Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Unpardonable Sin

Last week Julia's middle school invited parents to come eat lunch with them. There were 3 days parents could go: Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. It was decided that I would go on Thursday. Trace doesn't have any day classes on Thursday so he could watch the babies enabling me to go alone. Last Thursday morning before Julia left for school I asked her what time I was supposed to go. She couldn't remember and I couldn't find the sheet that told me. I remembered it being 12:15 but neither of us was sure. I told her that I would call the office to verify the time. We discussed what food she wanted me to bring. And then she got her lunch box.

"What are you doing?" I asked. "I'm bringing you you're lunch, remember?"

"I'm bringing this so if I have to wait for you then I won't look stupid just sitting there with no food. I can eat the crackers in my lunch box."

"Jewelz, I'll be there on time. I promise."

"Yeah, I know Mom, but I'm going to bring it anyway."

Ouch.

For the record, not only was I on time but I was 10 minutes early. Our lunch went well and I got to meet a few of her friends.

Last week was P week for Jenna. Her teacher sent a note to send in a mini pumpkin because they were going to do a project with them. She also asked for parents to send in extras in case someone forgot theirs. I looked for them at Price Chopper but didn't see them anywhere. I meant to make it to Walmart but forgot to go. (I'm trying not to go to any shopping places unless I absolutely need to to help stop unnecessary purchases.) On Thursday Jenna's teacher emailed pictures of the kids putting their mini pumpkins in water to see if they sank or floated.

Thankfully there was a picture of a smiling Jenna and a floating pumpkin. Some other mother came through for me when I failed.

And then last Friday I committed the unpardonable sin: I sent Jenna to school in a cute little dress -- on pajama day.

Friday was Ryan's Cleft Clinic day and we needed to be in downtown Kansas City by 8:00 a.m.. I had to take Emma's to my mother's house by 7:00 which meant that I left home by 6:50. The night before I stayed up late laying out clothes, making muffins for the children to eat for breakfast since I wouldn't be there in the morning to cook their breakfast. Julia and Ross are usually up around 7:00 and Jenna gets up around 8:00 but everyone had to be up about 6:40 so I could make sure they were really up and getting dressed. When I kissed Jenna goodbye she was wearing her darling Gymboree dress that she loves, the one we got before school started and has a identical version in a smaller size in Emma's closet so they can be "twins."

I wish I could say that I realized this blunder by 10:00 but it wasn't until about 11:30. Ryan and I were still at the Cleft Clinic and I realized my error when I checked my Blackberry and saw an email from Jenna's teacher with attached pictures of the children in their pajamas. My heart sank and I nearly burst into tears. I couldn't bring myself to look at the pictures. I couldn't bear the thought of seeing my sweet little girl's heart broken face among all the smiling, pajama clad children. If I didn't look then there was hope that someone had realized my error after I left and fixed it.

I immediately began to come up with a million excuses as to how and why I forgot but I stopped myself instantly. I could make excuses all day but the fact remained. I broke my baby's heart.

Ross' last home football game is on Halloween night. The last home game is always Senior Night when they recognize the seniors and their parents at half time. I figured that Halloween with the small children was still doable. Halftime would be after 8:00 and it gets dark by 7:00 here. We could attend our cul-de-sac block party/chili dinner, get some Trick-or-Treating in and still make it to Ross' game on time. But Saturday morning I got an email from one of the mothers announcing that Senior Recognition was changed to before the game, at 6:30. I was doomed.

Last year Jenna didn't get to Trick-or-Treat because we were stuck in Vietnam. This will be Emma and Ryan's first Halloween. I was excited to see Ryan's reaction to it all. To not go Trick-or-Treating will devastate Jenna. But Ross is a senior and will never play football again. How would Ross feel if he was the only player without a parent?

Some days its hard being a mom.

By the time Julia came home from school last Friday I had worked myself up in to quite a state. As soon as she walked in the door I nearly attacked her.

"What did Jenna have on when she went to school this morning???"

"Her Hannah Montana pajamas"

My heart felt lighter than it had since lunch time. "Then she remembered after I left?"

