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My horrible mom moment

Categories: Your life


My daughter is pretty good about daycare drop offs and I believe it’s because we’ve stuck to the same consistent routine for over a year one, one that she is comfortable with.

We unpack her stuff together and put her lunch in the fridge.

She asks me why she doesn’t have pasta for lunch. I remind her that she can’t have pasta every single day.

She looks at me with surprised eyes and asks why not.

I hang around for a few seconds as she checks out what other kids are doing in the class.

We hug, kiss, I say have a great day and then she runs to the goodbye window to wave to me.

I walk outside and walk up to the window (first floor) where we wave to each other and blow kisses.

Then I get into the car and drive away.

Except today I got into the car and started to drive away without going to the goodbye window. As I drove by I turned to look at it, by instinct, to see my daughter sobbing there with the teacher running to her.

My heart dropped. I stopped the car, right there in the middle of the parking lot, got out and ran over to the window. It took just a quick moment for my daughter to calm down, to wipe her tears and for me to say sorry a million times. But it’s now the end of the day and I’ve not been able to get over it.

I’ve had a horribly stressful few days. OK, I talk about stressed a lot, I know, but it’s been particularly stressful and in some unexpected ways. I’m distracted, under-slept, and generally not myself. But none of this seems like a good excuse to forget to wave to my daughter in the goodbye window.

Will she get over it? I am sure she is over it. But for me? This ranks up there with my bad mommy moments and for now, I feel like crap.

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15 comments so far...

  • Awww, DUDE! We all have those moments where we just forget a step! Don’t beat yourself up. Sometimes you’ve got to mess up to give yourself a reminder for next time.

    And I bet you parking and running, and her see it, meant more to her than the normal goodbye window thing ever did. You showed her something, and I don’t think she’ll be soon to forget it.

    GOOD job, mom.

    Mr Lady  |  November 12th, 2008 at 9:00 pm

  • You are not a bad mommy at all. You are a human mommy who is under a lot of stress right now.

    I agree with Mr. Lady… good job, Mom!

    Lylah  |  November 12th, 2008 at 11:27 pm

  • I have done the exact same thing.

    See also: forgotten to leave a lunch box.

    See also: dropped my son off in one sock (him, not me)

    See also: told him I’d be back at 5:00 and not shown up till 6.

    We just do what we’re capable of. She’ll be OK, and you be good to yourself too, Mama.

    Kristin  |  November 13th, 2008 at 3:02 am

  • You are a great mommy! And you showed her that even though “things happen” (I won’t call it a mistake-it wasn’t), these things can be fixed and you can move on. :)

    ramseyquipp  |  November 13th, 2008 at 7:34 am

  • Oh man, now you have to hear some stories! I’ve got tons of them. I know that feeling well… I’m really sorry you’re having a difficult time right now- life can give us sucker punches sometimes. Virtual hugs from a stranger!

    starrlife  |  November 13th, 2008 at 9:45 am

  • What ever excuse you stated, IS a good excuse for forgetting to wave goodbye.
    I agree with Mr. Lady, she pointed out the positive, Lylah, you are a human mommy, and Ramseyquipp, things happen and can be fixed.

    And whatever happened to giving yourself a break.

    Vera Babayeva  |  November 13th, 2008 at 10:22 am

  • Your excuse for forgetting to wave is that you’re human, and sometimes these things happen. She will not be on the therapist’s couch 20 years from now talking about that time you almost forgot to wave. I promise!

    We hold on to these hurts so much longer than they do, in most cases. Cut yourself some slack, sweetie.

    Mir  |  November 13th, 2008 at 10:44 am

  • Oh, that brought tears to my eyes. Your poor little pumpkin! Poor you!

    As Mir said, you’re human and you make mistakes. Here’s what you do: if she brings it up again you make light of it and she will follow the tone you set. Eg: “Wasn’t mommy silly? She forgot to wave! Silly mommy!” If you make it into a sad thing, with apologies etc, you are telling her it’s a big deal and creating more stress unnecessarily. Er, listen to me dispensing advice like I’m Dr Spock or something. :)

    Diane  |  November 13th, 2008 at 11:11 am

  • Don’t beat yourself up. Please don’t beat yourself up. Kids are resiliant and I’m sure the tears were gone before you were even close to pulling in to your office parking spot.

