Friday, April 03, 2009

dammit, I suck as a mother

On any given day, I spent huge amounts of time at home and am readily available should any emergency befall a child of mine. On Thursday, I had agreed to do a solo counseling session BEFORE a joint counseling session. Since I was going downtown, I planned a side trip to Bloomingdales' for make-up, returning books to the library, and picking up art supplies for my Monday collage class (I had the assignment of buying 4 new acrylic colors and a block of "canvas paper").

When my counselor and I broke for a bathroom break before the joint session, Anton, waiting for the joint session, informed me that Lola was sick and that he had picked her up at school and parked her at my friend Joyce's house (thank you, Joyce, I owe you, oh magnificent one). I was suffused with huge guilt. There I was, the first time in three months that I"d gone around shopping, buying art supplies and make-up and whining in a private therapy session while my child was ill. Such bad timing.

Sometimes I hate myself, sometimes I miss the old days when I was a childless lawyer. God knows that being availabe six days out of seven sometimes isn't enough when you're a parent of a small child.

11 comments:

Silliyak said...

If you feel the need to get beat up, at least have the courtesy to let SH do it! Lighten up Francis! You're a good mom, maybe even great. You need more "me" time, not less.

J9 said...

Don't sweat the small stuff, and don't let Lola guilt trip you about this either!

Anonymous said...

When I was off gallivanting in Hollywood last week my husband and son were rear ended. I continued my trip. What are you going to do, turn every unfortunate coincidence into a moment of greater meaning? You can't do that, you're too smart.

Jen in OR said...

Clearly you should be with your children 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Period.

Or..... you could give yourself a break here and realize that kids get sick and Moms run errands and sometimes the two happen simultaneously. That's why they have a Dad!

Caroline said...

No, you don't. God knows I am going slowly bonkers over here because I am always at work or at home with the kids or at work or at home with the kids or... well, you get the picture. Running errands on your own is one of the unsung joys of parenting. You will do your friend a similar favor someday and meanwhile you preserved a scrap of your sanity.

Marketeer said...

You do not suck as a mother. These things happen.

Melissa said...

You cannot allow yourself to feel guilty ONE MINUTE about this.

I will play Topper with you for a minute: When my youngest was in first grade, they had an awards ceremony. The teacher sent a computer generated label message to all parents in the daily folder.

I had a doctor's appointment to have bloodwork done. I knew DD didn't have perfect attendance, so anything else, seemed okay to miss. It was freakin' first grade.

Come to find out, she had the "Outstanding Student" award for her class. Apparently, the school had this tradition of each teacher picking two students from the class to get this award and they DID NOT TELL THE PARENTS IN ADVANCE so that the parents wouldn't "spoil" it for the other kids; it would be this giant Academy Award moment.

You are a great parent. Your child will remember more the thousands of good moments and always there times, than the one time you weren't there to pick her up. This is why everyone needs a dependable spouse (why didn't the SH pick her up?) or a wingman.

You have to give yourself grace over moments like this. Think of it this way--You have to model what being an imperfect human being is for your children, who as very, very bright kids already have the perfectionist gene hard wired.

It's a teachable moment.

Hugs ((())) Missy

snowqueen said...

The others said it so well but let me add that you're such a great mother that you called out SH when things were rocky and got him to agree to counselling and all of that is at least partly why he was available to pick up sick child while you had some well-earned time to yourself. It doesn't always have to be you. It's ok.

snowqueen said...

Yes you guessed it - I hadn't read the previous entries as I've been away a while. sorry. Under the circumstances it's understandable that you feel you need to take the entire burden of responsibility

Anonymous said...

You are a mother, not an employee.

Ro said...

Please. How do you think children survived before cell phones? They got sick at school and laid on a cot in the nurse's office until Mom got home from the grocery store and the nurse JUST HAPPENED to call at the right time. Because, you know, there were no answering machines either. How quickly we forget!