I’m not sure, maybe because Mother’s Day is coming, but I feel like I’m in full on mommy mode as far as my blog is concerned. I read a post from a fellow Jamaican blogger yesterday and it also added a little fuel to that fire. Made me start thinking of my “mommy fail moments”. I hope I’m not the only one who has had them.
I don’t think I am alone in this, but everything I do, every decision I make, every moment of the day, I think about my son. How my choices will affect him, am I raising him the “right way”, and by right way I mean in a way that will be suitable and effective for him. And don’t confuse this with meaning that I want to do for him what he likes, because that’s not it. My primary goal above all is to equip him for life so he is able to function and make good choices no matter what life throws at him. Help him develop good coping skills.
My son’s preschool has an annual trike-a-thon. This was a day when you would bring in their tricycles to school so they could ride to collect funds on behalf of St Jude’s Children Hospital. The day came, I dropped him to school and totally forgot to take his trike. I spoke with his morning teacher and she said not to worry, he could use one from the center. I was working 30 miles away at that time so it wasn’t an option for me to go home and get it.
When I went to pick him up in the evening, his afternoon teacher started shaking her head as soon as she saw me. She asked why I did that to him. I was a little confused at first.. She pulled me aside and began to lightly scold me. She said “You know how aware he is of what’s going on. Why would you forget his trike?”. He had gotten into it with another child who had a trike similar to the one he had at home. And became well aware that he was probably the only child without his own and got pretty upset. He was about 2 1/2 at the time.
I felt so ashamed from the scolding I got, but most of all, for knowing I contributed to his disappointment. He was confused because he thought the trike was his, and then when he found out that it wasn’t, he felt left out. I felt like I failed him.
From that day on I purposed to not contribute to him feeling left out of those kind of group activities. He’s older now, so we can have a conversation about these things and make choices together.
Mommies and some fathers can usually relate to the natural instinct about what’s going on with their child. Sometimes we dismiss it, doubt ourselves and sometimes to their detriment. I remember about 2 1/2 years ago, I was alone with him at home. My husband had his staff party that night and I opted not to go. I gave him a bath and he was in my bedroom playing, but at the same time complaining that his throat hurt.
I took note, but since he was still playing I decided to watch him a little closer. There was nothing visible that I could see. He complained a few more times so I told him, let’s go to bed, and had him lie beside me. When my husband came home I told him that he wasn’t feeling well, and of course in typical dad fashion he said “the kid is fine, are we going to get panicked over every little thing that happens”. Anyway, my gut was right. He woke up crying uncontrollably. I tried to soothe him. He would go back to sleep and just wake up again in the same way.
I woke my husband up and told him that I think something is wrong. He ignored me and went back to sleep. Of course I was wide awake contemplating getting dressed and taking him in to the ER by myelf.
The third time he woke up, got up out of the bed and went to the bathroom, trying to put water on his face because it was “hot”. I followed him, and when I turned the light on, I almost fainted. One side of his face swollen so bad he was unrecognizable. I had to gather my legs under me, pick him up and console him in between getting dressed to take him to the hospital.
It turned out to be THAT serious because we spent 4 helpless days in the hospital with him, still not knowing what was wrong. I regret not acting sooner and sparing him the pain, he was in a lot of pain.
Back to preschool(can you tell I loved that center), they had an annual thanksgiving family lunch. Now those of you in the corporate world know, sometimes it’s difficult to break away during the work day. This particular year, I made it, but I got there late. When the other kids were having lunch with parents/grandparents, my son was at the teachers table because he had no one. At that age, you might think they don’t get it but they certainly do. His teacher told me he was sad. I hated that. No parent wants to disappoint their child, even for a short time. Thank God that one was short lived.
There was also grandparents day where he was probably the only child without someone there. I would try to stay on a little and have breakfast with him so he didn’t feel left out. He has 2 grandmothers but they were live far away. This one year, another grand-dad adopted him for the day(God bless him). He enjoyed having a doting grand-dad, at least for a day.
I always try to make it to my son’s school events to support him. I strongly believe those are the things they will remember in life more that the gifts you give them. When I think back to my own childhood those are the memories I hold dearest of my parents, especially my father since he’s not with us any more.
We are not perfect, but we are good enough
Despite all of these incidents, which might have felt like huge failures at the time, I have come to realize that as mothers we need to give ourselves a break. It’s not the end of the world, we are not super humans, even though our kids might think so. The most important thing is to keep giving it our best shot but knowing that we will fall short sometimes. It’s not about perfection.
Here is a link to a video where some children are telling how they feel about their mommies. I am sure your children feel the same way. Enjoy! [Video Source: B3 Parenting Magazine]
Happy Mother’s Day to you all!!!