I feel like a failure today. I feel like maybe I shouldn’t have been a mom. I feel like this just isn’t working out and “they” win.
The day started rough. I don’t know why. Maybe not enough sleep. Probably not enough sleep. I knew I wanted to get out of the house—if not for their sake, then for mine. Then I got an email from another unschooling mom I wanted to hang out with. She also has four kids. She also does home birth. And she seems pretty cool. We had run into her family at a few different events, but this was our first purposeful meeting. Because the morning was already rough, I fed the kids a big breakfast before leaving the house so I wouldn’t have to take food with me. For the record, that never works. If I don’t bring food…if I do bring food, they beg it off of other moms. At least if I do bring food, I don’t look like a total slacker. Of course, I had no food for my kids who started a chorus of “we’re hungry” when they saw the other mom brought food to the park. Additionally, Thing One and Thing Two were wearing shirts that they had been wearing for at least three days. Maybe longer. Thing One’s looked shabby, but then I got a closer look at the plaid shirt that Thing Two refused to change out of—and it was just plain gross. The plaid kind of hid the dirt and food and whatever else habituated that shirt, but up close it was all very visible. Strike two, slacker mom. Then Thing One & Thing Two spent the time being rude and violent with each other. Thing One didn’t stop with being rude to his brother, he decided to be rude to every living thing in the park as well as some inanimate objects. Both my lovely things were displaying their most unattractive personality challenges at full blast. Thing Two had his energy ramped up to 100 mph and could not keep his body off of everyone else. Thing One, my introvert, decided that he didn’t even want to be there, so he was on full display of his anti-social, first-born, small child hating behavior.
Strike three, slacker mom.
And here I couldn’t pull my usual, “I have four kids,” slacker excuse because she also has four kids and she had burritos & watermelon and she had clean children and she had kids who were not behaving as if they had rabies.
And I feel like a failure. Not because I am a slacker mom. I know I do a lot of other things even if I am slipping on the spot checks before leaving the house and even though I am idealistic in my attempts to only feed my kids at certain times so I don’t pack snacks. And sometimes—often times even—my kids really are pleasant and fun to be around. It was just a bad day.
I feel like a failure because I could not cope with it all. I could not understand why they wouldn’t just talk to me so I could fix their issues. I tried. Thing Two just bounced away. Thing One just stalked away snarling. So then I lost it. When I can’t fix a problem, I collapse. And feel like a failure.
Worse of all, I pushed my kids away from me because I no longer knew what else to do. I remember the first time when Thing One was a baby and I realized I didn’t know how to help him and so I ended up pushing him away thinking, “Is this when I inevitably fuck up my kid?” But if anything, kids are forgiving. They forgive me.
They will forgive me…right?