I had one of those horrible moments this week where I really felt like a totally bad mum. There are no doubt many times during the week that I’m not the best mum I can be, but I try, and generally feel I don’t do too bad a job – after all the kids are usually happy, healthy, clean (well most of the time) and they have managed to survive my parenting for the past 8 and 6yrs without too many mishaps.
This week Jessica had some sort of dance/gym workshop going on (I wasn’t too clear on the details, one of those things that she mentioned to me whilst I was talking on the phone and cooking dinner at the same time, so it did not really register properly). She had told me a repeatedly (much to her annoyance) that she needed her full PE kit with her to join in. Her having come home in some of it a few days earlier after Sports Day meant it wasn’t in her kit bag as usual.
On arrival at school in the morning it dawned on me that we’d not brought it in. Bad mummy! Rushed to tell the teacher and find out what time she needed it – phew – as long as it was dropped at school reception before 1pm it would be fine. No probs I thought, got some admin work to do at home this morning, a meeting scheduled for 12.30, so could easily drop it off on the way to the meeting – all sorted – good mummy status resumed.
However, on leaving my meeting at 2.15pm, as I walked to the car, I suddenly got this sinking feeling, a wave of guilt washed over me as I realised that I had totally forgotten to take the PE kit she needed to school. I felt sick, tears pricked my eyes as I thought how upset she would’ve been, that she might not have been able to join in. How could I have got so distracted as to not be able to remember one simple task. I was gutted, felt like the most terrible mother in the world. Ok, so I tried to put it in to perspective – it wasn’t the end of the world, she might have been able to borrow some from lost property, it was just a little workshop – but the bottom line was that I’d let her down and I felt awful for it.
As parents – do we not all say our first priority are our kids. I know I do, but in reality, their needs often come lower down the list than they should. It’s not a conscious thing, I think I find it all to easy to blame work commitments, being too busy, multi tasking, too tired – my list of excuses could go on.
As she came running down the path after school, I looked for a pained expression, I was expecting red rimmed eyes and tear stained cheeks.. but no.. happy and smiley as ever. I rushed towards her full of apologies and excuses as to why I didn’t do as I’d promised. She smiled, hugged me, said ‘its ok mummy, really’ One of the things I love the absolute most about my children is their ability and willingness to forgive in an instant. No laying on of guilt, making you pay in someway for your mistake so that you learn your lesson.
Just straight forward, I love you so you are forgiven.
Such a humbling experience to be taught so earnestly from your child
What do you learn from your children?