I’ll come out and admit one of the hardest things it is to say to other people. I haven’t been the best mom lately. I’m not even going to make excuses for myself. It’s been a clear-cut case of “head up ass” syndrome – where I’ve been so wrapped up in my own life that I haven’t really made the effort to tune into my kids as much as I know I need to – and want to.
Now, this isn’t going to be one of those “poor me, I’m such a bad mom, please try to make me feel better about my parenting” kind of posts. I don’t want anyone’s pity or even your sympathy. This is me, just be honest about where I’m at right now and trying to figure out how to do better.
This realization about my less than stellar parenting as of late hit me like a ton of bricks yesterday morning. It was a typical morning in the Sunshine household – full of rushing around, pushing the kids to get ready for school, and irritation on my part. On the way to school I apologized to the girls for being grouchy – which lately seems to be happening more often than not. I was feeling like a heel. When I dropped girls off at school, my oldest, Kiddo, looked up at me with big tears rolling down her cheeks. Despite having spent the night before with me, despite my cranky mood that morning, she missed me and wanted to spend the day with me.
My heart broke. I’ve been missing my girls a lot lately, too. A lot. My 50/50 parenting arrangement with my ex means that I don’t get to see my girls nearly as much as I would like. To add to this, the last two weekends that I’ve had with my girls have been “family weekends” that have included CBG and Ankle Biter. As much as we have fun together, it’s just not the same as an all-girls bonding weekend. Honestly at this point I prefer to have that time with just my girls to play, laugh, watch movies and all snuggle up in my bed together, particularly since my life allows me that luxury. Sure, our “family weekends” are great, but at this point they just don’t compare to my “girl time”.
I put aside all thoughts of being on time for work yesterday. I took Kiddo down to her classroom to help her put away her backpack and coat. Then I sat down with her for a little chat, snuggling her close to me. We talked about how she was feeling. I did my best to let her know that we all have days where we just don’t feel like ourselves. I told her that it was okay to feel the way she was feeling and that I totally understood – I missed her too – a lot. I told her about one of my strategies when I’m feeling sad and upset – which is to make a list of all the things I have to be happy about and grateful for.
And so we sat and talked about that list…all the things that she had to be happy about. We talked about the upcoming weekend and the things that we planned on doing together. When I finally left it was with a huge hug and a kiss and the feeling that Kiddo was doing a whole lot better.
And that, my friends, was worth being late for work for. So while I may not be Mother of the Year, I will always keep trying to do better.