Monday, August 13, 2007

Bad Mom

I've not had a great day. Not a terrible day, just not a great one.

I've mostly been managing all the stress (one kid moving out in 10 days, one moving in in a couple of days, school starting for them and me), but I have had a lot of stress thoughts moving through my head.

Like I am about to have six kids. SIX. I am going to have to write down all their birthdays. I mean, think about that, these are my own kids and I am not confident that I will be able to remember all their birthdays. How does Cindy do it? How does she remember 39 birthdays? Okay, so she only has like 20 at home, right? Or is it 30? Does she bake or buy them all birthday cakes? Do they have a birthday party every other week, or just one a month for whoever happened to be born then? I would ask, but her life is pretty stressful right now and I don't think it is appropriate.

But I've been thinking that maybe six is as many as I can deal with. Kids need attention. They need people to remember their birthdays. A good mom should know what's going on in their lives and I am not that good at remember that many details.

And the doorbell rings.

There is a good mom there. The sort of mom whose kids are take music lessons and are signed up for soccer league and ballet classes. She is here to pick up her son for band practice and will she see me at the ice cream social?

Um...uh...I'm not sure.

She leaves and I call Andrew to the living room. I did not actually yell at him, but I did ask with a fair amount of stress, "What band practice!? Tonight? There's an ice cream social tonight? Is this a fund raiser? Am I supposed to have money, or is it just a social? What do you mean you don't know? Don't you have some sort of handout or something?"


Evan came home and after a while asked me what was wrong. "You know you are just dripping with snappishness, don't you? What are pissed about?"

"Nothing." I asked Andrew to go with me to the store. He knew better than to say no.

We got to the store and I told him that I was sorry. "This really is supposed to be an apology, okay? Not more reprimanding. I realized that the real reason that I was upset was that I was embarrassed by not knowing about it in front of the other mom, and that has more to do with my insecurities than with you."

"I can do a better job of telling you about things. If it is that important to you..."

"Well, I would like you to tell me about things, but what I am saying is that I should let go of caring what other people think of me. I need to remember that not knowing about the band ice cream social doesn't make me a bad mom."

Andrew says, "Just remember you have a license." (Which is what I tell the kids whenever one of them is foolish enough to question me by pointing out that someone else's parents let their kids do something.)

Anyway, we had a companionable time walking through the grocery store. We got to the end and I realized we did not have ice cream so I went down that aisle. We stood there trying to decide and a mom and her daughter walked by. The mother said very loudly, "I'm not spending $5.75 on f***ing hot fudge so that you and your brother can stuff your faces!"

Andrew leaned closed and whispered, "You're a good mom."


  1. Never mind the birthdays. I'd have to write down all their names.

    Even so, I call the girls by the wrong name much of the time.

    I've even called Elcie "Wesley" (her dad's name). Now that takes talent.

  2. When my daughter's friends are here, I get them all confused. I've even called them the name of my long-dead dog.

  3. How about the fact that my Mother, whom I consider a good Mom, has called me by my Hubby's name!

    I know what you mean about stress causing me to act in ways I'd regret later. I don't deal well with Baby R acting up in public. It really hits me in a spot. We almost left a restaurant yesterday because it got to much for me. I know all the logical things afterwards but the stress of people staring .. ughh

    When my parents divorced my siblings and I created an address book for my father. He had never mailed a card during their 28 years of marriage. We wrote down every birthday in a monthly listing. This way he can just look at it each month and do all of his cards at once.

  4. Hey, some F-ing hot fudge sounds like just what you needed!

    No one is perfect and there are even some of us who marvel at YOU.


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