Friday, April 3, 2009

Bad Mom

First and foremost, I must credit my dear friend, Kelsey, for the inspiration for this post. Please read her Confessions of a Real Mom post ( It's fabulous.

The past few days have been a bit rough around our house, and I have felt like quite a bad mom. It's hard being a mom. Sometimes it seems so easy and carefree, and other times it feels like trudging through waist-deep mud in clunky combat boots. For whatever reason, I have felt completely overwhelmed with my daily to-do list recently. There just don't seem to be enough hours in the day, and that is with only sleeping from 11:30pm to 5:30am every day.

The kicker of "bad momdom" came yesterday when Curly Girl and I had a bit of a snit. I was frustrated that her school work was progressing at the speed of a sloth which was holding up some other things I needed or wanted to do. Curly Girl was irritated that I was nagging at her to get a move on and not-so-politely informed me that I was being way too impatient for my own good. Furthermore, she also spit out that I was a bad mom because I had been working too much and worrying about money too frequently lately. Well, that did it. You can't just throw out an accusation about being a bad mom and pretend it's not there. You know what, I admit it. I am a bad mom sometimes.

I . . . .

. . . have let my children watch "Goonies" and "Big" without pre-screening them and didn't realize we had a problem until words that are not allowed in our house started coming from the tv.

. . . have thrown a full-blown mommy temper tantrum, then locked myself in my room to recover from it.

. . . won't let my children borrow my IPOD because it has inappropriate music (for them) on it like Prince and Violent Femmes.

. . . let Curly Girl read the first three Twilight books without pre-reading them first. I have since confiscated the third one and bought the fourth book for my own personal enjoyment.

. . . have hustled my children off to bed so I could watch Grey's Anatomy without being interrupted.

. . . let Car Guy take a Harry Potter coloring book to a home school function, then hastily hid it when a little girl told him that Harry was evil. We love Harry Potter at our house, but he is considered next-to-sacrilege in some home school circles. Part of me wanted to send a page of Harry with a wand on it home with the other little darling, but I then thought better of it.

. . . am horrible about deciding when to take my children to the doctor. I have rushed them to the pediatrician for just a virus, but procrastinated and didn't take it seriously when Curly Girl complained about her eyes (she needed glasses), complained about her shoulder (she had irritated her rotator cuff muscles and needed physical therapy), and complained about acid reflux symptoms (which require a trip to the gastroenterologist next week). I also downplayed an asthma attack that eventually sent Car Guy to the emergency room on his 4th birthday.

. . . have no desire or plan to help with Vacation Bible School, but will be happy to drop off my children so they can spend a week this summer with the other adults who got roped into it.

. . . thought Car Guy was just sweaty as an infant when, in fact, his clothes were damp with pee that had leaked from his diaper. I then realized that boys are much harder to diaper than girls.

You know, it's kind of liberating to be so honest. Liberating and terrifying all at the same time. Terrifying because what if no one, especially those people I care about, don't care for the real me. We all try to maintain a perfectly manicured facade of perfection, but truthfully none of us are as perfect as we want everyone to think we are.

I am the queen of "fine." I will very convincingly tell you that "Everything is fine" even when it may not be. Honestly, do any of us really want to invest the time and energy into finding out if another person is "fine" or not? As children, we wore our emotions on our sleeves, but we certainly learn to mask them more successfully as we get older.

The other day, a person I knew way-back in high school commented on a friend's Facebook wall that he thought I had gotten "soft" and "too nice" in my middle age. You know what, I bit and rather jokingly responded to him that I really hadn't gotten any nicer. I'm just better at covering up the dark and twisty side of me.

Did any of my mom confessions or comments about "being fine" ring a bell with you? If so, please fill out my friend Kelsey's survey below. Due to the tremendous response to her "Confessions of a Mom" post she is expanding the idea into a larger project and needs feedback to the questions below.

Kelsey's Post and Questions:

As most of you who have kept up with me know, I am working on a writing project regarding transparency and authenticity. Here is my desperate plea for help! I have created a questionnaire that I need to be completed by as many women as possible. Responses will be held in the strictest of confidence! I don't expect anyone to actually complete the questionnaire on my blog. Therefore, copy and past the questions in to an email message. Or, if you want complete anonymity, send me a message and I will reply with my address. My email is: . Please type "research" in the subject field.

It isn't a long list of questions, but it does require some thought. I ask that you answer with honesty, what you really feel, NOT what you think is the correct answer or what you think society says it should be. If you can only answer a few of the questions, that is fine. I'll take what I can get! Additionally, feel free to print out the questions and pass to anyone you think would take the time to complete this. Forward on to email groups, send by carrier pigeon, convey through smoke signals...just please help me market this. Statistically, the more women I have see this, the better chance I have of actually having some returned.

1. What do you fear people, particularly other women will know about you?
2. What do you avoid at all costs in your interaction with other women ?
3. When did you start hiding parts of yourself from the world? Can you remember an age or circumstance that led to this?
4. What 3 goals/desires do you have for your children?
5. How did your childhood impact these goals?
6. In what ways do you feel you fail as a mother? Or, as a wife?
7. Who, in this world, do you model?
8. What do they have that you don't?
9. Do you think (scale of 1-10) you are successful at modeling them?
10. Name 3 things you routinely do out of "peer pressure", because all the other wives and mothers are doing it.
11. Describe what "having it all" really means to you.

Again, THANK YOU, to whomever gets this completed and returned. I am indebted to you!

1 comment:

  1. You are not a bad mom. You are a mom just like all of us and a great one at that! The iPod logic is a sign of a mom with good sense to know the difference. Same for are a mom who CARES! I, on the other hand, allow my children to repeatedly watch Overboard, one of my all-time favorite movies with strings of foul language and innuendo. Email me about Dr. visits...I'll tell you when to take them in :-) I, too, take full advantage of VBS. So sue me. Jeffrey fell off the changing table as an infant. So which is worse...lying in pee or falling 4 feet?
    We all have stories and, if nothing else, they make other moms feel normal! And your children need to know you are not perfect, only human, and willing to admit it. Take a deep are allowed to get soft in your old age!