September 12, 2012

Today, I Am A Crappy Mom

This is a picture of my children making friends.  My children.  At preschool.
Last night, I had a full fledged panic attack.  I did it quietly, while making dinner, so as not to alarm M... but it happened.  I knew while it was happening that it was pointless to freak out, that there was no reason.  That I should just contain myself and have a glass of water, and boil the pierogi.

It was a simple enough thing.  I had finished putting my big girls to bed, and through the whole bedtime routine we were talking about how important it was that they get a lot of sleep because they had their FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL in the morning.

We talked about all the fun things they would do and learn at their preschool.  About all the new friends they would make.  About bringing their lunches, and being polite, asking to use the potty.  About playing with the other boys and girls, and taking turns, and sharing, and saying "please" and "thanks you."

And as I walked into the kitchen to make dinner, I thought to myself, "I should make their lunches tonight, just to be on the safe side."

And then I realized that they didn't have lunch boxes.

And that's when it happened.

My twins are at preschool right now.  And last night I had a total meltdown about it.

Not because they're so big, and now they're entering a new world that I can never be a part of.

No, because suddenly, I'm really a mom.  A mom that they will compare to other moms.  A mom that didn't have the good sense to get them lunch boxes before their school year started.  A mom that didn't manage to even give them a bath the night before their first day of school.

For the first time, I am actually comparing myself with other moms.  Moms who miraculously lost their baby weight, moms who are showered and properly attired, moms who's kids smell nice.  Moms who's kids have lunch boxes.

I had been thinking that lunch boxes would be a good birthday present.  That's still a few weeks away.  I figured we could wing it for September.  Why did I think that?

I didn't make their lunches last night.  I just cried about it.

And this morning I woke up, made the lunches, roused the children, fed the baby, fed the children, dressed the children, and shuffled everyone into the car.

We were ten minutes late to school.  It could have been worse.  As SI kept saying on the way to school, "Mommy, that happens!"

And we arrived, and I parked in the handicapped parking spot because it was the only one open, and I brought my kids to preschool and signed them in.  And as they washed their hands to begin their day with their new teachers and new friends, I quietly sneaked out the door again.

And then I ran a quick errand, came home, fed the baby, showered, fed the baby, loaded the dishwasher, sat down to blog, fed the baby, and came back to the blog.

And I have to leave to get the girls from preschool in twenty minutes.

I'm an adult now.  I really suppose I need to get used to that idea.  But I'm not.

The idea that I have to wake up my children and get them ready for school... that's a little much for me at the moment.

I had this wonderful idea- while they were at school, I would practice the piano.  Or watch adult shows- like the Walking Dead.  Or I would clean.

But it's not like that.  It's just that the house is a lot emptier while I'm busy being a mom to one.

And one?  One can be harder than two or three.  With two, they keep each other entertained.  With three, the two entertain the little one.  With one?

I've never had one baby before.  I hardly know what to do with one baby.

I know, it's a ridiculous thing to be upset about, or overwhelmed by...

But I am.

I am overwhelmed and confused and sort of in a state of shock.

Right now, my kids are having a snack with their new friends.  They've cleaned up toys, they've probably done some sort of project...  I don't remember today's routine.  Maybe they baked muffins.

But whatever they're doing, they're doing it without me.  And somehow that doesn't make my day any easier.

And I actually miss them.  The house feels a little lonely when I can't hear them trashing the living room behind me.

I feel so much more like a mom today than I usually do.

I feel like I suddenly have so much more responsibility to take hold of.

I feel like it's not my kids who are older, it's me.  And dropping them off at school today wasn't a giant milestone for them, it was a milestone for me.

Today I'm the crappy mom who didn't bathe her kids, procure lunch boxes for them, or get them to school on time.

And I'm terrified that this is who I'm going to be for the rest of my life.


  1. you're a GREAT mama. yesterday, today, tomorrow.

  2. You are not a crappy mom by any stretch of the imagination. But I can relate to many of the feelings you are sharing. We all experience them. So really, it just makes you a normal mom. And I happen to think you are extraordinary. Big hugs!

  3. Do you know how many times I've forgotten to send my daughter to daycare without wipes for her diapers? (I blame extended sleep deprivation.) Don't feel bad. Everyone has days like this.

  4. So relatable! When new chapters start in my life I'm bound to be a bit of a mess. Things are never "normal." Then I look back and I'm so glad they aren't. Being the mess makes me humble. Not being the best challenges me to be persistent. Being the mom with dirty kids makes me remember why they are dirty--because we are busy living and loving life.

    I'm never going to win the "mom of the year" award ... not in everyone else's eyes at least. But when I have craptacular days I remember the things I DO well ... love. feed. smile. laugh. And to me, those are a much more powerful legacy than having the coolest lunch sack.

  5. Anyone who says they don't have days like this are either lying or have an army of household staff to assist. It really does get easier. You'll find your new normal.

  6. Nope. You will never ever evr qualify in the crappy mom category. because if you are then I am too ;) And I refuse to believe I suck lol Sent my kid to preschool last week without milk money or a show and tell toy. I was mortified. He didn't seem to notice :) Hang in there, mama. I'm right there with you.
    ~Mama Pants

  7. Everyone has their moments when they feel like a crappy mom- though usually no one knows except the person going through it!

  8. Awww... I cried when I read this. Partly for you, and partly for me. I just sent my 4yo off to K4 this week, and the same things have been happening for me too. If it makes you feel better, my boy didn't get a bath before his first day either. I show up to drop him off unshowered, in my Tee and Yoga pants after being up until 2AM working on my Senior Capstone Project, and all the other younger (and better rested!) mommies are dressed in their skinny jeans and scarves with their perfectly coiffed hair. WTF!? Today I dropped off (unshowered as usual) got a coffee, checked email (and read your blog), now I have to put the 2yo in front of PBS so I can shower and get dressed. Then we pick up the big kid, eat a lunch (out - since its payday and we have NO food left in the house), then I take them to the sitters across town while I go and meet with my Professor and work on my project. Then I pick them up, we grab a frozen pizza and milk to take home, and we finally eat at 7pm.

    We're not "crappy" moms. We're insanely BUSY moms. We have things we are doing OUTSIDE OF being "just a mom". (Remember that whole "Lie of Motherhood" post?)

    HUG. If other people think we look tired and crappy... Eff them! I refuse to dress up so my 2yo can wipe peanut butter all over me!

  9. Oh, I'm feeling for you. I remember how strange it was when my twin girls started kindergarten last year and I just didn't know what they were doing all day. It was so hard! And even this year, while they were thrilled to go back to school, I really missed them. Hang in there. Once you see the smiles and they start sharing all their triumphs, you'll enjoy that part too.

    Visiting you from Multiples & More.

  10. Great post- It sounds to me you're a normal mom, not a crappy mom. My son did not go to pre-school, but I did freak out when he went to Kindergarten. And probably will again next year when he goes to Middle school (I don't even know how I'm old enough to have a kid that age). Moms forget lunch boxes, or run out of time to bathe the children- don't be too hard on yourself :)

    Visiting from MBC- look forward to reading more from you!



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