This originally appeared a few years ago but other than the kid in diapers-things haven’t changed much. The chaos is constant so I have to work hard not to forget.
Here are the items that are currently in mama’s brain:
Need to unpack new lease to present at brother’s school for K registration
- Organize basement (where movers just dumped stuff at random) in order to set up playroom
- File complaint with movers for broken BOXES of your grandmother’s china
- Turn in two permission slips for field trips this week
- Dig through junk drawer for cash for field trips. (This is quicker than visit to ATM and subsequent visit to newsstand or deli to get something small enough to break $20 but still have enough cash for trips.)
- Figure out your brother’s mystery rash.
- Figure out where your lost library book might be.
- Maintain the daily running of my actual business in order to make money to pay for new house and field trip.s
- Feed you and your brothers. Bathe you and your brothers. Clean your clothes and buy diapers (for your brother who is way too old to still be in diapers.
- Why is your brother still in diapers? Haven’t I figured out potty training yet?
- How can I teach you to be a strong independent woman while still nurturing your sweet, tender heart?
- Buy cat food.
- How can I teach your brothers to be respectful, polite gentleman while still nurturing their masculine tendencies.
- Remember to shower
- How can I spend any time at all with your father and remind him that despite my bickering I still find him infinitely supportive, attractive and am proud of the man he is every single day?
- How can I possibly do all of this without losing my mind? Is it too late?
- Have I forgotten anything today? This week? This month?
- What day is it again?
Here is what, apparently, is not in my brain:
- Daughter’s school added a half-day to the schedule this week. You got the note on moving day and now must remember to pick her up early on Wednesday.
I hope some day it will help you to know I am punishing myself for this. I worked in schools for many years and silently judged parents who had kids left on the curb after early dismissals. How could they forget their kid? Didn’t they get the note that came home from school? Didn’t they mark it on their calendar?
Today I am that parent. I did get the note. I did mark it on my calendar. Then I went to your brother’s school where I stepped in as a substitute aide. Then I left him at school to go home on an impromptu play date with another child. I returned home with your other brother in time to readjust our afternoon all the while thinking we had until your regular dismissal time to get things done. I never looked at my calendar. My phone, set to silent because I was in a classroom all day, never dinged to remind me.I did wander around the house for about 20 minutes with that distinct feeling that there was something I should be doing, but
even when I got the call from school my brain didn’t register right away why they were calling.
Thank you, for being the calm one when I arrived-shaking with anxiety and red with embarrassment. Thank you for acting like you didn’t care. You were entertaining the office staff with your usual charm and grace-teaching them how to make a friendship bracelet. You admitted you were secretly hoping I would forget long enough to have you attend extended day program. Thank you for not being hurt by my forgetfulness. Thank you for being so flexible that you just smiled and explained to the nice office ladies that your mom is usually quite good at this mothering stuff but we just moved and she hasn’t been herself.
Thank you for being an old soul who is wiser than her years.
I wish I could promise it will never happen again. I will promise that I will do all I can to ensure it. But I just don’t know myself anymore. My brain is full and it seems to be shrinking by the day.
Forgive me now and possibly in the future. Know that I love you, even if I can’t get my act together to show it sometimes.
Your Crazy Mom
This was an original post for the former-New Jersey Moms Blog.
P.S. Looking for more parenting guidance and tips for self-care? Check out From Chaos to Calm a guided training to help you feel better in this tough season.