mommy&everything

trying to find myself and humor in life

Archive for the tag “mommy-guilt”

Epic Mom Fail

My work sponsored a bus trip to the Philadelphia Zoo this past weekend for “Boo at the Zoo”. This is an annual event where kids can dress up in their Halloween costumes and trick or treat at various points in the zoo. There are some Halloween displays but mostly it is an excuse for kids to dress up and get multiple sugar highs throughout the day.

I knew Boo would be crowded but I had not anticipated the zoo feeling like Walmart on Black Friday. The insanity was made worse by the strollers AND wagons that accompanied pretty much EVERYONE at the zoo. At one point, after being assaulted by a Joovy sit and stand, the husband turned to me and said where we THIS BAD when we had a stroller?

After walking around for over 4 hours in 45 degree weather (technically it was probably 53 degrees out but it was cloudy and damp) it was finally time for us to all head back to the bus. The husband and I herded the boys and started the trek back to the entrance – only after stopping to see the polar bear for the 3rd time to see if he was finally awake.

It had now started to rain and this mom was D-O-N-E.

The kids stopped throwing leaves at each other long enough to board the bus. The end was near!! We were leaving the zoo!

Everyone found their seats when suddenly I was bombarded with Mom I have to go to the bathroom. Mom, can I get a snack? Mom, I’m hungry! Can I have a snack?

Ugh. I took my seat next to Lucas who was holding a bottle of water. Mommy? I’m thirsty can I have this? Sure, have at it. I said while trying to find my seat belt.

Then, as if in slow motion, I watched the water bottle hit the floor and water spilled all over  like a river.

NO!!!!

Quickly, I asked someone if there were paper towels on the bus. They said no and handed me an unopened roll of 1-ply toilet paper.

There I was on my hands and knees trying to sop up the water (did I mention it was 1-ply?), darting in and out of rows anytime another passenger got on the bus.

Before long the mess was cleaned up and again I tried to sit down when I heard Mommy I have to go to the bathroom NOW.

Seriously?

The husband was sitting in the row behind me and I ask him to take Lucas to the bathroom at the back of the bus. What? Take him now? No way, he can wait until the bus starts moving.

Judging by the look on Lucas’ face I knew this was not an option so I grab his hand and nudged him toward the back of the bus. People were still boarding and others were getting drinks and snacks so this was no easy task.

As I stood wedged in the row with the soda cooler waitinf for a family of 5 to pass, one of the twins spotted me and asked Mom? Can I have a soda? 

I don’t care, do whatever you want. I responded just as someone turned to me with a look and said Are you alright?

Oh good, that wasn’t too embarrassing, now work people will think I am insane.

Me and Lucas make it to the bathroom and are crammed in there, me kneeling on the floor, when I remember he is wearing his Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle costume under his coat. Yikes! This means I’ll have to pull the whole thing down so he can pee.

O-M-G. Am I on Candid Camera?

After what feels like an hour, but in reality was only 10 minutes, the bus pulls away. The kids are settled, the husband is sleeping and I am left to sit and reflect on what a horrible mother I am.

This was supposed to be a fun trip to the zoo.  All week I had visions of the boys laughing and frolicking in the zoo. Smiling and getting along with each other while they trick or treated and excitedly pointed to the animals.

A beautiful family day filled with memories and photos that someday the boys would tell their kids about.

Grandma was SO FREAKING AWESOME, she took us to Boo at the Zoo back in 2015 and it was A-MAZING! She was the best mom and we were SO lucky!

Instead it was crowded and cold and I was grumpy. I spent the majority of the day counting heads to make I didn’t lose anyone while yelling at the younger 2 to stop fighting and hitting each other.

I wasted $40 on crap food because the zoo ran out of pretzels (yes, it really happened) and I didn’t let anyone ride the swan boats or pony rides (see above regarding $40 on crap food) and we never made it back to the play area like I promised Jake (secretly I am ok with this because it’s impossible to keep track of 4 boys in an obstacle course you climb with nets and a covered slide).

Crabby mom yelled and told them to stop when they threw rocks in the duck pond (they were encouraged to do this by 2 weird kids dressed up as Thor) and got annoyed when Jake kept lagging behind because he was obsessed with reading the map.

All night I replayed my epic failures and bathed myself in mommy guilt.

Is there something wrong with me?

Maybe I just need to accept that I will never be the “fun mom”. The happy-go-lucky-all-the-kids-want-to-hang-out-with-me-mom. The mom who always comes up with fun, Pinterest-worthy activities to do on rainy days or to celebrate some obscure holiday.

The mom who takes her kids to a water park or Great Adventure AND goes on all the rides (the exception being the lazy river). The mom who dresses up in a really spooky costume on Halloween (not  cat ears with whiskers drawn on with eyeliner).

No matter how hard I try, I will never be the mom who knows the most current songs on the radio or that brightly colored crew socks ARE back in style for boys.

