Inadequate Mom

I like to think I’ve somewhat got this whole working mom thing together. Don’t get me wrong. It sucks and we’re poor but I’m getting it done. I actually made dinner Sunday through Tuesday and then we had leftovers on Wednesday. I think tonight (Thursday) I’m going to make breakfast for dinner because I didn’t have time to get anything into a crockpot this morning between Job #1 and Job #2.

Normally though I feel a great sense of inadequacy. I don’t say this so that everyone tells me I’m doing a great job or that I’m superwoman. I honestly feel like I’m failing my kids at every angle.

I was having a conversation with Picasso, asking him how he liked living here. He mostly likes it. He just misses having friends who live down the street (or right across the street). He misses being able to hang out with friends after school. I told him I would take him wherever he wanted to go.

“I know, Mom, but you’re never home.”

Ouch! And even worse is the fact that even though I’m never home, even though I work two jobs, even though I have to go to bed around 9 pm, like a damn toddler, I still don’t make enough money to really be able to provide much aside from food.

If he misses the bus I’m not around to take him to school. If the school calls and tells me the bus is running late I’m not there to pick him up. I did manage to return a few calls to the school and at one point one of the ladies in the office joked with me, “We know there’s no use in calling you about something because you’re at work and can’t talk on your phone while you’re there. So we know Picasso will just have to sit here and wait an hour until the bus gets here.” Double ouch!

I get cranky when I have to pick Rock Star up from her job at 10:00 at night because it means I get less than five hours of sleep that night before I need to go in and begin my thirteen hour workday. I missed more of the games that she cheered at than I attended. I did make it to the parent meeting for track this week but it’s anyone’s guess how many of her meets I’ll actually be able to attend. We are trying like hell to get her driving test scheduled and that is going to take coordination not seen since the Seal Team 6 strike on Osama bin Laden. It’s exhausting.

I can’t financially provide for them, despite working constantly, and I’m no longer available to do the regular “mom” things I used to do. It is so frustrating. This was never how I intended to raise my kids. If I had known this was going to be my life at age 48 I never would have had them because what’s happening is definitely not fair to them.

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13 thoughts on “Inadequate Mom

  1. I’m so sorry. This does suck and it’s definitely NOT ideal or fair. I do think you guys will get through this and it may not be now that they realize it, but you are teaching them many valuable lessons as you do your best to juggle this hardship. Be proud of yourself. You are doing the best you can, and that in and of itself is perfectly adequate.

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  2. You do more than I would if I were in your position- I know my limitations and no way I could keep what you’re doing long term so I wouldn’t even try. I’m Old School raised by Older School and I don’t believe in guilt when you’re in a difficult place because someone (ex) isn’t doing what he is supposed to and you’re already doing the all you can.
    Separate the essentials from the “would be nice but currently undoable”— I can be the worker and the Mom but also Julie the Cruise Director? Every day??? Nooooo…
    Many times I read your stories and my heart hurts for you: You really believe you don’t do enough! That’s impossible to fathomXO

    Please be gentle with yourself. I hope instead of thinking “I need to do more for them” (even as it is unhealthy for you, you know you can’t go on like this and add even more out of guilt), you say: “I can’t be everywhere at all times so this is what needs to be done because you can’t miss the bus. Honey it sucks you have to wait for the late bus but for now it’s all we can do. Things are gonna get better””. Please please don’t fall for the Superwoman myth. It is fantasy. Even Wonder Woman had friends. Oh and isn’t it “Fantastic FOUR”? The League of something or the other?
    Gather up your Supergirl and SuperboyXO
    “Whoever is home earliest of the two do everyone’s laundry, whoever is later can fold it.” Teach them your easy recipes so once in a while they can cook for YOU.
    We love our kids. The greatest gift we can give them is being IN their lives, not trying to avoid their minor inconveniences pretending it’s 2010 and end up ill or worse. Then what?! What happens then? Expectations are too damn high right now. Live the life you have now with the kiddos. They’ll grow up strong. They will be proud of themselves and YOU because you taught them how to be happy no matter where they are in life or what they own.
    Please take care of YOU.XO
    I want to slap the teacher for making you feel like you’re inadequate. What a fucking liberty👹

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    1. Thanks, Sophia. My kids do their own laundry for the most part. I try to do a lot of crockpot meals so if it’s not turned on in the morning it won’t get cooked. They know life has changed. I know it has changed. I still hate it. I never would have had kids if this was the way I was going to have to “raise” them. Nothing will change that.

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  3. I’m a child of divorce and my siblings and I pretty much raised ourselves because Mom was working (and eventually dating). Woke up, had coffee for breakfast (since the age of 8😂). Got ready, took city buses part of the way then walked to the rest of the way to school. Sometimes we would get a ride to school and were the firsts to arrive. Came home to an empty apartment, did our homework and made something to eat. Sounds horrible? Nope. Thanks to that experience we learned to rely on each other and learn things that were valuable for the rest of our lives at an early age. (Cooking/self-care/responsibility for self and others/cleaning/get good grades by our own effort/be on time/be frugal/not ask for “wants” when it is unaffordable/help mom and understand her position). I started cooking at 11 because I was tired of hot dogs and sandwiches😂
    I also learned we all had to sacrifice (it’s not a 4 letter word!) TOGETHER, support each other and think as a family unit instead of all of us with different needs and agendas. (6 kids! 1 mom!). It brought us closer. Sometimes at some level I think you’re hoping/trying to shield your kids from what is undeniable and self-evident: your lives have changed, they can’t be what they used to be at this moment in time. But why act otherwise? You’re in a period of transition! You can’t do it allXO Why are you thinking you can?Let go of the guilt! You’re not supposed to and nobody can. What you’re teaching them now about getting up when life knocks you down and keeping the fight is more valuable than the toys of yesteryear they don’t even play with anymoreXO. Chin up, you are a fantastic woman of strength.

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  4. I cannot stress enough to be kind to yourself. Your kiddos are awesome and they will always step in and help you out when they can. You cannot do EVERYTHING. Settle for SOME things. I can’t add anything to the lessons that they are learning. I will add to your “to be noted in the future” column. Wee Geek respects me and honors me for everything that we went through together. I’m his role model (how fucking awesome/terrifying is that?) now. The bonus points for you are that you don’t have to fight with CF over the kids, he doesn’t want them. You don’t have to put up with him trying to buy them off with expensive toys that will more than likely not ever actually leave his house. You don’t have to put up with the whore butting her nose into things that are not her fucking business. You don’t have to listen to his lies about you being regurgitated by your children. It feels like to me that you have piled up a huge amount of win for yourself just on those things. I know things are hard right now. I know that it sucks. And even though Karma is a slow ass bitch and she never works in the ways we want or need her to, she does work.

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    1. You make a valid point, at least until court. I don’t have to deal with either CF or the whore.

      I don’t want to say that when they’re older they’ll understand because they already understand and appreciate all that I do for them. I still feel guilty. No, not even guilty. I feel like a slacker.

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  5. I think you are amazing. You are fighting day in, day out to provide for your children. Being a single working mum is hell. But you are managing to get yourself up, work, keep a roof over their heads and feed them. Be proud of what you are doing. Xx

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      1. I know how you feel. We don’t do half of what we want to do. But what we do manage to do is the most important things – making our children feel loved and secure. Your ex hasn’t done that and neither has mine. Z

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