Don’t sweat it. Whatever guilt you may feel or sadness that you didn’t live up to expectations, just make like Elsa and let it go.
When my dear sweet Alex was a newborn, I imagined what it would be like when he went to school one day. I envisioned being the mom who brought the homemade cupcakes and had the most thoughtful teacher gifts. (That was back before you couldn’t bring homemade snacks anymore) I would be the one they called when they were in a lurch who saved the day.
Well. I’m not that Mom. I keep thinking I’ll become her one day. Like maybe next year is when I’ll start packing lunches every night for the next day and we won’t have the whole “Mom, I wanted to bring my lunch, I don’t like school food!” conversation. Certainly not the one where I say “Maybe tomorrow, but today you’ll eat the school lunch and you’ll live through it.” Because by the time these people are fed and bathed and laundry and dishes I just don’t have it in me to pack the lunches.
I’ve blamed a lot of stuff for my “less than heroic home room mom” style. I have 6 kids. That’s a lot. If you don’t think so sit six plates out side by side when you dish up dinner. You’ll see. Maybe it’s the full time job outside of the home that contributes. I’m so darn tired when I get home. Maybe it’s that whole I had cancer last year and now I have hypothyroid-like symptoms with months in between each medicine adjustment.
I still have time to be super mom, right? Except that sweet baby Alex, he graduates in 4 short years.
I realized the other day that I will never be overachiever super mom. My dreams were momentarily dashed. I mean, she was always the goal. But then I remembered how much I’ve come to detest the filling out of valentines for 4 boys at a time and the last minute boxes I poured my heart into creating when they sailed off to bed, after announcing they did in fact need a box, tomorrow. I’m no Picasso but that Pokemon box I did last year should have won some artistic contest.
I also can’t leave work and be at every party for every holiday. And you know what? It’s okay. They still thrive in school. I kid you not one of the boys teachers told me at a recent parent teacher conference that he was a “gifted genius”. Something went right somewhere. They don’t take it for granted when I can make it away from work to have lunch with them. It’s a special treat. They don’t walk around feeling entitled to 100% of my attention. They can share. They are well adjusted. They don’t expect me to be that super woman. All of those expectations were mine. The only person I’ve been letting down, is me.
I just decided to forgive myself. Life gives me a lot to worry about without me adding stupid things to the list. So if you’re worrying about not being good enough, or doing enough, chances are it’s all for naught. You’re the only mom that can be you. And that’s enough.