January 29, 2010

Take Another Little Piece of My Heart Now, Baby

Ralf is in California for a week and I'm alone with the kids in a very snowy place. Between being sick and the constant snow, it hasn't been an easy week.

The other night I had a call with a really great customer. I scheduled it for 9PM, which is about an hour after the kids are usually asleep. They're good sleepers so this strategy generally works well. But for whatever reason, L couldn't sleep and pattered downstairs at 9:30PM. I ended up having to barricade myself in the bathroom to finish my call in peace. L cried for a bit then eventually went back to bed on her own. I ran up after the call to apologize and cuddle her.

Long after she forgets all about it my heart will still have a little chipped piece.

This morning I found a note from the teacher saying K's been late to school several times this week. I should have known, really. When it's warm the kids ride their scooters to school but in the snow they walk, which takes longer. But they leave at the same time. The older girls in the group can go a lot faster and they've been leaving K behind. Not her fault at all.

So, I was calculating how quickly I could get L dressed and drive K to school when the phone rang. It was another mom saying her kids were leaving early today. Perfect! I helped K into her boots and gloves and opened the door - only to find that the big girls had already left! I was about to go grab L to drive K to school in my bare feet when Kaye from next door ran back and grabbed K's arm to hurry her up. Yes! But no, K burst into tears.

Exasperated, I told Kaye to go ahead and pulled K back into the house angrily, scolding her for acting like a baby. I was angry because now I had to run to get myself and L dressed, go outside, scrape the car and drive her when she could have just gone with Kaye. It's one thing if she gets left behind, it's another if she bolluxes a perfectly good solution.

It all ended well with Kaye's mom driving both girls but I can still hear my own angry voice in my ears. All I want to do now is drive to the school, pull K into my arms, hug her very tightly and tell her how wonderful she is.

There's plenty of literature about how parents can damage a child with harsh words but none about the damage parenting does to parents, about how it breaks your heart a little bit every day when you aren't as perfect and loving as you'd like to be.

At this rate, my heart will be in ragged splinters by the time my beautiful girls grow up.

A heartfelt TGIF to all you multi-tasking mamacitas!


  1. We've all been there, Honeypie! Do NOT beat yourself up about it... Just remember the pain in your heart next time you decide to be angry...

    Not easy - I know from experience! But something we can all work on...

  2. Sorry you morning started out so bumpy, kids are resilient and you can make up for it this afternoon. It's hard especially when everyone has been sick.Have a wonderful weekend.

  3. You are spot on here! Mommy guilt is hard to forget.

    On a similiar note, doesn't it seem like things like this always happen when said spouses are on business trips? I once locked myself out, had my purse stolen (keys were in house and not purse thankfully) all while my son had a horrible flu. I was not at my best needless to say!

  4. It does get better. Learning to be a single mom while the German works in a different city had a real learning curve and the issue was (and still is) with getting T1 to school on time at 8(since being "late" for kita at 9 is not an issue).The worst part is that T2 is who makes T1 late- 1 gets up early and 2 is like a dead log. It's a constant process that I know includes my forcing an early arising on myself and T2, even if we don't want to. It's all precoess driven and habits are hard to create, especially when against natural inclination (in my case at least- I perefected getting up and out the door in 3 minutes and under ages ago, so have keinen Lust fruher zu aufstehen!).

  5. As for the yelling- saying "sorry" always makes me feel better!And it's good modelling for when they lose their tempers.

  6. Hi. Your daughters are beautiful (and you too) and you live in the most beautiful place on earth.

    At least you regret it immediately. I still sometimes regret what I did to my children more than 15 years ago and wish I could turn back time. I try to make it up to them now. I hope I am not too late.

  7. Why is it so easy for women to carry guilt?

    Take care.

  8. YES--exactly what I've felt but have never really voiced out loud. Parenting is hard on the parents. In trying to help one of my sons learn important life lessons I often feel like the biggest meanie around!

    And there are the times when you feel like you've approached it wrong, despite your best intentions...ah, the pains!

  9. Thanks for this post (and comments). I thought I was the only one who felt the way Honeypiehorse does.

  10. You are doing a great job. You can only do what you can do!

  11. It's OK. You're human with many emotions and they know it. The mornings are crazy for me too. Sometimes at night I say I am sorry for (fill in the blank) to one of my sons and I get a heartfelt "that's OK".

  12. Don't be too hard on yourself. We've all been there. You're a good mom with a lot of love for your girls. They know that.

  13. Lovely post! (Rent "Motherhood" with Uma Thurman when the man is back to watch the girls...)

  14. OMG Woman! You are amazing. This post really got to me.

    Today I was thinking about how I have never been mad at my daughter yet, but that the time will come and that I'm sure I will screw up. Oh boy. I'm a little scared.

  15. There, there. The only time you ought to beat yourself up is when you've been a big toad but yet you don't beat yourself up. Know what I mean, jelly bean?

  16. This post breaks my heart. It does unfortunately happen often in our house. I often wish I could call the school and ask to speak to my child so I could apologize for yelling in the morning before school... I hate rushing but we do it so often.

  17. I know just how you feel. Today our issue was "not enough dresses" and I realized after I got in the car I totally blew it and I totally suck. Being a mom is HARD.


  18. SO true! sheesh.

    But what better place for our kids to learn about imperfection than from the safety of their own homes from their loving parents?

    Ya, I don't buy it either.
    But I still think you're a kickass mom.


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