Tuesday, February 09, 2010


I've had an unbelievable day today and needed to sort some thoughts (lucky readers!)

In the morning, I was awash with "bad mom syndrome." I was frustrated that I hadn't spent time with my daughter practicing her violin.. she doesn't know her multiplication table.. needs to see an eye doctor and I haven't had time to schedule an appoint. I become "grumpy mommy" in the morning before school. This is just not right. Demands of work are consuming again and I'm losing my balancing act.

As parents, we take the blame. It's our fault they can't do something or they can. I know this is not right - she's her own person and all I can do is show her the door, and she has to walk through it on her own. Speaking of doors.. this morning I dropped her at school for early morning orchestra practice. She's carrying her violin case, her roller knapsack and needed to pull open the large school doors. I wanted to jump out of the car and help her open the two doors. She looked so little! However, she had told me she didn't want me to get out of the car. So, I sat in the car, waited as she struggled with her bags and she did it.

This evening, she pulled out her homework papers and showed us her science test. She got 10/10 on description of electrical circuits. They do this in 3rd grade? She said, "Yeah we did the experiment so I knew." Her handwriting was neat, and she knew what she was talking about. They were also making flashlights in school with paper towel rolls and batteries. Then she sat down to read a book of silly poems that I had once bought for her. I loved how she giggled while reading it. She said she was looking for "figurative language."

I felt relieved this evening. I'm looking in the wrong places. She's doing well in so many ways, but I'm just looking at the part that makes me nervous.

And, I think that's so key about our lives. We are surrounded by wonderfully delightful things all the time, yet we choose not to see them. Since yesterday, the one thing that has made me smile and laugh is a colleague's IM to me where he mistyped some words (i.e., "he knee keeps jerking"). It's silly. However, we all need to laugh a little to break up our day. I always remember years ago my colleagues and I were in an intense meeting. At the end, one of the colleagues told a story about how her two pet chihuahuas had died (one was crushed by an ironing board and the other accidently stepped on by her brother). The three of us laughed so hard we practically cried. The poor chihuahuas (I don't condone animal cruelty!), but the relief was what we needed.

And, happiness doesn't come in one size. It can be something as small as a silly IM or it can be as big as the Super Bowl. We all have some element of joy and happiness in our lives. If life is about making choices, we make a decision on what we choose to see in our world. And, how we react to these things. We can laugh or we can cry.


J.Doe said...

I don't think not helping Annika with her multiplicition tables or watching her practice her violin nominates you to the 'bad mom club' of which all moms think they are members at one time or another. I understand the guilt you feel though if you don't make everything perfect. You start to think you are a 'bad mom'.
Been there. Done that. Still am there. Will be there for a long time too. You probably will have those same thoughts until Annika is 18 also.
You are really as good mom. Take pleasure in the fact that you have a wonderful daughter. Genetics doesn't do it all. A lot of it is environment, which would be home life with you.
This post made me think of one of the old posts you wrote about marriage not being 50/50, especially when it comes to kids.. the "I'm a bad mom' syndrome seems very common,but I never hear "I'm a bad Dad.'

Indigo B. said...

J - That is SO true!! A "bad dad" is the deadbeat dad who abandons his kid and all that. The bad mom just has to go through McDonald's drive through a few times a week. Different expectations.