putting shoes on. Much less trying to get us out of the house. No matter how tired I was though. I felt like a bad mom.

I have these days a lot lately....

The days where I feel like I'm letting my kids down. When we order pizza instead of cooking dinner. When they watch more TV then they should. When they don't get a bedtime story because it's so late. When Fish has to run to class because we're late. Then she has to eat school lunch because I forgot to make it as we were rushing to get to school on time. If my life were a game show it would be called "Beat the Clock"Because there never seems to be enough time and we are always running late.

When we lay in bed at night and reflect on our day I end up crying telling Micah that I'm a bad mom. I tell him I feel like I should be doing more and trying harder. And that I feel like I'm always letting them down. I yell too much and don't manage time with them better. The list of reasons I feel like a bad mom is huge. And always he'll try to reassure me that I'm doing a good job....that I'm not a bad mom. But I never really believe him.

When I was a kid my mom and dad both worked full-time. My sister would watch me after school. When she moved out my parents didn't have anyone else to watch me after school. I realize now how hard it must have been to live so far from family. My parents did the best they could. I would listen to my friends talk about sports or clubs. But they had moms that picked them up from school and stayed home. My parents were also much older than my friends parents. My mom had me in her thirties. A lot of my friends had parents that were just hitting their thirties. I wanted my kids to get to do those things I couldn't.

It's been a rough week.

My uncle passed away and his funeral was Monday. He made me promise a decade ago that I'd sing at his funeral...so I had to keep my promise.  A small group of moms and I started working toward building a PTA at our schools. Tuesday, was our first official meeting and membership drive. I was the only nominee for President. Thursday, was Halloween which meant making costumes, classroom treats, goody bags and events. Friday, was catching up on housework and Daisies for Fish.Then, Saturday we closed the soccer season. We had back to back soccer parties, for the 2 teams we coached, after the final game yesterday. And there was work, school, homework, dance, housework and sleep (ok,we all know I don't sleep).

Today, I took my girls to a birthday party at a skating rink. The birthday girl is one of Fish's best friends.We took Fish's bestie along since her mom was out of town. As I watched my girls learning to skate and smiling with pride, I thought about the day they were stuck inside. I thought about how tired I was. Today, I wanted to cry from exhaustion. But I didn't. I cheered them on and promised we'd come back so they could practice. As we drove home my head started to ache. They were in the backseat making plans for tonight's sleepover. I could have asked them to hush. But I didn't. I told them how awesome they did and helped make plans. 

Seeing my children happy is the most important thing in my world. Sometimes it's going to seem like I am letting them down. Most days I feel like I'm doing a horrible job. But right now I'm just doing the best that I can. All I can do is try my best and hope it's enough. Today I wasn't a bad mom......we'll see how tomorrow turns out.