Bad Mom

Some mom moments weigh heavy on my heart.

Quite honestly I had moments where I just failed miserably as a parent.

I could give a litany of moments that have an eternal asterisk next to them giving permanent markings of ‘hey look at this one she did’.

Sigh.

One  heavy moment……

My youngest daughter was driving one of our vehicles.   I had worked all day and had to teach that evening.  I had gotten to our training hall and was preparing the room and myself for an hour and a half work out and instruction.  I get a call from youngest daughter.   She had locked herself out of the car at the store.  I tried to come up with any other possibility than me having to go get keys and take them to her.  Nothing.   I slammed myself out of the training hall and in to the car so husband could take me to take her the keys to get in the car.

For some reason or other I ended up having to drive my car and my daughter back to the training hall.  The entire way I went on and on and on about how frustrating this was.  How busy I was.  How tired I was.  How angry I was.  I was babbling non stop.

Then I realized she was crying.

I was so worked up I couldn’t even lower the tone of my voice.  But I did change what I was saying.  I told her I wasn’t angry at her.  I told her we all do this and reminded her I had done it twice myself.   Recently.  I told her I was yelling out of frustration not at her, just …. because.  I told her and told her.

And she cried.

I told her I was sorry.

I told her it was okay.

But it wasn’t.

I showed her my impatience, I showed her my selfishness, I showed her intolerance.  

How many times after that did anything happen to her that she didn’t call me because of my reaction?

How many times did she not try to discuss something with me because of my reaction?

How many times did I take a moment that didn’t really matter because it was no big deal-and turn it in to a bad memory?

I can’t undo things I’ve done.   And lessons I’ve learned too late don’t go retro-active.

I regret many bad mom moments.  I don’t want to forget them because I earned the lasting memory of them.  And I don’t want my children to ever think I could dismiss what I did as unimportant.  

I’m sure I have good mom moments as well.   And I cherish them.

But sometimes I find myself going back and sitting in that car watching myself, realizing my child was crying because of my thoughtlessness, and I am embarrassed and sad. 

Some mom moments weigh heavy on my heart.

I am truly blessed.   Though my failings are there-they  are lightened and lifted because my children love me despite my faults.   

Bad mom.  Good mom.  Funny mom.  Angry mom.  Stupid mom.  Protective mom.  Praying mom.  Singing mom.  Laughing mom.  Ridiculous mom.   Tired mom.  Cranky mom.  Cooking mom.  Laundry mom.  Dusting mom.  Biking mom.  Driving to school mom.  Sorry mom.  Trying mom.  Failing mom.  Don’t Mess With My Kid Mom.  

All of these things.

And I was always their loving mom.

 

44 thoughts on “Bad Mom

  1. Aw, Colleen, I think the majority of MOMS have been in such a situation. I believe the important stuff is to have a conversation afterwards like you did.

    Since my daughter is grown up and married with two daughters, I’ve had conversations with her about what I feel are my past frustrated, weak moments. Some she doesn’t remember at all. Now that she’s a mom, she understands because she now has experience. I’ve discussed my past frustrations so she will be aware and hopefully not react at the moment.

    Great subject once again.

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    • Thanks Tess. This just prompted my daughter to reassure me she doesn’t even think about it. And like your daughter, she is a mom now, and I tell her my thoughts about what I thought I did wrong or wished I had done differently. I want her to know she can always talk to me.

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  2. Colleen, this post is for the record books! You speak on behalf of SO many moms, myself included. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve lost patience with my children. Like you, my kids still love me despite of me.

    One thing I’m in the habit of doing is asking my children for forgiveness. Especially when it’s a doozie, like not wanting to get up to fix them a snack for the 100th time!

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    • Thank you Anka. I have often said I was sorry. Often told them I was wrong. And very lucky my kids still love me. 🙂 I don’t think I was a horrible mom. But I will admit to having horrible moments. I think part of this is sharing these lessons with my (our) children to be aware of how we act/react does impact one another. Thanks for the mom support. 🙂

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  3. Hardest job we’ll ever have…..and for those of us who try so hard to be a good mom, it is ironic that in our minds no matter how hard we try, we aren’t good enough.
    We’re good enough, because we try~

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  4. Your daughter is blessed to have a mother as caring as yourself. As a dude, I’ll step back a few gentle steps and offer a different perspective this evening … Some of the “best” conversations we have as parents happen in the the car, while driving. Some are emotional, heart-felt and hard hitting. Others leave us silent, brought to tears by laughter and sharing a good time. Show me the parent who is “perfect” and I tell you how I never locked the keys in the car while learning to drive. 😉 Take care this evening and be well!

