Inspired by some of my favorite bloggers who share their parenting experiences on the regular (I’m looking at you Kathleen and Ashley), I thought I’d share some of my mom blunders from this past summer with the kidlets.
Summer 2013 was kind of disastrous: chaos all the time, gray hairs, tantrums from kids & adults alike, utter exhaustion and not enough of a schedule we were determined to make the next year better. We scrutinized camp descriptions, options (and pricing, let’s be real) leading us to pick some great new experiences for both kids, Knight and I planned out who would pick them up and when, the sitters we would have, the local events we’d take the girls to. By and large this summer did go much better than Summer ’13. MUCH.
That’s not to say there weren’t moments were I wanted to scream, cry and punch a wall because parenting is tough. Really, really tough.
The first day of camp I sent the girls with the requirements as per the camp instructions: swimsuits, towels, lunch box full of yummy food. The moment the girls got in the car at pick-up they informed me of all the things the Other Moms gave their kids: extra snacks. Flip-flops. A bag for the wet suits. Water bottles. I felt like a failure. I’m a parent, in a mom-role and yet because I don’t do this every day or because I think differently about things such as: the girls were indoors all day, there are tons of water fountains & water breaks, the camp provided snacks – I felt like a total failure. The girls incessant questions about why I didn’t know what to send or why I didn’t do it certainly didn’t help. (I may or may not have called Knight in a teary mess.)
One evening the girls and I decided to tag-along with Knight to his softball game because: a) it was gorgeous weather b) his softball games take place in an awesome park with countless playground for the kids and c) I wanted to get in a run while I watched the girls on the playground (which yes, I could do safely and not lose sight of them). After a bit the girls decided they wanted to run with me and knowing that kids + exercise = amazing sleep and no fights at bedtime, along they came. We were having fun: talking, laughing, discussing why exercise is important and then I decided that we should all do a silly run, a la Phoebe from friends. Not three seconds into it, Jolie goes down. Hard. I’ve never heard her scream like that before. Scratched knees, elbows, hands. I was able to get her cleaned up and off in the public park restroom, pulling stuff out of my purse left and right that would help but I felt horrible, selfish and like I should have/could have prevented that fall. My mom guilt kicked in and we all got ice cream that evening.
Our local library is Awesome. Free events and shows, reading programs, giveaways, educational camps. I mentioned to the girls that there was a comedian/magician show coming to our location, filled the sitter in on the details, which by the way I obtained from the library website, and thought we were good to go. Later that day I get a text from the sitter saying I gave them the wrong time and they missed half the show. Not only did I let the kids down I looked like a moron in front of the sitter.
There were other things that made me want to pull out my hair: bedtime struggles, getting the younger one to eat her food (all meals, every.single.day), making family dinners that the girls refused to eat, attitudes, eye rolling and them telling me they didn’t like me and wanted to go home (which I understand on the one hand and also might as well have been a knife in my gut since we try so hard to make things fun and enjoyable for them).
And yes, there were things that went well: seeing the joy in the girls’ eyes after their camps; their new friends they made in the neighborhood; the sight of our backyard filled with kids since we decided to do an impromptu pizza party for the girls & their friends; their squeals of delight at the circus, the live play we took them to see, and other fun days.
I know parenting is a balance. I know it takes patience, hard-work and time to try to get even one thing right. I just wish I had more of it because as a bonus mom I often feel like the Black Sheep, an outcast and insignificant leading me to take it really hard when I make a mistake. While Summer ’15 is far away, I’m already thinking and pre-planning in my head.
Do you have any real-life moments you want to share, parenting or otherwise?