"No, I was taking her to the neighbor's house when Carter's mom saw her and reminded her it was Pajama Day. I ran back in and got her pajamas for her and she changed at Lori's house."

Saved again by another mother.

I then went an opened the photos attached to the email Jenna's teacher sent.

And there was a beaming Jenna in the back middle of her class.

I would like to think that from this point forward I will never disappoint nor let down one of my children again, but I know that is impossible. I am far from perfect, so imperfect some days I don't feel worthy to call these beautiful children mine. I can only strive to do my best, clean up the mess when I do screw up and thank the mother's that save me when I fail.

Thank you Courtney.

89 comments:

Kristy said...

Denise you are just way too hard on yourself. You have a big family and you are only one person. I admire you and respect the hell out of you for all you do.

Love, Kristy

Donna said...

It is a battle we all fight...wanting to be perfect for our kids. I only have two and I forget things. I also work FT and feel extremely guilty about it. I'm sorry you were having a beat-up-yourself kind of day. And I was happy to see Jenna smiling in the pic!

Donna

Kay Bratt said...

Amen to Kristy's comment!

I know the feeling, though. I was at a doctor's appointment that ran late and was strolling towards the check out when I realized Amanda was standing outside the junior high school looking for me at that exact moment! I THREW a $20 copay and the slip at the lady and told her I had an emergency. I did 80 mph all the way to the school-- and felt like the worst mom ever. I negotiated with God all the way to let my child be safe even though I was a forgetful idiot. He had mercy and I screeched in to find her standing there very impatient with me! So there-- I just publicly admitted my bad Mama Moment. You are not alone...

Ritch in Love said...

From the look of things you do a fantastic job!

My husband and I hope to adopt soon. Your family is darling!

Happy Sits Day!

Laura said...

Coming in form sits and woman you are a SAINT!! So what if a few things slip look at what has NOT slipped your love!

Jennifer said...

Being a mother must be the most difficult but most rewarding job there ever was. Happy SITS day!

Anne said...

I can tell just by reading this that you're a great mom! I think you're being too hard on yourself - your kids are happy and healthy and they love you, and they'll remember that you stayed up late to make them muffins, not that you forgot pajama day. :)

JamieH said...

Have a GREAT SITS day! I'm not a parent but I'm with Kristy on this one.

cat said...

You know what girl, we all just do the best we can. And another mom saved you today, you will save her next time - that is part of the mom's secret society code.

Alex the Girl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alex the Girl said...

Alex the Girl said...
Holy Toledo, I agree with Kristy, you are too hard on yourself! Just listening to you describe the things that you do makes my head spin! You stay up late to make muffins to make sure the kids have breakfast, how cool was that? I would so be like...er...there's rice krispies in the cabinet...don't they serve breakfast at school now? I can't count how many times I've been saved by the band parent (those moms are awesome!). Anyway, awesome blog, have a great SiTS day. I think I'm going read the blog labeled Vietnam Adoption Journey...The So-2 yr olds are like men statement has captured my attention like a small penny on the floor! Isn't that true though? I have a two year old boy who is just like a man.

Astrid said...

Happy SITS day!

I totally agree with Kristy- you're an amazing person! Please don't be hard on yourself.

K said...

Some days being a mom is hard.

We definitely need to have each other's backs - it's great you had a little help.

Willo said...

Adorable pics! Good for you for trying to limit shopping trips for unnecessary things.

countryfriedmama said...

Happy SITS day!

Natalie said...

Happy SITS day to you!!
Can't wait to read more of your blog. You are amazing.

Stereos and Souffles said...

If your heart is in the right place, that's all the matters. You are spread pretty thin but it sounds like you are doing a great job!!

Fresh Mommy said...

Sometimes it can be tough keeping it all straight... that sounds like me and I only have one so far!!! Goodness, but I'm glad I'm not the only one. Although at her daycare, I think I just might be.

:)
~Tabitha~

freshmommyblog.com

Tiffany said...

Keeping track of details like that is enough to drive a person crazy. Sounds like you're doing a great job! Congrats on your SITS day.

Heather said...

Thank God our kids still love us even when we mess up.

