Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Confessions of a Suburban Mom

I was going to post something light-hearted and fun today. I had it all ready to go. But instead I'm going to whine a bit and you all can be my confidantes or therapists or whatever you want. Just be kind; I'm feeling a bit schmucky right now.

I screwed up today. Again. Actually, I screwed up yesterday but didn't realize it until today. I missed my kid's "Back to School" open house. Nice, huh?

For some reason, I had it in my little (miniscule) brain that it was tonight. I was all ready to head out the door at 4:15. For some reason I checked the calendar right before heading out the door... and it was last night.

I took it pretty hard. What will his teacher think? This is, after all, a new school for us. (He only went here for a few weeks of first grade. Hardly counts.) What will the PTA think? What does this say about how much value we place on his education? What kind of example are we setting? Does this foreshadow the kind of school year he's going to have? Seriously, the ways in which I beat myself up about this are nearly endless.

Since we moved, I've had quite a string of stupidities. When we went to our new bank to open our accounts here, they noticed my driver's license was expired. Then, soon after that, I had my little automobile mishap in the parking garage, which will cause our car insurance rates to go up for the next few years and made me feel like a complete dork. I made multiple mistakes in helping plan my parents' anniversary party. I ended up in the urgent care clinic this weekend because I hurt my back really bad (and have since been zoned out on muscle relaxants). Lots of other oversights, too. I'll stop now.

I'm tired of screwing things up. Period.

Those of you who know me probably know that I tend to be a bit of an overachiever. Maybe a bit of a perfectionist from time to time. I like to be organized, I like to be on time, I feel better when things go smoothly. You get the picture. (But still! I'm a fun person!!! Honest I am.)

Here's the other thing: Jensen's had a rough streak lately. He has the worst case of pinkeye I've ever seen (today is Day 11 of the Goopy Eyes; he got new antibiotics yesterday). He's missed his first few football practices because of that, and because he was out of town. And he's stressed about school starting-- going to a new school at the age of seven must be at least a little intimidating. And now he's disappointed about missing the Back to School function. Way to go, me!

My sister (a teacher) reassures me that Jensen's teacher won't think twice about us missing last night. My husband reassures me that this doesn't reflect badly on me as a parent. My son reassures me that it's not that big a deal. I e-mailed his teacher, and will call the school office tomorrow to take care of enrollment stuff. That's all I can do. So I'm writing this post, and will then officially Let. It. Go.

But I guess I just needed to write about it. Sometimes, much of the time even, motherhood is light-hearted and fun. And sometimes it just overwhelms me.


  1. I beat myself up about this stuff too. I mean, the guilt, it BURNS.

    I think because my own parents were so horrifically inadequate during my childhood, I have, as a parent myself, overcompensated by trying to be the PERFECT MOM. The mom who never forgets, and makes gifts for teachers, and volunteers to drive.

    And I mess up and I try not to let it drive me crazy but it does. So, I understand that rock in the pit of your stomach because I've felt that too.

    But everyone is absolutely right. They won't really think it's a big deal that you missed, considering you just moved and all.

    So, Breathe. He won't even remember it by the 3rd day of school, if he even noticed in the first place!

  2. I had a minute so I decided to check out your blog. Sorry to hear that you are having a rough couple of days. I wish I was there I would run right over and give you a big hug. You are a great mom, wife, woman!!! Take a moment to relax, take a long bath, drink some wine, watch a chick flick and cry your eyes out. I do hope you can let it go. Take care. Miss you. jana

  3. Thanks so much, guys.... 24 hours later, I'm feeling much better. Still a bit embarrassed, but it will pass.


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