I Suck.

How can I be rollin' along feelin' pretty good about this mom thing, then suddenly be slapped with the realization that I'm mediocre at best? I try to do what's right for my kids, balanced with some time for just me, but in the end I always end up feeling inadequate, guilty. Does this sound familiar? God, I hope so, because I could use some back up.

Last week, I was in the shower when I suddenly heard the alarm on my phone ringing. First thought? "Crap! Where am I supposed to be that I forgot about?!" School. Mystery Reader. I'm late.

I twisted my hair up in a clip and took off for the school, book in hand, with a wet head. I waited impatiently to sign in, then took off for the classroom apologizing profusely. I missed it. The teacher covered for me and said we could reschedule. She said she had a reminder for me last week, but since the munchkin was home sick I never got it.

Now, I baked them treats this week, helped them with homework, made them yummy dinners, cleaned up their messes, and gave them lots of hugs and kisses, but this little episode sent me home in a funk. I suck. I suck, I suck, I suck...The chant in my head in the car.

I think, as mothers, we are our own worst critics. I know I was a good mom to them this week, but it was all erased in my mind once I messed up with Mystery Reader. How can I do better? Is it possible to never mess up? How can I accept it and move on without it demeaning all I've worked for up until that moment?

I don't have the answer. But, I can sit down here and type it out here and know that I do the best I can. That nobody's perfect. That they will not be scarred forever if I miss reading time at school. The big picture is much more than that. But, it would still be rewarding to feel like I have it all together at some point in this process. So, until then, I sucked at being a Mystery Reader, but I'm trying my best to be a great mom. That's all I can hope for at the moment.


One of my girlfriends just emailed me a Job Description for Mothers she wrote in response to this post:

Job Description:

Pray with the children each day and night, bathe them, dress them, brush their teeth and comb their hair each morning by 7:00. Take each child to a doctor's appointment, a dentist appointment, and an appointment for a haircut. Know all of the words to every stupid song that comes on TV and the name of each and every repulsive character on Nickelodeon. Take each child to play two sports and either music or dance classes. There is no fast food.

Cook, do laundry, decorate house, keep house clean and presentable at all times, and plant flowers outside. Correct all homework, complete science projects, pay bills and budget in money for groceries each week. Make cookies or cupcakes for a social function. Attend weekly PTA meetings, church, and find time at least once to spend the afternoon at the park or a similar setting.

Shave legs, wear makeup daily, which is applied either while driving or making lunches. Adorn self with jewelry, wear uncomfortable yet stylish shoes, keep nails polished and eyebrows groomed. Have extreme, unexplained mood swings but never once complain or slow down from other duties.Know all of the following information: each child's birthday, height, weight, shoe size, clothes size and doctor's name. Also the child's weight at birth, length, time of birth, and length of labor. Each child's favorite color, middle name, favorite snack, favorite song, favorite drink, favorite toy, biggest fear and what they want to be when they grow up.

Clean up after their sick children at 3:00 a.m. and then spend the remainder of the day tending to that child and waiting on them hand and foot until they are better. Make an Indian hut model with six toothpicks, a tortilla and one marker; and get a 4 year old to eat a serving of peas.

Have enough energy to be intimate with spouse at a moments notice. Do this over and over and over again for the next 18-25 years...eventually earning the right to be called Mother!


  1. Thankfully kids are so quick to forgive and forget...I hope you remember how blessed you are today and that you are the BEST mom for your kids.

  2. I hope you're able to get out of your "funk" soon. You'll kill it as a mystery reader next time!

  3. Oh I am there with you right now - although for me it's that I've become a boring homeschooler. My worst fear. I'm ready to battle it today though.

    Visiting from SITS

  4. Hey, kids really do forget things that fast! You are a brilliant Mum and doing all that you can, AND doing a great job of it!
    Don't be so hard on yourself!

  5. We are hardest on ourselves. Nobody is perfect and each of us can tell you about a time we screwed up big time or dropped the ball. Besides if you were a perfect mom I would have to stop reading your blog cause it would just make me feel not perfect :)

  6. You really don't suck. And you're not alone. :) You're right - as a mother we are our own worst critics. I'm still kicking myself for sending Princess Nagger to school one day last week with an empty lunchbox. But I think our kids will appreciate that we really are human - and they do forgive much more quickly than we do as adults. :)

  7. Refrains that get stuck in our heads and tear us down are evil. Tell them to stop. You don't suck. You're a great mom who happens to be human. Last week I missed my preschoolers Halloween party AND parent/teacher conference because I didn't get the memo. Then I ran out of gas on the way to pick him up and didn't have my cell. I was a 1/2 late picking him up. How could this all happen in the same week confirming to all that I suck??? I don't suck. I just had a horrible week and sometimes it's hard to pull it all off smoothly. You're not alone. We're all there with you!

  8. This reminds me of last year when Baby Girl guilted me into taking off for her Halloween party at school by saying, "But all the other mom's come to the party." I get there and of course only three other moms had shown up. We do what we can do, and we need to cut ourselves some slack for the other stuff.

