How many people do you hear, at work, on tv, at parties say: ‘I have no regrets.’
Such a powerful statement.
I don’t mean major regrets. Most decisions we can stand behind. I can even live with that stupid urge to pierce my navel during my college days. But then, there are those other regrets.
Don’t all moms have these? At least a few that we share when chatting with a girlfriend at lunch? One tiny regret hidden in the depths of our guilt pool?
Because we’re all human. Because we make mistakes, no matter how hard we strive to be THAT parent who seems to do it all without effort. By the way, that parent doesn’t exist. She has flaws, just doesn’t post them on facebook.
I’m going to give my kids sugar before bedtime on occasion because I want a McFlurry too, and for pete’s sake, I deserrrrrrve it. (Yes, I have convinced myself of dessert entitlements.) I’m going to snap on rare occasions and say something silly like ‘Because I’m mom and I said,’ even though I will realize it’s a stupid reason before its even left my lips and would seem more logical to tell them, ‘Because it will keep your mother from going insane.’
Mom regrets I can pull out of my back pocket include never completing a baby book for my youngest and sending our 3-year-old to pre-school without shoes. (I was on the air, so shouldn’t this qualify as a Dad regret?) Dad went to Target and bought him a new pair, pronto, but I felt bad for days.
And a new one from just before Christmas break: Oversleeping to pick up my son from school.
You know…the school that thinks I’m crazy. My on-air hours are early, so I nap during the day, and turned my alarm off in my sleep. 15 minutes past the school bell, I woke up. 15 minutes that he sat wondering where his mother is, and ‘this is why I need a cellphone, Mom.’ 25 minutes late, I pulled up to my 11-year-old and apologized. He told me he wasn’t mad, just wondered what happened, yet all the way home I felt like I had been socked in the stomach.
Another mom regret.
Knowing better, I beat myself up over my mistake the rest of the evening. We make errors, and it’s bound to happen. Some will forget to send a sack lunch for field trips, and our kids survive. They don’t need therapy because I forgot the glow sticks for the parade last summer, even though I bought them two weeks earlier and patted myself on the back for thinking ahead.
I love my kids more than I love Starbucks. Kidding, but I do love Starbucks, so that’s saying a lot. We have fun family traditions, ice cream runs in our pj’s, family dodgeball in the basement, and baseball games with just the four of us in our backyard, National Anthem included.
It’s only natural that as parents we will question whether we do enough. And we wonder if our kids perceive our efforts to be adequate, or do they think they got the short stick during parental assignments?
My lousy mood disappeared in an instant when my oldest son hugged me tight at dinner the night of my school pickup fail and said ‘I love this family.’
Mom regret gone.
Proof that as parents, as moms, we can’t fail. We merely make mistakes and move on.
Ever had a mom regret?