Last night I got an email from the program administrator at the boys’ school. She needed help, this time with Andrew, and wanted to ask me for some ideas. And I pounced on the problem, opened Photoshop to set about solving it (because really…what problem cannot be solved with photoshop??). I emailed something back to her within the hour. It was a solution I KNEW would work. It was impressive and photoshop-stylish and she was going to think I was pretty awesome.

And indeed, I heard back from her thanking me and saying she would use it and she even, get this, called me “wonderful”. ha!

So, I spent the rest of the evening congratulating myself on being such an effective parent. I thought about how, if Andrew were in another family, things would be so different for him. And despite what he says about “other moms let their kids play WAY more video games than I do and sometimes he wishes he had one of *those* moms”, I thought about how lucky he is to have me. How without me, he’d be a terror.

This high horse only let me ride for about an hour.

Because an hour later, Isaac was playing wii (the minutes he had an earned for a successful potty day! yay!) and Andrew started getting bossy and big-brother-y about Isaac’s game. He jumped in to play with Isaac (so Isaac could play it ‘right’) and I intervened, taking the remote. Then…he snatched the remote out of my hand so he could keep playing…and I totally lost it.

I was so, so mad at him. I yelled my fierce-mama-yell-that-I-like-to-pretend-I-never-use and, modeling appropriate grabbing skills, I grabbed the remote back from him and sent him to his room. And then I proceeded to re-examine my whole “effective parent” line I had been telling myself earlier. Because the way I handled that, didn’t feel ‘effective’. It felt way too angry, too grabby, too yell-y.

Someone older and wiser than me once told me that if she were to write a book on parenting it would have one sentence: when you mess up, own up.

I can’t get it right every time. I’m not to going to finish with a perfect score. There are some things I’ll nail and other things that will highlight the ugly sides of me I wish were not there. And sometimes I’ll get to experience both of these extremes on the same evening!

And, as what usually happens when I lose my cool, Andrew bounced back much quicker than I did. Andrew’s moved on and will likely try that same shenanigan another time. I’m left humbled and telling myself to keep going, keep trying my hardest, and to stay aware of both my stronger moments as well as my weaker ones. Stop pretending I always get it right. And when I get it wrong? Forgive myself.

All great ideas…but it’s often hard to execute them. :)



Also sometimes hard to execute? Weekend adventuring. There’s often traffic, crowds, long car rides to overcome for a little adventure. But, as I seem to be caught in a day-in-day-out cycle right now…adventure seems to be what it’s all about! It shakes things up in a way I love! Bring it on! (the photos I used on the scrapbook page were taken by Tabitha Sherrell.)

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About robyn

I stopped teaching Kindergarten in 2005 to become the mom of two crazy boys here in Brooklyn. At first I thought being a stay at home mom meant that I needed to pour all my time and energy directly into my sons, but I realized somewhere along the way that being a rockstar mom meant not only taking good care of my boys, but also taking good care of myself. And taking good care of myself means pursuing something creative...just about everyday. I started Made In Brooklyn to motivate myself in my creative goals as well as share my work with others and perhaps inspire them in their own creative journeys.
This entry was posted in motherhood, reflection, scrapbook. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to humbled

  1. Susan says:

    I so hear you. I kind of lost it with Margaret yesterday and William was really upset and jumped to her defense. It was so sweet but also really humbling to realize how much they notice–and can be hurt by–our parenting failures. The kids don’t generally defend each other if they know the person is being justly punished but yesterday I responded disproportionately and William knew it. I made up to them on the spot and they all moved on . . . but it’s still bugging me!

    Have a great weekend. I’m planning to have a baby. Just hoping the baby is up to speed on those plans as well.

    • Robyn says:

      haha!! It seems kind of early for that baby, Q! Isn’t she due in November? I know you have your babies early….but are you sure you are ready?

  2. Cathy says:

    Wow! I could have written this post myself! I can go from awsome to ugly in a question of minutes and I hate that about myself. I just wish I wouldn’t over react so often. Thanks for the great post!

  3. Sounds like you might be preaching to the choir, Robyn. I hate to tell you that this will never change! I find myself slipping in my parenting role with my 25 year old daughter more than I’d like to admit. I’m pretty sure this is a lifelong lesson we get to repeat over and over…

  4. Debs14 says:

    Oh yes, I echo what Deb Turtle said and my kids are 27 and 23! Sometimes you can go with the flow and react calmly to something and other times – exactly the same situation – you just lose it! As you say, the kids get over it quicker than you do, we’re still fretting about over reacting and they have moved on to the next thing.
    I’m pretty sure moments like this are in the minority so don’t beat yourself up about it!

  5. Ruth says:

    We are living very similar moments right now. One minute all is well with the world, the next I’m shrieking like a banshee and The Boy Child is crying. What bothers me most is how I must look to him and that thought is not very pleasant at all.
    Onwards and upwards, eh?
    Well done to the little man for a successful use of the potty day!

  6. erin says:

    Andrew and Isaac ARE lucky to have you for a mom!

    I love the scrapbook page, by the way.

    I have no experience with photoshop. What on earth did you make???

    • Robyn says:

      haha! Good question. I made a behavior management chart. I’ve made so many of these to address so many different kinds of behavior that I have my quick systems to make little charts with cool graphics and goals that make sense. So I made a set for the administrator to address the “not listening and following directions” problems she was having with Andrew during arrival (which was having a snowball effect because Isaac does whatever Andrew does…so if Andrew is acting batty…forget it. You have two wild ones on your hands!)

  7. Ladkyis says:

    But that wasn’t failure! that was “Reaching a limit”. ALL children need limits to teach them self control and good manners. They also need to know when they reach those limits. They will push to try and extend them, all young creatures do this. They learn by tone of voice and body language when they have crossed that limit. That’s why Andrew had moved on so quickly. You had reassured him that the limits were still there, reinforced that your rules haven’t changed and shown him that even mothers can get cross when driven.
    It’s called being normal, and is never referred to as failure, because the first rule of mothers is
    Your mother is always right.

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