My day started at 3:00 AM when for reasons unknown to my hubby, his iPhone alarm sounded blasting Etta James.
Imagine this: Pitch black. Sleeping hard. Then quite loudly….
ATTTTTTTTTTT LAAAAAAAAAAAST………..my love has come along…….
Why does my husband have Etta James on his iPhone you ask? It’s because that was the song that we danced to at our wedding. It is really a sweet thing. Sometimes when he needs to make me feel
guilty sentimental, he pulls it out.
But why was his alarm set to play the classic at 3:00 AM? And why when he got up for the day at 6:00 AM did HE not even remember the whole my-iPhone-played-Etta-James-at-3AM thing? It is still a mystery.
Unlike my husband who was already snoring again, I couldn’t go back to sleep. I continued to lie there though. I thought eventually I could drift back to dream land. I just didn’t know that it would be the exact moment that my four-year old would come charging into the room.
You were finally back to sleep. Then your son makes a flying leap onto your bed sounding like he is about to throw up. In your face. For him coughing spells and throwing up go hand in hand.
So I instantly jumped up, grabbed him and raced to the toilet. At least to the linoleum. I stood with him as he coughed over the toilet. No vomit in my bed. Whew.
He seemed to have everything under control, so we headed back to bed. Only he refused to return to HIS bed. And I knew if I tried to force him he would only wake his brothers. I may or may not have learned that one the hard way in the past.
So he climbed into bed between me and Dad. I got him settled and I got comfy. Then he started coughing again. And coughing. And gagging. It was now apparent that he was not going to be able to sleep lying down.
I asked him if he wanted to move to the recliner. He seemed to do better in the upright position. He agreed. The recliner room is right outside of my bedroom. I took him in there and placed him in the chair. I reclined him and covered him with a soft blanket.
And that was where the good mommy stuff ended. Because I turned the television to cartoons and tip toed back to my bed. Now maybe a couple of kids ago I would have sat with him. But come on. He wasn’t sick. And he wasn’t even coughing at the moment. And he does love cartoons.
So judge me. I left him high and dry. For operation Mom Needs More Sleep.
I went back to bed but I wasn’t able to go back to sleep before my alarm went off. No Etta James for me. Just an annoying beep. You see this morning I had the first of three conferences with my kids’ teachers.
I had scheduled the earliest conference available so that Dad would still be around to help the kids get ready for school. Taking all four kids with me to a conference defeats the whole purpose of a conference. I wouldn’t hear a word that the teacher said.
I arrived at the school and walked to the front doors. Typically the teachers will come to let you in. Since the school was not yet open the doors had to remain locked.
I stood and waited a couple of minutes. Then I emailed the teacher letting her know that I was out front. And I waited.
I saw two other teachers waiting in the lobby. One was my oldest son’s teacher. They saw me standing there and asked if I was waiting on a teacher. I said that I was so they let me inside. And we waited.
One teacher asked me which teacher I was there to see. I told her and she said that she believed that teacher was supposed to be off for the day. For personal reasons. Then it hit me. That was correct. I remembered getting an email.
I must have gotten the dates crossed up. I excused myself to go home and slap myself around. How had this happened? I am nothing if not organized. I don’t mix up dates. That happens to other people.
I raced home to check my calendar. And then I had my answer. (If you have this already figured out then you are better than me.)
I hadn’t mixed up the days. I had mixed up the teachers! That teacher who was standing in the lobby waiting for a parent? Was waiting…for ME!
I instantly burst into tears. Why you ask? Because having three kids in elementary school is pretty stressful nowadays. Why hadn’t I put two and two together?
To make a long story short I contacted the teacher and she told me to come back. She had time for me. And she was very sweet and helpful. Great conference.
The thing that struck me later was that I had cried. Because I had ALMOST missed a conference. My husband was so taken aback by my outburst that he actually hugged me. You know, that thing that men do when they aren’t even sure what is going on? Looking back, it was an excellent move.
I realized just how hard we mothers can be on ourselves. I mean sure raising kids is the most important job that we will ever have but everything is NOT going to go perfectly. It is a tough job. Crap happens.
I am the mother of four children. I am a good mother. I do my absolute best. I fail miserable on some day. I question myself often. But I love my kids.
I am going to make a conscious effort to give myself a break as a parent. Missing a second grade teacher conference more than likely won’t prevent him from being a world-renowned surgeon one day.
Life is anything but perfect. Teaching your children THAT lesson is actually doing them a huge service. And they should know it is okay to cry every now and then. And when you can’t decide whether to hug or not to hug someone, always hug.
Let’s give ourselves a break! Who’s with me?