Heaven knows I have good intentions. I make lists and calendars and meal plans. I hover over homework until the wee hours. I wash more laundry than the staff at the Waldorf-Astoria, and I wake up daily resolved to encourage my kids on to greatness. Inevitably, though, I hit a few potholes on the way to becoming June Cleaver (She’s the mom in the old Leave it to Beaver show). I forget things. I fall asleep helping with homework. I never, ever make it all the way down my to-do list. But that’s okay. This is real life, and even when I’m trying my hardest, I will mess up.
Modern moms have a lot of resources to tell us how to be a good parent. But we’re human, and despite our best efforts and intentions, there will be times when we fall short of the ideal. Be sure to show yourself grace when you make one of these 5 Mom Mistakes.
1. Anger Management
You have to do a good job of controlling your emotions and words in order to train your children to do the same. But bad days happen—days full of spilled coffee and fender-benders and unexpected bills—and we lose it. It’s not right, but it’s understandable. So own your failure and make it right by confessing to those affected that you were wrong and sincerely apologizing.
You have to do a good job of controlling your emotions and words in order to train your children to do the same.
2. Organizational Meltdown
So someone got to soccer practice today with no cleats, and your daughter missed a friend’s birthday party because you forgot to put it on your calendar. In today’s busy families, there are lots of schedules and needs to keep track of, making household organization a must. But even the most organized mom will drop the ball occasionally. When things get crazy at your house, back up and look at your system: what works and what doesn’t, and how other members of the family can help out by becoming more responsible for their own needs. Check out iMOMs Organizational Tools to see if one can help your family!
3. Missing a Big Moment
There’s a great deal of pressure to attend every game, every performance, and every school program that our children are involved in. But for working moms, or moms of multiple children, sometimes it’s just not possible. Remember, attending these “marquee moments” where our children are on display is not the definition of good parenting—consistency in those everyday moments that no one sees is. Of course, make every effort to be present and encourage your child in all he does. But remember, when it can’t happen, there are other ways to support your child. Get a DVD of the performance to watch along with them, or ask lots of questions about how it went and show your interest that way. We promise they’ll know they are loved!
4. Lunchbox Failure
We’ve all had that busy morning when we reached for the carrot sticks to pack in lunch boxes only to realize that we’re out, and we throw in a few Oreos instead. Trust us, no child has ever suffered malnutrition or fallen victim to childhood obesity based upon a rare deviation from the nutritional plan. How do you know you’re not just a slack mom? You ran out of carrot sticks—which means somebody’s eating right most of the time. Make a grocery list and tackle it again tomorrow.
Our kids are exposed to more media (tv, movies, music and online content) than ever before. And while we encourage our moms to be smart about the amount and type of media their kids see and hear, there will come a day when they are exposed to something inappropriate. In fiction, you might be able to just go “off the grid” and move to a cabin in the mountains where your kids see nothing but nature. But in real life, our best effort means fighting this fight every day (use our tools like the iMOM Movie Monitor and our Family Internet Contract to help out) and never giving up!
Tell us! What are some other mom mistakes that are OK to make?