Disclaimer: I will be using a few cuss words in this post. I’m warning you…
Hey loves. Hope you’ve been well.
I keep hearing how moms lose their shit, and that this is normal. But when I look around me, however, I see perfectly calm moms who know exactly what they’re doing. Then I keep thinking to myself, “Am I such a bad mom? I can’t even hide my incompetence well.”
I don’t lose my mommy shit often. So when it does happen, I have a complete meltdown.
The third term is the busiest in C’s school calendar. The events taking place this term include sports days and concerts and a tea held only for grandparents. One event brings this whole town to a standstill: Inter-schools. This is when the two neighbouring schools battle it out for the title of classic clashes champion. It has been taking place for millennia (okay maybe just for a few decades). Every year this time I go into a mild panic. I don’t want C to ever feel out or excluded from any school event.
Until last Friday.
C was supposed to play his rugby match on Friday afternoon. I have mentioned before that I am not a rugby mom but I try to be as supportive and encouraging as I can be without forcing him to participate in something that he won’t like. I am a mess when it comes to planning. But I planned this day to the tee because I wanted it to be a success. The plan went something like this.
06.50 – Drop C off at school
07.00 – Attend the special inter-schools assembly
08.00 – Arrive at work
09.30 – Fetch C from school to change in his sport clothes
11.45 – Fetch C from my mom’s house for his rugby match
12.00 – Arrive at the field
12.30 – C plays his match
13.30 – We go home
Easy peasy lemon squeezy, right? You know, Murphy ne? Turns out that all that planning was for absolutely nothing.
We arrived at the school on time (This, after I screamed like a mad woman how late we were going to be), when I realized C was supposed to wear his track suit instead of his school uniform.
So we rushed home for him to change into his track suit. I knew that we would not make it for the special assembly.
And then I just lost it.
For a while, I felt tears burn in my eyes, wondering to myself why I’m such a bad mom. C was really quiet and I knew he was anxious. That’s when it hit me. Why am I putting so much pressure on myself and, in essence, on him to be perfect (or as close to perfect as can be)? Is it because I’m a single mom that I feel that I have to prove to other people that I’m doubly capable of raising my child all by myself? To prove to others (and myself) that I can be mom and dad?
So what if I cannot cope with the million expectations of being a parent, specifically a single parent?
And that is when I thought: F*ck it.
No more. No more f*cks will be given today. I will not be giving myself an ulcer and stressing out my eight-year-old today. It was liberating!
He took his own sweet time to get dressed. I took him for some ice cream before going back to the school.
At this point, the special assembly was still taking place so we decided to wait it out. I saw the anxiety creep up on C again – he hated being late for anything. So I told him the following:
“Today you will walk with your head held high and chest out. Today is your day and nothing will phase you, even if things go wrong. If anyone asks why you weren’t in assembly, you just tell them you don’t care today” (judge away if you want to).
When 12:00 came and we went to the game, he decided not to play in the match. This is not because he was excluded, but because he did not want to. And on that day, it was totally fine with me. Because that day I just did not give a shit what other parents thought or would say.
Sometimes we as single moms (and dads) encourage our children to participate in everything that is out there – sport, cultural activities, etc – for the sake of keeping up with the Jones’. And this can be stressful, not only for the child but also for you as a parent. Don’t get me wrong: if you’re doing this and coping, kudos to you (please give me your schedule). But so what if they don’t participate? So what if my child likes chess and profusely dislikes rugby? So what if I cannot cope with the million expectations of being a parent, specifically a single parent? Does that make me a bad mom?
Until next time…