There are many times in my life when I get to the end of a day, and I look at myself in the mirror, and I think, “I am a really terrible mother!” I wonder why I was entrusted to care for and shape the lives of six individuals who have to actually be productive members of society someday. Now, this is not because I think that I am a tyrant or unintelligent or overly lax. It’s just because I am just not on top of things most days of my life.
I can’t even count the number of times some deadline has gone by when I was supposed to turn in, sign, or pay for something and I don’t realize it until days, weeks, or months later. I actually went through a period of time when I warned my children’s teachers at the beginning of the year that I am not the most reliable person and would likely need to be reminded of things multiple times before it would be accomplished. So far, the only time it could have caused a major problem was when I forgot to fill out my daughter’s college housing forms and we weren’t sure two weeks before school started if she would have a place to live, but thankfully that worked out. I have an email file of people I forgot to pay or uniforms I forgot to turn in, and I figure that one day I will actually get around to taking care of it all and confusing a few people in the process most likely.
The older I get, the less patience I seem to have. We have an ongoing joke in my house that every so often, I turn
into “The Hulk” and everyone better just stay clear. I used to handle things much better, but the pressures of being a wife and mother to so many children seem to have eroded the part of my brain that was my calm center. I really do get out of bed each day with the intention of being a more reasonable human being and not screaming like a lunatic when someone has put their dirty tennis shoes on my kitchen table for the sixteenth time in a week, but it inevitably seems to happen. I don’t want my children to think that this is the way they should react to everything in life, yet I can’t seem to stay reasonable when something just royally ticks me off.
I tell my children all the time that they need to be ready to go on time, and they need to have their things picked up and they need to get out of the house and play. I tell them they need to get more sleep because they will be healthier if they do. I tell them this as I am constantly running about five minutes behind in my life, my bedroom is a disaster area, I spend far too much time sitting around the house staring at something electronic in nature and if I get more than about 6 ½ hours sleep in a night it’s a miracle. I can’t quite get it through my head that I need to stop living a life of “they need to do as I say and not as I do”.
There are aspects of my life where I am super organized. When I am directing a play, something I do once or twice a year, I am on top of almost every detail from day one. My CDs and DVDs are in wonderful alphabetical order. I have a google calendar that is precise and color coded and I live and die by it every day. I get up and get my kids to school on time, even if I do it in sweats I threw on over my pajamas. I can throw a great party, even if I nearly bite every single person ‘s head within five feet of me off for a week beforehand. When I am acting I know my lines on time and am ready for every show. At Christmas time, I keep a complete list of what I have purchased for everyone, how much it cost, and for whom I still need to buy things every year.
Ok, I know in my heart that I am not a TERRIBLE mother, I am an average mother. I don’t cook like Betty Crocker or have a house that looks worthy of a Martha Stewart magazine cover, but I make good, healthy meals when I can and the Board of Health isn’t going to condemn my house any time soon. I may longingly look at all the cool projects I could be doing on Pinterest but I’m satisfied when I am able to carry out a creative idea every once in a while. I may think from time to time that my children are Satan’s spawn, but I would still give my life for them. My children are healthy, well educated, are relatively polite, at least when they are out in public, and they do know how to take care of themselves. I suppose that those are the signs of being an adequate mother with glimpses of being exceptional, and since that also seems to be the life story of most of the other moms I know, I guess I’ll take it.