I was LITERALLY running in the rain in my heels. The heels that aren’t really so comfortable, but match my dress and scarf, yes those heels. I was running in the rain worked up into a frenzy because I was late for the mother’s day tea at my daughter’s school. Every day for two weeks in Japanese class she practiced a song about how much a little girl loved her mother. I took my time picking out something I knew she would think was pretty because I was one of the mother’s that was going to be brought on the stage….and I was late. The calendar in my mind and the one in my phone were off by 1 hour, it was pouring raining, and the parking lot was full.
When I made it to the cafeteria (may I add that it was not a graceful entrance) the song was almost over. The assistant principal was sitting in my place on stage and my baby had a pout on her face like nobody’s business. I whispered to the principal that I felt awful because I was supposed to be on stage. Once the song was over, the principal asked the audience if they would mind if the girls sang the song again. She explained that one of the Mothers had gotten caught in the rain and just made it. The audience clapped and laughed and agreed. So I did my mother’s walk of shame up onto the stage and sat down, mouthed a big thank you to everyone, and the girls sang again.
As funny as this story is, it can really put things into perspective. How many times do we as parents literally slide into home base trying to be everywhere at one time? We wear so many hats (err umm heels), that the guilt of trying to be all things and failing hits you like those raindrops that morning. We have become a society of multitaskers and allow the pressure to be the “perfect parent” to stop us from being the perfect parent. So what if you bought a Halloween costume instead of making one! The world will not stop turning if you rather slide $10 to the booster club instead of being the parent responsible for snacks after football practice. And if you are running late and feed your kids McDonalds instead of whole wheat crackers and hummus I promise you that everything will be ok.
I am not downplaying the importance of stepping up as a parent, healthy eating, or overall craftiness. But what I am saying is that parenting is about balance. We subject ourselves to the birthday party circuit, Disney on Ice, and Chuck-E- Cheese (admit it, you don’t really like Chuck-E-Cheese do you?) because our children mean the world to us. At the end of the day the thing that they care about the most is that you were there, that you cared. That you showed up cheered at their basketball game and hugged them when they lost.
Trying to be perfect does not allow your children to see your humanness. Being honest about the little and big mistakes (age appropriate disclosure of course), lets them know that they can come to you when they fall short as well.
How about you? Do you have a funny story about trying to be a superhero? Do you find it hard to manage a hectic schedule? Do you have Mommy/Daddy guilt? Would you like to