Am I Doing This Wrong?

For the first month, or maybe even two months, of the school year, I was on it.

It being major mom duty.

Have you ever seen a happier child?

My girls were coordinated with each other, even though they don’t even attend the same school (and i’ll admit to still doing this, because i’m corny, and I think it’s cute), Izzy was always at school well before the tardy bell, and their packed lunches consisted of homemade banana bread, organic raisins, oranges I cut myself in the morning, and sandwiches shaped with cookie cutters, to add a little style to their lunch, I guess.

who gave her permission for this?

And then I got used to this whole school thing.
Somewhere along the way, it stopped really mattering that Izzy’s clothes were perfectly ironed – a few minutes in the dryer while we brush teeth is just fine. I can’t remember the last time I pulled up to the drop-off line before eight – apparently that’s when all the other parents make it too. Hey, as long as it’s before the bell. I put money on her account so she can just grab a tray sometimes, and fruit cups and ritz crackers – the type of stuff they actually eat, instead of letting rot in the lunchbox all day – shows up more often than organic anything.

normal lunch these days…

I care more about sleeping in a little longer than a cutesy lunch. I get upset (i’m working on it though) when I have to beg and threaten my oldest to eat some damned breakfast. I frequently just nod and pretend to listen through long, drawn out stories about what happened at recess. I would be totally okay with not getting five pages of scribbles from my three year old when I pick her up.

When the hell did that happen?

When did the novelty wear off?

Will it come back?

Should I care?

I’m not a super mom. I love my kids, I’m good to them, they’re well taken care of. They’re happy. They’re SUCH happy little girls. Is that the only standard I should really be bothered with, or care about? That even though mommy packs the equivalent of a lunchable in that cutesy box, they know they’re loved? That even though they may barely get to school on time, they’ll come home to a place where they can feel warm and safe? That the clothes may be a little wrinkled, hair may be a little messy, but they’re clean and fed? That sometimes mommy cant listen to stories, but it’s because she and daddy are doing their best to make sure the kids dont ever know student loan debt, or have to worry about taking care of US instead of their own family?

I don’t know.

I’m just… doing the best I can with every moment. They aren’t always good moments, no, but… I’m doing my best. And they’re thriving! They’re having fun, yes, but they’re also growing up.

wpid-20151208085103.jpgStarting school, and losing teeth, and having birthdays, and the shit is happening so fast that… I’m afraid it’s going to pass me before I’ve had a chance to… I don’t know. Perfect parenthood. I don’t know if I got parenting a five year old right, and she’s already about to be six.

Did I mess this up?

Am I messing them up?

This isn’t some woe is me, blah blah blah. Barring some major, nutso, crazy thing I know my kids will be fine. I hope my kids will be fine. I’m just reflecting. Freaking out. You know, normal stuff.

Don’t mind me.

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Tasha L. Harrison
Tasha L. Harrison
5 years ago

Listen. I had a crying jag last night because I messed up the arrival time for a coding class my son was signed up for. It was partly hormones but also stress because I’m trying to get a book ready for my editor, write up a critique, write a review, and a blog post for a friend…etc. This is motherhood. We’re meant to feel like we’re doing it wrong, I guess.

5 years ago

Sounds about normal to me. It’s been twenty years since my three were that young, but I was the same way…(and worked up 60 hours a week outside the home)…and I was always exhausted and mad at myself.

We set impossible standards for ourselves believing “good moms” can master it all. I met one mom who did appear perfect…until I went to her home and saw the chaos. She chose perfect looking children over a clean house. The disorganization would have driven me batshit crazy.

Happy, healthy children are the goal, but you have to be HAPPY too. You’re there for your girls, and are involved. Take a chill pill. 🙂

Joy Campbell-Chambers
Joy Campbell-Chambers
5 years ago

As long as they’re thriving and having fun – as you noted – then you’re good. Most of don’t have a clue what we’re doing when parenthood hits, but we learn as we go along.

Just wait until they’re older and can have a meaningful conversation and you’re trying to get that chapter written while the words are flowing. My son has given up on trying to talk to me during those times. I try and make it up to him though.

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