It’s been a week of mother f*ck ups and by that I mean I’ve been f*cking up as a mother. Mother fuckeruperer?
We mothers do guilt really well, too well in fact. This week I’ve been giving myself a really hard time for some of the things I’ve done, but as of now I am kicking guilt to the curb. It no longer serves a purpose in my life; I am going to let it go and just be…the best Mother fuckeruperer I can.
I hope writing about this will allow some of you to be free too.
The “F.U’s” weren’t earth shattering or really a big deal but there was just one after another after another and they all snowballed into a clusterfuck of f*ck ups. (I’m so getting a phone call from my Mum to tell me to stop swearing so much!)
Here’s a list of F.U.s from this week and some from the past too…
- Forgot the swimming bag for the 100th time for my son’s school swimming.
- Stank the laundry out by leaving the same clothes in the washing machine 3 times after washing them and then allowing them to dry (why didn’t I take note after the second time?)
- Driving away from the school after drop-off I noticed one of the kids’ drink bottles in the car. And I kept driving.
- LIES, LIES and more LIES. So I was taking Master 7 to see Timomatic for Australia Day and wasn’t taking Master 5 because he was a bit too young. (Actually I’ve just lied again. I didn’t take Master 5 because he was very likely to ruin Master 7’s and my time together.) So instead of telling him the truth and building his character I told him that his older brother had a school “get to know you” function because he was starting year 2. I even made the school function sound so bad that Master 5 went “nerrr nerr nerr nerr neerr” as we walked out the door in our snazzy clothes and matching high top shoes. (Sucker.)
- Allowed the kids to spend twice as much time as any expert would recommend on the iPad because they were out of my hair and I was revelling in my own space.
- Sent the kids to school with toothpaste all over their t-shirts (we know where the clean clothes were hiding!)
- Intentionally didn’t pull out the school diary or reader because I just wanted to hang on the couch with the kids and watch Steve Backshall’s “The Deadly 60”.
- Thought the kindy concert started at 11.30 when it actually started at 11 and I missed the entire thing, only to tell my son that I was way, way, way at the back and that was the reason he couldn’t see me. (OMG I must stop lying to the kids!)
- Lied too much to the kids.
And then there was this little beauty, my ‘overshare’ to my sons new school teacher.
During the real (not Timomatic) “getting to know you” chat with the teacher I explained how this year I was going to focus on being a better parent. The minute I blurted those words out, the little person inside yelled, “Shut up Turbo, stop talking”. But did I stop? No, in fact I fired up and I let it rip:
“I just find school to be really hard work for the parents, I mean the notices, the consent forms, the dress ups, the responsibility to remember everything; it’s just so taxing and demanding. And then there’s homework; I really don’t think kids should have homework. They are at school for 6 hours; I think they should come home and bake a cake, or play outside or veg out on the couch – do whatever they want – be free. But then again, I dropped out of school so I’ve never really been a big fan of being incarcerated and made to do things I don’t want to do (insert unaccompanied laugh). Anyway I’ve digressed as I always do (insert nervous giggle). I’m just saying this year I’m going to be more organised and more involved; tuck shop here I come. I’m going to be a really good parent in 2014!”
And no sooner had I spoken my last word, the teacher looked at her watch and announced our 10 minute chat was over. Awesome, I’ve just used the precious 10 minutes of teacher time to discuss my son’s needs discussing my own opinions and visions for my parenting future.
There‘s another one to add to the list.
Then something happened this week that made me feel less alone in my quest to be a really good Mum. When I realised I’d forgotten Cruz’s swimming clothes, I went home, grabbed them, raced back to the school and handed them to the teacher. She turned to me and said, “Don’t worry there are 5 children who don’t have their bathers”. Hallelujah, I am not alone! There are more of my kind walking the earth, doing an average job of juggling a hundred things. So I went back home again, trawled through my kids’ very untidy drawers and found 5 sets of bathers. I bounced back into the classroom 10 minutes later with the look of “I am a rock star” and saved the day for a handful of kids.
Winner winner, chicken dinner. Where’s my Mother of the Year medal?
Oh and then because of all the back and forth and running around I was late for my daughter’s swimming lesson…dagnammit, Mummy failure again.
This parenting gig is like an emotional roller coaster – I almost feel like I’m bouncing from a high to a low all day long.
And that’s when I learnt the lesson. Most of us are beyond stretched and we are all just doing the best we can. We need to stop chasing the work/life balance. It’s a myth; there is no such thing (especially when women are still doing the lion’s share of everything). We should however be striving to be as kind to ourselves as we are to our friends. That’s why I am no longer going to have a guilt-motivated cry when a work commitment gets in the way of a school excursion or play. I’m no longer going to attempt to justify my parenting to teachers or anyone for that matter, and I’m stopping giving myself a hard time when things fuck up.
I’m going to continue to love my kids unconditionally, laugh with them, listen to their stories, be their biggest fan. And I’m going to do what I gotta do to get through motherhood with a smile, even if that means occasionally moving all the clocks in my house forward an hour just so I can “knock off” sooner.
So to all the Mums out there reading this, you are amazing, truly you are. And if you, like me, are a fellow mother fuckeruperer, know that it’s ok and you are not alone.
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