And you know what? The fact that you're upset enough to write about it means that you're a great mom. Your love for your babies shines right through this blog, and their smiling faces say it all.

Have a great SITS day!

Rhonda said...

We will always let down our children. They're children. They expect the world from us and we just can't deliver all. the. time. We just do our best!

Dianna said...

Happy SITS day! I can totally empathize with you .... and I'd buy your momma friend some coffee. You'll probably save her skin one day, too!

jubilee said...

Oh, been there done that. Sometimes all in the same day.

Happy SITS day.

Southern Rose said...

I don't know how you do it with 6 kids. I have 3 and fight hard to keep up with their schedules. I think it's easier to keep a firm schedule going sometimes when my military husband is deployed because I am in charge of all of the decisions, but then there are those times when you need another hand or driver or your best friend to talk to.

I admire the great attitude you show in your blog and that you have made the world better by helping out kids who need a family. I had a conversation a few months ago with a friend who has much younger children than me about an incident that happened with one of her children that I had had years before with one of mine. She was worried that she had let her daughter down, but I told her that her daughter would probably not even remember the incident when she was older, or if she did, that she would remember all of those other great things she had done as well.

piecemeal people said...

I'm here via SITS (congrats on it being "your day!"), and this post had me nodding and saying "uh-huh, uh-huh," all the way through! I only have as many kids as you do and find that guilt, of one form/intensity or another, is my constant companion. As mothers we ALWAYS find something to feel guilty about. I'm sure your kids would say you're doing a great job.

Cammie said...

Happy SITS day! I have these moments as well and I only have TWO kids!! You babies are beautiful!

Team Och said...

What a lovely family you have! I have the same struggles and I also tend to beat myself up. But we try our darndest and that's all really we can do. In the end, our kids know we love them, and that's the most important thing. I love your blog, and I'm stealing your button!

Joy said...

I agree with what everyone who commented before me said! What a beautiful family you have. Congrats on your SITS day!

Pam said...

Happy SITS Day! I think we moms are too hard on ourselves. You sound like a wonderful and loving mother. No child could ask for more than that!

Kelly Deneen said...

First of all, I LOVE your blog design - it's fabulous!

Second of all, you are a wonderful mother!! You have a LOT going on in your life, and you need to give yourself a break.

Your kids are beautiful. :)

Carina Gardner said...

Holy Moly! I'm in going to have to agree with everyone above! You have a lot on your hands and I miss that much stuff in a week with my two kids! It was a great post and completely relatable! I think it points out the stresses we have as moms that doesn't really go away...huh? Thanks for the read!

Ronnica said...

I'm not a mother myself, but that's what community is all about, isn't it? If I see a child needs something, is getting into danger, or could just use a little help/encouragement, I can step in.

Wolf said...

happy SITS day!

i honestly think that you are doing wonderful. with 6 children, you will forget, but as long as you love them, that is what they will remember the most.

Debbie said...

What a wonderful and honest post. We all let our kids down, don't we? Sounds like you are a great mom though.

Jenn Calling Home said...

Go easy on yourself. You do the best you can do, and know that some things are just not that important in the big scheme of things. Kids can adapt and be flexible and forgiving.

Nice to "meet" you and your lovely family. Stopping by via SITS today. Blessings!

Janna Bee said...

Once, once I forgot about pajama day.... and my four year old still brings it up sporadically out of nowhere. My four year old son! "Do you remember Mommy, the day it was pajama day? And you forgot to have me wear pajamas?" I was like " yes, Drew you bring it up a lot, I don't think I could forget!"

Cole said...

Happy SITS Day!

Your blog is awesome! :-)

Vickie said...

Happy SITS day!

I forgot about Jammies day a couple of months ago. My daughter was not happy with me. I felt bad.
You are doing a great job.

Kimm at Reinvented said...

Oh, my, I do those same things, gotta admit it makes me feel better to know I'm not the only one! ;)
As hard as we try, we will probably disappoint our kids again. Give yourself a break, you're doing a fAB job!

Mariel said...

I think ALL mothers have those moments where they just let things slip! We're not superhumans, right? I actually don't think it's all that bad of an experience for children either...to feel disappointment. It's part of life, and they need to know that mom isn't perfect (eases the pressure). Great post! Makes ya think!

