Today I am failing as a mom. I am taking the easy way out. No, this isn’t a post for you to say Kerri you are fine, stuff happens. I am not looking for you to make me feel better because I do not deserve it. Because a mom isn’t supposed to be selfish. A mom is supposed to put her pain, her failings, her fears and her sadness aside for her child’s joy.
But I am not doing that today.
Today I am hiding my head in the sand, okay my body at work, and letting David take Boo on her field trip. Last year, I took Boo and we went to a pumpkin patch and apple picking. This year it is the same trip and I am bowing out. This is Boo last year:
You might not be able to see it, but there are tears running down her face. I let her go at her own pace (way behind her classmates). When we got to the patch all the kids were running around, she was overwhelmed. By the dirt, by the pumpkins by the noise, by who knows what. Her teacher came back with us so we were not all alone but by the time Boo got her pumpkin everyone had proceeded to the apple orchard. Again Boo tried but she was in her own world. She hated the field trip and I felt awful for making her go outside her comfort zone, even if it was what she needed. So I held back the tears (incredibly thankful for sunglasses) as the teacher gathered all the kids around for the sign along. Boo was there but not there. Her mind tired and I saw her retreating into herself.
The field trip ended and we left the farm. I cried all the way home. It wasn’t the teacher’s fault, the students or the other parents. They all included Boo. These feelings are my own and incredibly selfish. Because I looked at Boo and felt bad for her. That she didn’t enjoy herself but more than that. That I looked at Boo and saw her disability.
Not what others perceived but, as Kristi posted on Friday, how being in Public showed me how my child was not typical.
And moms are not supposed to do that. We are only supposed to see the beauty and innocence of our little ones. I failed. I cried. I realized that this is my problem and cannot blame anyone other than myself.
I know that this year will probably be different. Boo has more mobility, more words and is no longer afraid of dirt. I am sure that David will come home and tell me what fun it was, that she had a great time. So I apologize to her. Because I cannot face it. I will not chance it being a repeat of last year. I simply do not have it in me to go on another field trip of nightmares.
This is my failing, not Boo’s.
I’m so sorry Boo.
I'm sorry, Kerri. It's very clear how difficult this situation is for you. We can't be perfect parents all the time. That's why it takes two people to make a baby. When one parent just isn't up to being the “good” parent, the other one is there to do so. I imagine Boo will be thrilled to have her Daddy there, and she'll never know why you weren't.
Kerri, trust me we all have our moments. Yes, I know my kids do not have all of Boo's challenges, but that doesn't mean I don't have my own silent moments of guilt or failings as a parent. I know you said to not go easy on you, but that is exactly what I want to do and just wish I could give you a big hug, because as much as you feel guilty that you didn't go sometimes we as parents have to let go and take help in the form of our spouses. So, I truly don't think you did anything wrong here and again serious hugs your way!
I agree with Christine. There is nothing wrong with letting Dad have a turn. Some things are harder than others and field trips are frequently a nightmare for our kiddos. Hugs.
I'm on the band wagon with the other ladies here. Every mom gets tired, every mom bows out of something at some point. My daughter is not challenged and I've still had plenty of moments were I feel like I should walk around with a huge scarlet letter for failed parenting moments. Don't be so hard on yourself, you're doing great!
Kerri, I am guilty of the same thing with my oldest kids. When they were in elementary school, we didn't attend all the fun PTA sponsored school family activities, not because they didn't want to, but because I didn't. Very selfish, and when I look back on it, I am ashamed at myself for not wanting them to be happy over myself. You are not alone.
Kerri, I'm sorry you feel so crappy about opting out of the field trip today. But I do have to disagree with you on one point – you say “moms are not supposed to do that. We are only supposed to see the beauty and innocence of our little ones.” Yes, we are supposed to see the beauty and innocence, but I think we also have to see where our child fits into the world outside of our family. The reality is that Boo has a disability that will make things more difficult for her than for other kids, and it's ok to feel sad about that. You also move mountains to make sure that Boo has every resource she can get to help her progress – so remember that when you are feeling like you failed as a parent.
What they all said *hugs*
Kerri, hugs to you. I know yesterday was extremely hard for you yesterday as it was for me. Then today, hugs to you.
You are not alone! I feel the same way at times! I don't look as it as a failure. Sounds realistic to me! HUGS friend!
oh kerri, i don't know what to say. i bet those tears reinvigorated you, though. and i bet those tears made you more determined than ever. didn't you have several posts about a tear-filled summer at the beach? didn't that end well because you didn't give up or give in? and now, she really might have a great field trip just because you were there this past year and that you love her and you'll do anything for her!
and speaking just about field trips and being a parent. jt's class is going to the pumpkin patch and i'll go bc i don't have a job and so no excuse not to go. but, really, what can they find to do for hours at the pumpkin patch? and i bet it'll be cold and rainy too. really, i should be looking forward to this great right of passage/bonding experience. but, i'm not. it sounds like a miserable way to spend a friday!
Major hugs…but please remember that you are one of the least selfish people I know. You are an amazing mother. Everyone needs a break sometimes!!
I hope today is a better day. xoxoxo
I just now read this, and have read the update, that everything went well, but I wanted to send you hugs and say I understand. No, our children's needs and issues are not the same, but I do understand. Last week was a hard week for me (as evident in my blog post 'Am I my child's worst enemy?'). Sometimes I focus on what Thomas cannot do, rather, what I assume he cannot do, and forget to focus on the amazing things he can do (like light up a room when he walks into it, even if he is hiding behind mommy or daddy). I should rejoice when he proves me wrong, but often, it makes me feel like a horrible mom and person (again, the blog post shows this). However, I am very fortunate in that others realize that seemingly small accomplishments, like Thomas wearing his vest for Discovery Bible Club at church last night, or saying his Bible verse aloud in Sunday School, really are big deals. I don't blame you for wanting to hide, I see know shame in it or in crying last year. It shows how much you care, about Boo and about you. You rock. The end.
I'm just getting to this today. I'm glad to read in your new post that it went well but want to tell you that you're so not alone in this. I feel horrible admitting this, but we have some good friends that I've now blown off completely for about six months. They continue to invite us to stuff. I blow them off. Their daughter is three months younger than Tucker. The last time she came over, she was crying and saying she wanted to go home in the first four minutes because Tucker wouldn't let her touch his airplane. It sucked and was such a reminder of how little language my kid has, how little understanding, everything.
We're going to the Pumpkin place tomorrow with Tucker's class. The only thing that will make it better is that there are 11 other preschoolers who will also be having meltdowns, sensory issues, hiding in their parents coats, just like mine will be.
Sending hugs. You're a great mom. It's okay to hide out at work sometimes. It really and truly is. I promise.
Oh Kerri, I am only just reading this now. I am so sorry for all the pain and frustrations you felt and needed to get off your chest.
You are a great, great mom and you are a human being. We are no robots who do not have feelings, neither can we switch them off at times when we would love to.
It is just natural that you see the disability some days and not only the happy little girl that Boo is. As I wrote recently, there are constantly reminders to show us the special things in our lives and this will never change.
Please do not feel bad for your feelings because the bad ones are as valid as the good ones. We might not like them and feel ashamed for them but this will not eliminate them and we have to accept the fact that we all have good and bad days and that those feelings come on bad days. Because we do not want that our kids have to struggle and feel sad about something that is fun to everyone else. We want them to enjoy those things, too, and it hurts to see that they cannot.
Hugging you extra tight!! xoxo