F$%#ing up as a Mom

I’m not writing this so that people will leave comments/send me messages that reassure me I am still a good mother. I thought I would clear that up because I know quite a few very kind people who read this blog, and I am willing to bet that as soon as they read what I am about to write, they will want to cry and hug me and tell me that it’s OK. I have to admit, it is nice to be loved that way, even when I f#$% up.

I was at the pool today, with my five youngest children. It sounds weird to say “five youngest children” in a society where there are normally only two children in a family, but anyhow…

The two little girls, ages 4-1/2 & 6-1/2, were in those black tubes that look like life preservers, swimming around like ducks. I was with them, trying to keep them from braving the deep end. It’s a big pool. We did our usual thing: swim in the kid part for 10 minutes, go into the hot tub for a few minutes, repeat cycle several times, go home.

Somehow as I played with them, swam with them, followed them, I took my eyes off of the youngest and actually turned my back on her assuming she would stay put or follow me towards the other kids. We were right in the middle of the pool by then, where the deep end begins. I turned around, and she had made her way back to the very end of the pool. It is technically the shallow end, but that doesn’t matter when it’s still over her head and she can’t swim. I am well aware of how quickly things can happen.

In my frenzy to get to her, I realized the six-year-old was swimming right into the deep end and there was no stopping her. I called to the older ones to tend to the six-year-old and finally caught up with the four-year-old.

I know how people think. I know that by at least two sets of eyes today I was being scrutinized and roasted for bad parenting, and I totally understand. I definitely deserved it. My baby who does not know how to swim was floating around a pool in a tube by herself several meters from me, her supposed attentive caregiver.

I left with my tail between my legs. Something so basic: keep an eye on your children in a pool (!!!) and I f&%#ed up on it. Royally.

Let me tell you, it feels yucky. Horrible. Bad.

So… I had two choices: let it eat at me, or never let it happen again and move on.

With the second choice comes being far less judgemental towards other parents. I like that idea.

This is part of motherhood, even after almost sixteen years of it with seven children: there are “f%$# up” moments. Sometimes, as in my case today, there are no tragedies or disasters, just lessons learned. Sometimes the very same situations take on a different spin and destroy lives forever.

I choose to be kind, to be supportive, when I see another mum making a mistake, struggling, or having a bad day. I know what it’s like. It happens.

But thank god they have swimming lessons next month…


8 thoughts on “F$%#ing up as a Mom

  1. Hey. At least your 2yo wasn’t outside on the highway alone today with semis driving by

    Yup, I feel the same.

  2. Even though you said you weren’t asking for it, I’m giving you virtual hugs and letting you know you’re one of the Moms I ask myself “What would so-and-so do right now” when facing a perplexing boy issue. 🙂 Must have been something in the air yesterday, as I had Ben nearly do a swan dive out of a shopping cart while trying to compare prices….

    1. Are you saying those WWJD bracelets are actually about me? 😉
      And here I sit on my end thinking that the rest of the moms from homeschool group are so much better at this and do way cooler things with their kids than I do…
      The borderline cart fall has happened to me with all seven. No one has ever actually fallen out, thank god, but they have all come very close. And people wonder why so many mothers look like they are high or in heaven when they get to go grocery shopping alone… 🙂

      Thanks for the comment, Denise. Here is a heart that won’t look like a heart, but it’s the best I can do until I figure out why hearts won’t post: ❤

      (I wouldn't be surprised to learn that Ben compares prices already, but I had assumed it was you 😉 )

  3. Well…I had a similar situation. My two year old was in a floating boat at free time at homeschooling swimming lessons. I turned my eyes from her to watch one of my daughters who could swim and took my hands off the boat. When I turned back she had flipped over upside and down, head under the water. She was kicking fanatically. My other daughter was so filled with fear that she had a grip on my hands and I couldn’t get them free. I had to talk fiercely angry with her and roughly wrench my hands free. I’ll NEVER forget that day.

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