We are now a few weeks into the New Year and some of us are already struggling not to break our resolutions. For anyone who says they aren’t into New Year’s resolutions, let’s be honest, they’ve probably at least thought about it. It’s hard not to when the whole world is counting down the seconds to a new beginning.
Whatever we decide to call it, the start of a New Year is a great time to mark the start of change. For me, I knew it was a good time to slow down and take note of the fact that I can’t always do everything. If you’ve read one of my prior blogs, you’ll know that I struggle with this one a lot. And if you’re a parent … I’m guessing you do too. Saying no is just the first step. Then you have to take a deep breath and be okay with it. What brought me to this realization (again!) was one of my “dreaded mommy moments” the week before Christmas break.
I’m the room mom for my daughter’s Kindergarten class. I helped her teacher with the activities for a very busy week which included a pizza party and a little presentation of Christmas songs on Friday. I wanted to be extra prepared for the party so I decided to go to school the day before to go over any last minute details with the teacher. Boy did I get a surprise when I opened the classroom door. The room was filled with parents AND they were starting to leave!
I immediately panicked! Did I miss the party? Was the party actually Thursday rather than Friday? Was the party ruined because I didn’t bring the pizza?
I walked over to one of the other moms, feeling completely confused, and asked her if I had missed the party. She quickly told me that I had missed the students singing their Christmas songs, but the party was still the next day. I felt awful, and yet I was relieved I hadn’t messed up the pizza party. It was surreal as I stood there feeling confused and shocked that I had forgotten this important day. My heart broke at the thought of my five year old searching all of the faces for mine and not being able to find it. I explained to the fellow mom that I had been so busy with everything that was going on that I was really losing my head. She gave me a little chuckle and said “Don’t worry about it. It was so crowded in here, so just say you were in the back. No one will even notice.”
Of course you know exactly what happened. My daughter saw me and the first thing she said was “Mommy you missed it.” My heart sank immediately and without thinking, I answered, “No I didn’t. I was in the back. You just didn’t see me.” She thought for a second and then went right back to playing with her friends as if nothing had even happened. My heart sank again. I’m trying to teach my children good character; the importance of honesty and taking responsibility for your own actions. Was my not disappointing her more important than telling the truth? Would she have understood that I really did want to be there? Between soccer practices, dance classes, work and trying to get ready for Christmas, I guess I just lost track.
My whole point in re-living this “dreaded mommy moment” is to remind myself what happens when I try and take on too much. It would be really cool if we all could be Super Moms every day and never miss a beat but the reality is, there are only so many hours in day. Personally, I enjoy volunteering but sometimes I just have to bite my tongue before I over extend myself. If I could share any words of wisdom from my own experiences, I would tell you that if you’re over programmed, take a step back and let someone else handle it this time. If you forget to send in a few dollars for the pizza party, try not to stress. Next time, you can cover for someone else that’s over extended and may have forgotten. If you can’t be a chaperone for the next field trip, don’t feel like you’re letting anyone down. While your child would no doubt, love to have you there, you can’t do everything. (We’re extremely fortunate at my daughter’s school. We have more volunteers that we need. There’s even a waiting list for parents that want to chaperone field trips.)
So now that we’re almost through January, life is in full swing again. My resolution is to keep my sanity intact and not bite off more than I can chew. I’d like to avoid as many “dreaded mommy moments” as possible. If I added a second one, it’s to learn to laugh and shake off those “dreaded mommy moments” once I get through them. If I do something embarrassing, I can’t worry about it. (I’d like to think we’ve all been there!) Now, all I can do is hope that my daughter’s teacher doesn’t read this!
If you’ve ever had a “dreaded mommy moment” or if you’ve ever found yourself in my predicament and had to decide to tell the truth or lie to avoid disappointing your child, please share how you handled it.