Let’s face it. When our kids start school, we start school. My son started Kindergarten and the only one that has had homework so far is ME! Day one his teacher sent a note home instructing us to download an app where we can view his daily activities and receive messages from her and the school. I’ve already received two school-wide messages on assessments he will have and how I need to motivate and prepare him for it. (I stalk this app by the way!)
At Orientation there was a sign-up for volunteers. And of course I signed up for PTA. There is already a list of PTA events for the whole year.
Picture it. Florida. 2018. It’s a Thursday morning at 9am and volunteer orientation is being held at my son’s school. Me? I’m at work. Not able to go. At least I was able to go to Open House. Only after I raced back home from an overnight work trip.
I thought I had mom guilt before Shaun started school. Lies! I wish I only had that level of guilt today. It’s like when you thought you gained so much weight after college. Then, you have kids and wish you had only gained that freshman fifteen. Thinking to yourself “And I thought I was big then!” I just love the memes going around saying “I wasted my skinny years thinking I was fat!” That’s exactly how I feel about my mom guilt. I wasted the easier years thinking I was missing out on so much. Then, Kindergarten came.
I am not the mom that drops her kids off in leggings and a t-shirt headed to spin class. I can’t get ANY chores done during the day. I couldn’t be a home-room mom even if I wanted to. I work fulltime outside the home. So I don’t get to do the daytime “involved parent” stuff. I only had to pick him up from school one day his first week of Kindergarten…I WAS LATE!
Silent tears fell from my eyes as I tried to hold it together on the ride back to the house. I had one job and couldn’t even do that right. Why? Because I got held up at work. I get to the school and there he was sitting in the front hallway waiting for me. Him and only two other kids. I pictured him waiting outside with the other kids watching them go home wondering where his mom was. Then escorted inside the building to wait because she had not shown up yet. I felt horrible. As we walked to the car I asked him about his day, trying to fill the time with conversation and distract myself from crying.
My empathetic observant son saw right through it. He heard me sniffle and asked if I was going to cry. Of course, I say no. He then asked, “Then why did you make that noise?” Then, he said these words:
“You weren’t late mommy. You were right on time!”
My heart melted and more tears fell. Mom guilt is a real thing.
As always, my son knows how to put a smile on my face and make me feel better about my #mommyfails.
Time for a reality check. I am right on time!
I am right on time with providing for him. I am right on time with making sure he has what he needs for his lunch (and making it every night). I’m right on time with all of my love and support. Yes, I was late. And yes, it sucked. But that night we ate pizza, watched a movie and all was right with the world. I was right on time for family night.
Moms, we will mess up. We will not get it right every time. And if you’re like me, you will definitely shed more tears. Just don’t forget to dust yourself off and get back at it. It sucks to not be able to do everything you want to do with and for your kids. But the end justifies the means. Don’t put yourself down for providing for your family. For having a career. For being more than just a mom. For being you! Don’t waste these years focusing on what you can’t or haven’t done. You’ll look back and wonder where they went. Even if you do cry…Stop! Relax, take a deep breath and ENJOY!