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    • Thank you Cultfit. You are so right. Car traveling to and from school, to and from events or outings….always kept us focused on conversation because we could not escape! That Rav 4 heard a lot of conversation. 🙂

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  5. We all of us have moments like that, its called being human. Your daughter knows you as a loving, caring, compassionate, Mother. That is what counts. If you are like most of us, then you are your own toughest critic. Sometimes you need to just cut yourself a break.

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  6. Being a Mom isn’t always about giving our children the best treatment Colleen. As human beings we’re simply not capable of that. Being a Mom is about a learning experience, both for you and for her. Your perfection lies in your ability to see the mistake and not repeat it, so you become that little bit more elevated. Same for daughter. She experienced it, and so will remember not to do the same with her child (hopefully). Guilt is a wasted emotion, because we’re all on a learning drive here. I’m glad you’ve developed the ‘witness’ within. That is so perfect.

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  7. Oh I know I am always telling you how insightful you are, how smart you are and how much I love your posts. It sounds redundant and insincere but it’s not. I have learned so much from you and I truly appreciate it! This post was insightful, smart and I love it!

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    • I’ve never thought you redundant or insincere Melissa. 🙂 I treasure your comments. I have to admit I get a huge gift from all of you wonderful moms when you think something “I” wrote about is good about children or parenting. It makes my day.

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  8. You showed your frustration. She showed her grief. I would like to think that I can control these things in myself, not necessarily grief, but the things that make me feel like I’m bad, when I’ve done badly, but I don’t know where the switch is to turn it on or off. I don’t know anyone that can control their frustration all the time, honestly. So we live and learn and help teach others by example. You’re a great example of the best of the human condition. At least it appears so from my humble seat. Love, P

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    • Paulette, why oh why didn’t I have all of you around to process every moment I pondered, worried over and questioned !!!! I do like to review these things in my head because I feel I can still learn from them. And to be very honest, I think there is comfort in knowing that the world is full wonderfully imperfect persons like me. 🙂

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  9. I think you are a great mom judging from all those smiley faces in your pictures! And please remember: a slice of my upside-down apple pie will bring a smile to any frowning child…no matter how old they get. 🙂

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      • Now hold on here! You’ve asked for my upside-down apple pie, my chocolate truffles, and my strawberry and almond frangipane tart… You bringing the who darn clan or what? 🙂

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        • Uhm …. well if I can’t get you to bike ride while there, I will have to bike ride for BOTH of us which means energy will be needed. And since you do not make green smoothies….these things will do. 😉

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  10. Sounds like you were/are a human mom. A great mom. Perfection, I think, is highly overrated. That said, I have Bad Mom memories, too. I know there came a time when I was able to see my mother as a living, breathing, feeling person, and forgive her Bad Mom moments so I’m hoping my children will mature enough (if they haven’t already) to forgive me for mine. Great post, CM. I’m glad I’m getting back into the swing of things. I’ve missed reading your blog (and bet I’ve missed some other great posts). 🙂

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    • What a great thought Robin. Learning, forgiving, accepting… that is a good cycle to be a part of. I’m glad you are back. I see a post of yours waiting for my eyes to peruse! 🙂

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  11. You are so very human, Colleen. And this comforts me greatly, as I feel your every part here. You did fine. You are HUMAN.

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  12. Colleen, your post reminded me of all the times in my supposedly adult life I was the “bad dad,” it is surprising when you do the mental inventory how fast you fill the ledger of all the times you screwed up, and have so much difficulty filling the other half of the ledger. But in reflection I must have done a good job of filling the good side up, Allison calls me on a regular basis, still shares her secrets, still asks for my advice, and professes her love. Thank you for the reflection. Take care, Bill

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