I am about to tell you a story that I can hardly believe happened to me – one that I feel is worthy of putting myself up for the nomination to win the “World’s Okayest Mom” award. (In other words, I basically had a big parenting fail moment!) Initially I felt so terrible about it, but have since laughed and shared the story with friends and family, so I figured I might as well share it with the world!
I hope on those days when you feel like you’re not good enough, when you feel bad for making mistakes, you will think about this story and know that we’re all in this together! You are worthy – you are good enough – you are loved.
A few weeks ago, I was in the midst of the one of the most stressful weeks I’ve had in a while. It was the final week of my Fall semester at grad school, and I had two major projects due that were between 20%-30% of my final grade (no pressure!) I am a very good student, but due to some crazy circumstances this semester, I was genuinely worried I was not going to pass one of my classes. I knew these projects would require many hours of work to be acceptable to turn in, but it just so happened that this final week Dean was planning to go out of town for work two different times – which meant I was by myself with our two-year-old son. And after working all day and then finally getting my son to bed, I found it very difficult to stay awake to complete my homework. When I don’t get enough sleep, I start to get sick… so of course about halfway through the week I started feeling terrible. It was a classic snowball effect situation.
During this final week, one of my sweet coworkers asked me if I would like a Christmas ornament with Calvin’s name and birthday info on it – she was making ornaments for other friends who had recently had kids, and they were turning out so cute that she thought I might want one.
I replied that yes I would, and so my coworker told me that I just needed to send her the basic info: first name, middle name, date, time, weight, etc. I started typing out a text with all the information:
June 30, 2016
6 lb, 7.5 oz
My coworker responds via text that she hadn’t known what Calvin’s middle name was, to which I said, “It’s Dean’s middle name too.”
Another week went by, and I got my assignments turned in (I passed the class by the way) and my coworker brought me the ornament she had made. It was so cute, and I told her I loved it! I set it on my desk at work knowing I would take it home later that day. I took a picture of it and almost posted it to Instagram, but I didn’t want the surprise to be ruined for other friends she was giving ornaments to, so I waited.
I went to lunch, our university was providing a free meal to all faculty and staff in the cafeteria, so I ate with some of the other library staff and then headed back up to my office. I sat down and logged into my computer, and I again noticed the ornament sitting on my desk.
At that point, something suddenly occurred to me: “Alex” is not Calvin’s middle name.
It is Dean’s middle name, and it was the middle name of Dean’s grandfather for whom Calvin is named after, “Calvin Alex Pye,” but I then remembered that we had decided on a different middle name for our son: Miles.
Can I just tell you that I have not felt that embarrassed in a long time? I literally forgot my son’s middle name for a week and a half – I literally told my coworker that my son had the same middle name as my husband, a fact that was completely false.
I texted my coworker at that point, and the text began: “you are going to think I am insane…”
Genuinely, I think I had been under so much stress, that I kind of had been a little out of my mind. I cannot believe that I didn’t realize my mistake sooner – but hey folks, that’s what stress does to you!
So, if you’re feeling like you’ve made a huge parenting fail – it’s okay – tell someone, they’ve probably done something similar or crazier! Find someone to laugh about it with you. Surround yourself with people who will love and support you and not shame you for your mistakes.
And give yourself some grace.
Also, if there really is a “World’s Okayest Mom” award – please consider nominating me.
Thanks for reading!