Wednesday, March 24, 2010

"Cool Mommy" FAIL

Do you have those days where you realize that you're a total failure? Yeah, me too. I had this brilliant idea that I was gonna be one of those "Cool Moms" that do cool holiday-themed activities for their kids, even when they fall on school days. I decided since B had to be at school early, I would go ahead and make the pancakes up in advance and freeze them. All I'd have to do the morning of St Patty's Day would be to toss 'em in the toaster & heat up some syrup.

All went according to plan, I even had planned green things for them to wear ahead of time, and prepared breakfast (aka toss the frozen pancakes in the toaster!!) like I said.

I even made a small card & gift for his teachers

I told Kenney when he came downstairs that I would take Braydon to school that morning, and he could go ahead on to work. The kids didn't need to be dressed, because the car line provides anonymity like that! I kissed him goodbye, feeling like I was totally on top of things.

Then I looked at my calendar, which hangs above the microwave, only to notice that BOTH Makenna and Jordan had doctor's appointments with the Ear nose & throat Dr (J-man failed his newborn hearing screening) at 8:30. My eyes bulged out of my head, as I glanced down at the clock on the microwave. I spit my tea back into the cup as my eyes focused on "8:08AM". Braydon's "tardy bell" rings at 8:15. Jordan was not dressed, and Makenna, although dressed, did not have her hair done, or have shoes or socks on.

I began running around frantically, shouting at my kids to "do this" or "do that". I fussed at Makenna for not knowing what I needed her to do ahead of time. I snapped even more quickly at Braydon and told him it would be him that suffered if we were late, not me. (Even though this was CLEARLY my fault).

Thankfully, I always keep extra diapers & wipes in the car so I didn't have to worry about packing the diaper bag. I grabbed stuff to do Kenna's hair in the waiting room, and tossed (almost literally) Jordan into his car seat, knowing full well I smelled the stench of a newly nasty diaper, and that he had yet to nurse that morning. It would just have to wait.

I begun herding them towards the door, grabbed my purse, my keys & cell phone, when I heard Braydon say "Uh, mommy are you going to the dr in your jammies?" I looked down only to realize I had managed to get everyone "ready" except for myself. I threw everything down and ran upstairs, threw on clothes & grabbed my brush & makeup and ran back down stairs, only to find Makenna standing in newly wet pants. I yelled at her (and winced after what I said. Did I really just fuss at my two year old for wetting her pants b/c I didn't have time to ask her if she had to potty before we left?) I raced back up the stairs to find a new pair of panties & pants and threw them on her.

We ran out of the car, and I threw (literally) everyone into the car, turned it on & slammed the car into reverse. I don't think those speed bumps knew what hit them, and I'm just thankful my car didn't fall apart. I started grumbling and griping about how late we were, that all I wanted to do was to have a fun morning for the kids, blah blah blah. Somehow, we managed to make green lights and I made it to the car line at exactly 8:15. I told Braydon to run, but don't get caught or he'd be tardy. He jumped out of the car, without even saying goodbye and as he turned to walk in, I saw tears fall from his eyes.

My heart stopped. I gasped for breath. What had I just done? My sweet, sensitive little boy, was sent to school rushed, without a prayer from me like we normally do, without a kiss or a hug, and all he had heard while driving him was his mama complaining. My heart starting beating again, but it sank, and I was instantly plagued with guilt. Tears welled in my eyes, as I asked myself again "what did I just do?" And "Was it worth it? to be the 'cool mom' on facebook & in blogland but to hurt my baby in the process?"

As I watched him walk away, I felt like such a complete and utter failure. This was is my only job: to take care of my kids, and to protect them and I had failed. Failed miserably. I have been walking around with such shame that I haven't even posted pictures because I felt that I had done them not for the enjoyment of my children, but for my own personal sake. To get my ego stroked, to be acknowledged as a "Cool Mom".

It wasn't until yesterday during the first meeting of a women's Bible study group that I finally felt God speaking to me about the situation. The Bible study is called "Becoming More than a Good Bible Study Girl" by Lysa Terkeurst, founder & president of Proverbs 31 ministries. In the video series, she talked about the time she wanted to be "SUPER MOM" and decided to volunteer to make 100 individually wrapped homemade brownies for her daughter's school bake sale. As Lysa explained, "homemade" to her meant from the box, where you add egg & oil. She wanted these to be super special brownies so as to improve her super mom status even more, so she bought the turtle brownies that had caramel & nuts in them. She spent hours baking & wrapping them and finally got to # 98, when her daughter walked into the kitchen.

"Are those the brownies for my bake sale?" she asked.

Lysa told her they weren't just ANY brownies, they were TURTLE brownies. Thinking her daughter would be impressed, just as all the others at her school would be, her daughter's response was:

"Mom, we're a nut-free school. Didn't you read the directions from my teacher? Nothing can contain nuts!"

Lysa sank to the ground, and realized she had not read the directions. At that moment, she had failed. But she said that what we forget as women is that our circumstances do NOT dictate who we are. Our identity is not found in our circumstances. We can fail at things miserably, and yet still not be failures. This struck me so much, and I finally got it. I could let go of the guilt and realize that although I failed in that situation, I am not a failure as a mom. I may have wounded my baby, but I will always be his Mama, and I will have many times to do it the right way.

Provers 24:16 "Though the righteous man falls seven times and gets back up again..."

If the righteous man falls only 7 times and gets back up, my number is probably going to be more like 700 or 7000, but certainly I will choose to get back up again. How about you?


Sharon said...

Sweetie, you are absolutely NOT a failure. Your big boy will learn that even Mommies can ask for and receive forgiveness. The babies aren't going to need therapy because you blew it on St. Patrick's Day. Pile it up as a Stone of Remembrance on your journey--and get a bigger calendar! {{{Hugz}}} from AnT!

Anonymous said...

As I read your post, the one thing that jumped out at me was how obvious it is how incredibly much you love your children. They'll forgive you eventually, and later on they'll realize how lucky they were to have you.


Anonymous said...

I only WISH this was the worst thing I did as a parent. But we both know better.
I understand your regret. It is a constant visitor.
I love you.

Lorin said...

Worst Mom Ever! Are you kidding me? Didn't you make it to the Roller Rink that day, too? Shared an awesome day with "little Kenny" and "J-Man." Carmen pissed her pants b/c I couldn't catch her in that play thing! Talk about Super Mom.
Um, here is the thing about being a cool mom. First off, you ARE one or else I would not be your friend. If you were a suck mom I would AVOID you. Also, those pictures on the "cool mom's" websites...yeah, they only post the ones that look good. Find a "cool mom" who posts pictures of their kids slapping them or peeing on them or sticking out their tongues in a not-at-all cute way-that's reality my friend and I personally love the chaos of it all. You are awesome and your kids love you. Hell, my kids love you!!! Keep on rockin, keep on lovin, and keep on making shamrock pancakes!

Innocence is Underrated said...

i forgot to check your blog recently! you're def not a failure and if you are, then so are the rest of us! so many times i'd have to leave Kian crying at daycare, or there'd be the raised voices on the way to get out the door each morning (i was always late, no matter what). my grandma likes to tell me that 'kids survive in spite of you' thank God! i've realized how humbling parenting is and how even if you've never said you're sorry before and asked for forgiveness, being a parent-it's a requirement. Thankfully these kids will remember such wonderful times, not the crappy ones =)