Do any of these scenarios sound familiar to you?
You forgot to buy a present for a birthday party your child is attending so you stop by the store on the way. You forgot a gift bag, so your child’s gift is *wrapped* in a stylish store logo bag.
Your child forgot to tell you they needed a lunch for school today, so on the way to school you stop by the gas station, grab a pre-wrapped sandwich, a yogurt and a bottle of water.
Your child almost misses a field trip because you have the permission slip in your bag from three weeks ago.
Your husband is on a business trip, so you and the kids eat cereal for dinner.
After several months of telling your seven year old to scoot back from the television, you finally take her to have her eyes checked and discover she is blind as a bat and CAN’T see the screen. (This was me. I did this one.)
Have you ever pulled a smelly uniform from a gym bag, tossed it in the dryer with a fabric softener sheet and threw it at your child on the way out the door?
Or, your child takes a little tumble and complains about his arm hurting. Since he’s still able to use it, this probably means it isn’t broken. Right? Wrong. Four days later and a trip to the ER confirms a break. (This was also me.)
Actually, these were all me and I felt horrible at the time. “I am such a bad mama!” “How could I embarrass them like this?” “This can’t be healthy for them!” “It can’t be broke, REALLY?”
When these things happen, whether it was due to our lack of planning, our children’s lack of planning or just life, we feel so guilty. We often feel alone, like it is “just us” who screws up. And, we sure don’t want the other parents to know because they wouldn’t understand. Things like this never happen to them, right?
We go through parenthood like this, afraid to let others see our weaknesses and unable to forgive ourselves for our screwups. What we don’t realize is this: WE ARE NOT ALONE! Each of you probably has some very similar scenarios and some doozies of your own. By reaching out to others and admitting our mistakes and foibles, we allow them to let their guard down, too.
Even though you hate that you put your kids through such “trauma”, in reality they need to learn to live and deal with imperfect people… including you. You will not traumatize them by your everyday mistakes. They will not remember them or, if they do remember, they will probably laugh about them.
Since my kids are now 18 and older, they love to look back and laugh at some of the crazy stuff I did. My oldest daughter, who is a 29-year-old mother of six and my BFF, told me that she remembers when she was 10 years old and I yelled and threw a book at her because I was so angry. I was appalled and I certainly don’t remember that. I am a little embarrassed to admit it, but we have always joked that the oldest was the guinea pig anyway. I changed my parenting style a bit through the years and haven’t thrown anything recently. (Although, I have felt like it!)
The biggest thing I want you to take away from this post is this: Cut yourself some slack. And while you are at it, cut the moms and dads around you some slack as well.
So what if trash falls out the door of the minvan when she drops kids off at school? Or, what if her kid’s clothes don’t match? You don’t know what battle may have been fought that morning…same as at your house.
What are some things you have screwed up in your parenting?