Mariel

Michelle said...

Man, that's rough. And never happened to me cause we homeschool...LOL...pajama day is when I say it is...LOL.

I see you are a Lost fan. I love watching it but I'm a season behind because I was renting on netflix.

fan of survivor?

Libby said...

Wow, you have such a big family full of beautiful kids AND a gorgeous blog? You are TRULY a superwoman. I'm jealous :)

Eudae-Mamia said...

Oh Denise - I've so been there, done that. And I only have ONE in school!!

I won't be so hard on myself, if you promise to not be so hard on yourself.

Deal? (Happy SiTS Day!)

Rachel said...

Isn't that how it should be? Mommies takin' care of their own... great story.

Laretha said...

Hi! Happy SITS day. I'm from KC too.

We are moms, we aren't perfect. Give yourself some grace, and grab a great cup of coffee!

Ali said...

Wow--6! I have a hard time with 2 sometimes:) Looks like your doing a great job to me!

The Mama said...

Happy SITS day! But as mother's we aren't perfect. It looks like you are doing an AWESOME job. I have a hard time with my three..

Dan River Mama said...

Happy SITS day! You have a beautiful family!

Jacky said...

Happy SITS day! You're kids sound really sweet!

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Katie said...

Happy SITS Day! I am loving reading about your family. Although I do not have kids I have a *much* younger brother so I know that horrible feeling when something breaks their heart. BUT I think that you are doing a wonderful job and that you shouldn't be so hard on yourself!!!

Safire said...

Happy SITS day!

Laura said...

As a parent myself, I can let you know there will always be something you forget to do. I think it hurts us that we forgot more than our kids.

Rachael said...

I'm so glad it turned out okay!

Charmaine said...

Oh man, you're freaking me out. My oldest is only 4 and I already worry about all these things!!

Ryan Ashley Scott said...

It's tough being a mom, for sure. Thankfully, they'll get over most of the stuff we forget and be happy we spend time with them.

The Mom said...

Happy SITS Day to you! I totally hear you - feeling like you are never quite on top of things, yet thankful there is always someone there to pick up our slack. It stinks, but hey, we're only human - although we'd like to think we are super heros!

Marrdy said...

Mothers guilt...may it live long and prosper. And stop being so hard on yourself. From what I have read on your blog you're a great mom! Much better than so many. Kudos to you.

Kendra said...

Happy SITS day!

The Uniblogger said...

I can't imagine having kids yet! I am sure you are doing just fine! Good luck.

Visiting from SITS

Adrian's Crazy Life said...

I think that is the hardest part of being a parent. I wish the process came with a memory upgrade just like a new computer does, because if anyone needs a memory upgrade, it's a Mom. That's why those other Mom's help you out, because they've probably done the same thing and they know what it's like.

But we all do it. This week, I forgot to take my son to Scouts. Wouldn't have been so bad, but this was his FIRST meeting with his new troop. Oh well, something else he can tell his therapist...

Stephanie @ bizziemommy.om said...

Happy SITS day. Mommy guilt is so powerful.

tammy said...

Aww, it is tough being a mom sometimes...but fortunately children tend to be more forgiving of us then we are with ourselves. ;o)

Sheryl said...

Kuddos to you, I can't keep up with the two I have.

C.G. the Foodie said...

It is a tough job but you do it well. Don't be too hard on yourself!!!

WildfireBelle said...

At one particularly exasperating moment, I pled to my oldest son, "Eric, I'm doing my best." He flatly quipped, "Your best isn't good enough." I dissolved into laughter & agreed that my best, indeed, is really never good enough.

My kids seem to forgive my shortcomings...the toughest task is forgiving myself. In my experience, remembering my better moments is salve for the wounds. You've got a rich history of better moments; pull from that to assuage any "mom guilt." You really are a beautiful person and a dedicated mom!

Brandy said...

You are an awesome Mom to 6 amazing kids, but you are only human.

And besides I've heard that crack bars have magical powers so after 2 or 3 pans of those they will forget all about these little things.

Tanielle said...