    Our daycare has a big screen TV where you can select any of the rooms/areas and view them on video from the lobby. Something was in the air today, and there was absolute mayhem at drop off. Four kids were all going through mommy anxiety and the teacher was starting to feel the pressure too. After we left our little ones, one by one, the moms were gathered in front of the TV watching our kids start playing before we were even out of the building!!

    Brenda  |  November 13th, 2008 at 12:38 pm

  • Drop-offs are always so hard! I’m impressed with your routine, with or without the goodbye window. (how cute!)

    I’m sure your daughter had a great day and didn’t think another thing about it. And neither should you.

    Get some rest. (A nice glass of wine with dinner should help! If you’re like me you’ll be asleep in no time!)

    Lee  |  November 13th, 2008 at 3:32 pm

  • Aw, Nataly! I agree with everyone above. It’s a little mistake that she won’t remember for the long term.

    Heck, she might not even remember tomorrow.

    Take care of yourself, hey?

    Angella  |  November 13th, 2008 at 4:24 pm

  • Hugs to you!! I’m sure it’s affecting you way more than it is her. The guilt guilt guilt of being a mom can be so oppressive sometimes! Hang in there!

    mamajama  |  November 13th, 2008 at 4:52 pm

  • Take it as a sign — if it were me (and it has been), I’d find a way to take a mental health day. Sleep all morning, eat a healthy lunch, spend the afternoon on the things that are stressing you. If you can’t do that, at least sleep a little. :-)

    Karen  |  November 13th, 2008 at 11:33 pm

  • BTDT. We all have!

    “The most important thing she learned over the years was that there was no way to be a perfect mother but a million ways to be a good one.” ~Jill Churchill

    You are a good one.

    Robyn  |  November 18th, 2008 at 6:10 pm

  • I have a high stress job in a male dominated field. I love my job. I love the fact that I’m good at what I do and I’m well respected. I love walking into a meeting where 90 percent of the time I am the only woman there and telling all these guys the best way to get their project done. I try to do this repsectively, but sometimes you need to talk to them in their language and as my dad says, I could out cuss a mule skinner. In these situations, no-one would know that I am shy. My confidence in my abiliities overcomes this shyness and I have not problem telling people they are full of crap when they are. This, however, does not transfer over to my office life and home life. I’m seen as the get the job done girl, not the get the new clients girl. I have a huge returning clientale because they know I treat their project as my own. It’s not egotistical to say a lot lf my clients love me for that. And then it comes to home. I dread going home. I seriously think I’m dead inside. I Just don’t care. My daugter and husband annoy me. No one listens to me and my daughter shows me no respect, regularly hitting me and telling me she hates me (she’s 4). She does not treat her father like this. I am to the point where when she acts this way to me, I put her in time out and I also go in time out - I’ve told her if she can’t respect me she doesn’t need to be around me and that bad attention is not better than any attnention, thus she’ll get no attention from me when she is like this. But at the same time, she’s a mommy’s girl, always asking for Mommy time. This diachatamy confuses the hell out of me. And honestly leaves me thinking everyone’s life would be better if I weren’t in it - if I were to leave her with her father. I’ve been to counseling, I’ve been through parental training courses, and I am still struggling. I am beginning to think I was never meant to be a mother. I would never ohysicallly hurt my daughter, but at this point, I’m definitely cold to her. I thought she’d grow out of the phase, but she hasn’t. It’s like she’s 4 going on 16 and I am at my wits ends. To make matters even more complicated, at 40 I;d still lilke to have another child. But what if I didlike that one? There are seriously days where I hate my familty and fantisize about packing up all my things and hitting the road where no one can find me. I just don’t know what to do.

    Stressed Construction Mom  |  December 3rd, 2010 at 9:55 am