Sigh…

I started this blog this morning and never got a chance to finish it. A little while ago, a friend told me about a young mom of 2 small kids who died last week and it hit me like a ton of bricks. The uncertainty of it all. How short life really is and how you really do need to live in the moment and enjoy the little things like Boo at the Zoo and Jake’s map obsession.

I could sit here for hours writing about my many mom faults, but why? How will that help me be a better mom?

In the end I guess all of us moms are the same. Living each day, doing our best to raise kids who are healthy, happy, and kind to others.

Some days will be really good and others not so much – like when you spend 2 hours doing 3rd grade common core math problems after dinner.

Hopefully we succeed and years from now we’ll be lucky enough to look back and laugh about all the things we thought were SO important.

Fingers crossed!

Thanks for reading.

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Thursday Ramblings and Mom Guilt

Hello and Happy Thursday-before-the-big-Labor-Day-2013 weekend.

Honestly, I have mixed feelings about the upcoming holiday and the unofficial “end of summer.”

On one hand, I am THRILLED the kids will be going back to their “normal” schedules. There is no more washing of beach towels and the sun is setting earlier so I will hear less of MOOOOMMMMM I can’t go to sleep now….the sun is still out! at bedtime.

The flip side is that it is the END of summer.

Overall it was a good summer. Some months were better than others – July kicked ass and August no-so-much – but it wasn’t too bad.

The kids got to go to the beach, pool and Dutch Wonderland. Heck, they even stayed at a real farm back in June even though they don’t really remember. They saw some movies and got to hang out in pjs all day once in a while.

Looking back though, I wonder if I did enough with them. Were they really entertained? Will they look on the summer of 2013 with fond memories or tell me Mom, we never did anything when we were little when they are 20???

Yesterday the twins had their well-visit at the pediatrician and when she asked them if they did anything fun this summer M said No, not really so I guess that answers my question (lol).

I was talking to my work neighbor Sam earlier today about kids and the mom-guilt I have felt lately. I blame this almost entirely on Facebook and the posts and pictures of all my “friends” on vacation with their kids. Nothing is more depressing than seeing all the things that you did NOT do with your kids.

Let me tell you, I have some pretty fortunate friends because their kids went to  Disney World, Bermuda, Jersey Shore and a bunch of other places I can’t remember now but do know I saw pictures and even “liked” a few.

I know…I know….I am not supposed to compare myself to others. Kids need love not stuff. The boys will look back and remember that I loved them.

This may be partly true but I happen to know from experience they will also look back and tell me all the things they didn’t have – like maybe every Lego set in the Lego store at Freehold Mall.

Lately I have thought that I am not the best Mommy out there. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t completely suck and I LOVE those boys to death but I am not THE best by any means.

I have accepted that I’m not one of those fun, crafty moms that always has an activity planned making even the littlest things into some great adventure.

Maybe because there are SO many boys in Casa Chaos, I rely on them to entertain each other. After all, the twins are WAY more fun at playing pirate with L than I could ever be right?

This is not to say I lack all good mom qualities. I am VERY good at hugs and kisses. Kissing boo-boos and finding a “favorite” t-shirt or Lego figure.

I can coördinate pick-up and drop-off schedules, camp drop off and bath time. I know who likes homestyle Eggo waffles and who despises Eggo pancakes.

I know L will eat apples (red or green) cut up or whole but J will not touch a green apple if his life depended on it. And don’t even think about passing off anything other than Pepperidge Farm raisin bread to J.

Parenting is just a big life lesson I guess. Kids do not come with any sort of instruction manual to help parents navigate the roller coaster ride of life. A lot of times you just have to go with your gut and pray you made the right choice.

If you don’t, you can’t beat yourself up too long. Mistakes are part of life too and your kids shouldn’t expect you to be perfect – Lord knows our parents weren’t all the time right??

Last Saturday the boys and I had some extra time on our hands after sneaker shopping. It was around 6pm and the husband was trying to get over an upper respiratory infection.

The thought of taking them home and listening to them kill each other over swords, Legos and the iPad was not appealing.

Then as I drove down Route 130 North an idea popped into my head How about ice cream for dinner??!! At first the kids thought I was insane. Ummm… Mom, you don’t eat ice cream for dinner, M said.

Why not? I replied. Come on, let’s go to Dairy Queen and have any kind of ice cream you want! YAY they all yelled in unison over the KidBop 25 cd.

And eat ice cream we did. Over ice cream and milkshakes we laughed as L attempted to eat a sundae and J ate an ice cream cone sans ice cream (don’t ask). We even managed to get a table with an umbrella.

On the way home we stopped at a park and M learned to pump his legs on the swings and they all posed for a picture on the slide (possible xmas card photo???).

As we walked back to the van, the sun was setting and M ran up and gave me a big hug. Thank you Mommy…thank you for everything today. I loved it all!!

Maybe 2013 was not the absolute BEST summer ever for the kids (they are only 7, 5 and 3.5) but hopefully, they were happy and knew they were loved.

Dinner al la Dairy Queen

Dinner al la Dairy Queen

Mommy and some men

Mommy and some men

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