You are a great Mom or you wouldn't even care! You're awesome!

Leslie said...

You have a lovely family. And I LOVE your blog design!

Anita said...

You know I love you!!! I hadn't read this post before, it was so sweet, we are all human, and it's hard to be mom to my 3, so your 6 are twice as much to cram into your head. You are doing great.never doubt it.
I joined SITS today..........yay!

BoufMom9 said...

Boy and I all too familiar with that one! Even though I am not a single mom, with my husband's shift and manditory OT, I often feel alone with all 9 kiddies and am stuck figuring out how to juggle all the schedules alone... it's hard not to occassionally "miss" something :(

TheRightWife said...

I just found your blog through SITS. I really enjoyed your post - and I thought I was a busy Mom! With only a 3 month old under my watch (but wanting to add many more over the next several years) I know there will be times I will disappoint my children.

Polymer Clay Snails said...

Awww ... You're alot better than me! I'm constantly forgetting to bring my kid's blanket's to school every morning with him ... he's in preschool and still takes naps ...

Lanie said...

Visiting from SITS. I have a hard enough time keeping tabs on 2, your bound to forget something with 6!

Heather said...

Don't beat your self up about it! Chances are when the kids are older they're not going to remember missing one Trick-or-Treat, or that you forgot to put p.js on them for school! They'll remember how much you loved them!

Aubrey said...

It happens to the best of us! LOL Because you know, we are the best!!

You have a great blog and beautiful family! Congrats on your big SITS day!!

Cassie Ring said...

ew I know that feeling well about disappointing the babies...however Jenna's smile melted my heart!!

Controlling My Chaos said...

We all do these things. Don't be so hard on yourself. I always hated being the last mom to pick up my kid at preschool. That hurts.

Angie Marion said...

Hi from SiTS! I know the feeling... I'm a single mom and I'm constantly forgetting!

The Daily Blonde said...

Great post and you're not alone in the forgetting department...but no worries. You're doing such an awesome job!

Reluctant Housewife said...

You sound like a very loving and involved mom. I think you should stop beating yourself up so much over the small stuff. Don't forget to be kind to yourself, too.

Lavender n Lattés said...

Happy SITS Day - love your blog!

Mimi said...

Oh Denise, we mother's aren't perfect, but I do understand how difficult it is to keep track of my 2, so your doing a fantastic job with 6!

Industrioushead said...

Wow!! You are truly blessed! I love the way that other mothers are willing to help each other out. My mother had 7 kids, and because I am the oldest I remember her going the same thing. Trying to fill each child's needs, get to all their activities, and be fair to everyone. It's not always easy, but you all get through it!

San said...

I am so happy things turned out right with the pajama party! :) She looks absolutely pleased!

Lynette said...

omg it is hard being mamma
and then they grow and fly and we wish that once again we had these days

keep going enjoy smile laugh and cry

congrats on being a featured blogger

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"FINE"al thoughts... said...

You just described my entire life with five kids! Who feels like the worst mom in the world when she realizes--again!--that she fogot to send show-and-tell with her kindergartner? Yeah, that's me. Who feels like a big let-down-of-a-mother when I can't go to a class party at one child's because I am home taking care of three other ones and can't find a sitter for them? Me again. There have been so so many times I've disappointed my kids but I am banking--and praying! Lots!--that the good will outweight the bad and they will see me as a mom who loves their guts and does the best I can for them. You. rock. I'm totally becoming a follower!

Michelle said...

Well, if it makes you feel any better I've totally got the 2009 mother of the year (NOT) award down, if that takes any of the pressure off. I've only catalogued a few of my great moments, but they do include signing my son up for t-ball forgetting that he has a broken arm. It's all a part of parenting, and kids are far more resiliant than we give them credit for.

Kirsty said...

Oh my, there is just nothing like that sinking feeling when you realize you have forgotten something and your child may be sad and missing out...I think we have all been there. Hooray for a happy ending-she has such a beautiful smile :)
(found you through SITS)

Gamma Sharon said...

I also am with Kristy on this one! There isn't a Mother out there that hasn't forgot something.
Happy SITS day, sorry I am so late getting to your blog. Hope your day was great!