  9. As moms, I think we are too quick to punish ourselves for the smallest but forget all of the things that we get right.

  10. of course you are not alone! and obviously, you don't suck. the fact that you are this torn up over missing the mystery reader date proves that point!

  11. You don't even come close to being a sucky mom...believe me, I've been doing this mom thing for a long time (over 24 years!)and I have learned that even though I am far from perfect, my kids think I'm an awesome mom and THAT, my friend, is all that matters! And that is after the tooth fairy forgot at least once per child to put money under a pillow!! :)

  12. I'm guilty of the saying the same thing to myself. But I know it's not true. We do our best everyday all day. Forgive yourself!
    And don't put that Job Description anywhere in your house! ;~)

  13. Several years ago one of my twin boys said that I didn't like him as much as his brother because when I helped out in his class I didn't wear any makeup or do may hair and in his brothers class I was "pretty"! Of course he didn't realize I busted my ass to get there after I taught an hour aerobic class 35 minutes away! I would get there in the nick of time!! In His brothers class I helped out at a later time! He still remembers it to this day! How I loved C more than D!! It never ends.....You dont suck!!! Or...we all suck at different times!?!

  14. You don't suck. You don't think your kids suck when they mess up...right?! Particularly when you see that they really wanted to do it right. Our mothers were busy, but it doesn't hold a candle to all we do today. Makes me scared for what my daughter will be expected to do to be the "perfect" mom. I say we aim for "good enough mom" with a big helping of love and prayer to cover the mistakes. Come on by for a visit. Holly at lifelaughlatte.blogspot.com

  15. Oh honey, I have forgotten or been super later for, or completely screwed up things so much bigger than that! Plus, I know me and I know that I will in the future too.
    You DO NOT SUCK! Your kids may just like to teasingly rub it in for a bit as if you do. ;) Well, if your kids were my kids, they would anyway. lol.
    When they do just grab them, squeeze them, and kiss them relentlessly until they take it back, and you can once again claim your title of Queen Mum. ;)


  16. The pressures we put on ourselves are unreal. You seem like a fabulous mom to me. Keep your head up and trust that you are doing things right and well.

  17. Don't be too hard on yourself. Remember...we are human (much to our kids disbelief) I'm sure they know in their hearts just how awesome you are!

  18. Oh Man, We have all done that. That's why we get so many reminders that we forget to look at them. Sometimes it's just TOO MUCH.

  19. awww, cut yourself some slack! Your kids will love you, no matter what. Sure, they may get upset about something, but their love is unconditonal.
    Being a mom is the toughest job you'll ever have, but isn't it also the most rewarding?!
    thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving such a nice comment!
    I hope your funk gets better real soon!
    ps I can't believe you went to the school with a wet head! maybe you should set your phone with an earlier warning? :)

  20. I know exactly how you feel. We have so many "perfect" moments and yet it takes just one wrong moment to erase all of the good ones from our memory.

  21. I just try to remember out of the 9,999 things that I have to do each day...I only messed up once, lol ;o)

  22. Hey I know that job position! Now just add in my other full-time-at-the-office job description and welcome to my life!

    And my husband wonders why I come home exhausted and brain-dead!! Sorry hon - something's GOT to give!!!

  23. This sounds like my life so if you suck then I suck. Well, okay. Maybe we do:)

  24. LOL!!! we all suck, but the mucnkids love us anyway. I find the best answer is to "change the expectations." For example: at our house the toothfairy only comes when she can find the time, never to be expected any sooner than 3 days after the tooth has been waiting. The kids are excited that she eventually deems their tooth worthy and randomly stops by...even if the tooth is no longer under the pillow but now somewhere lost under the bed. Being able to make your own lunch is a well earned right of passage to first grade. They love being able to pack what they want, and I rarely have to worry that they won't eat. And $20, 2 or 3 times a year to the teach guarentees I'm never on the snack schedule while at the same time successfully fulfilling my parental duty to the classroom. Honey, you gave them life, everything else you do is Bonus! - molly

  25. As parents, we all try our best. And from what I've read, you do way more than most and a much better job at it.

    I really enjoyed the responses others posted too.

  26. We're so hard on ourselves, aren't we? It's a shame we are all our own worst critics because there are plenty of other people out there willing to put us down too.

    We all have so many things to remember, I think it's a miracle we remember to do ANY of it.

    I hate to tell you, but it seems to get worse as you go. I don't know if it's a menopause thing or what, but the last year or so, my memory has been just awful. I will run into neighbors and acquaintances and not only not remember their names, but not even remember that I've met them. Drives me crazy!

  27. i know you wrote this forever ago, but i can't help from write my 2 cents too! every mom feels like she sucks every so often. you're right, it doesn't matter how many gazillions of insanely amazing things we can do, that one things that goes wrong tends to ruin all the rest. but just for us! i don't think anyone else really notices much and definitely doesn't remember. i'm sure you're awesome, as are all of us "sucky" moms! :)


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