Have you ever had a mumfail? One of those moments where you really mess up in your role as mum and then feel like the worst parent ever? You know the kind I mean… Those moments where you’re supposed to get them a costume for the school play but leave it so late even Amazon can’t deliver in time? Or when you were meant to make something for the bake sale but forgot so a mad dash to the bakery aisle of Tesco was required? I’ve been a stepmum for the best part of the last fifteen years and my youngest is almost seven. So trust me when I say I’ve had my share of mumfails!
I’ve forgotten my kids’ friends’ birthdays and the ‘bring-a-bottle’ donation for non-uniform days. I’ve had to do a run to the store 48 hours before my youngest’s swimming lessons because I waited until then to discover his swim shorts no longer fitted him. He’s been to school on more than one occasion without his glasses. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve had to make a last-minute trip to the cash point because I had no spare change for fundraising days.
My most epic mumfail…
But do you want to know what my most epic mumfail to date has been? It took place earlier this year. And I’m ashamed to admit it’d been going on right underneath my nose for almost a year too! What’s worse is I had absolutely no idea I was failing until my youngest came trotting home from school for the half term break, gym kit in tow. Upon taking it out for washing, he told me it was a little small. I’d been expecting this because he’d had quite a significant growth spurt. But his growth spurt wasn’t the reason his gym kit was tight…
Thinking it couldn’t be too bad I checked the label. Instantly I felt terrible. It said age 4-5…he’s going to be 7 next month!! I felt like the worst mum on the planet!! Tight?! How on earth was he getting these on? Even worse, what did he look like when he was wearing them?! My poor child! Just what was I sending him to school in and how had I forgotten to replace his gym kit for so long?! Serious mumfail!
What’s a mum to do?
I stood there, mixed feelings. On the one hand I thought he must think I really don’t care. On the other, I couldn’t help but wonder what he looked like in a sweatshirt two sizes too small and joggers that were probably sitting mid-calf! What was I to do? There were only a few weeks of term left…did I replace it knowing he’d grow over the summer and need a new one come September? Or did I let him keep using it, knowing it really didn’t fit? I’m ashamed and not ashamed to admit I promptly washed the far too small gym kit and put it back in his bag!
Call me tight but the summer break was in sight. I knew he’d probably be wearing the t-shirt and shorts that did fit him for what was left of the school term. I knew I could literally stretch out replacing his gym kit for a few more weeks. That I could buy him a new kit over the summer break and come September, all would be right again.
Why am I telling you this?
Now you might think me a terrible mum, but I’m not ashamed to admit I messed up. You see, the reality is we cannot do it all. No matter how hard we try. Being a mum is hard work! There’s no rule book and we can only do the best we can do. We all have epic fails from time to time and that’s ok. So I decided to wait a couple of weeks to go shopping. I decided to wait to buy him a gym kit that would fit him come September. Yes I quietly hung my head in shame for a couple of weeks knowing his kit was a bit tight. But in the grand scheme of things, it really didn’t matter. For those couple of weeks, the too-tight gym kit did its job and he’s now wearing a kit that does fit him.
Mum fails are ok…
I’ve clearly had my share of mumfails and I’m
guessing hoping you have too. My gym kit fail wasn’t my first mumfail and it certainly won’t be my last. After all, my youngest has nine more years of school, so there’s bound to be a few more! But I’m ok with that. And you should be too. So next time you have a mumfail and start to beat yourself up, stop! Ask yourself whether it really matters. In the great scheme of things, is your mumfail really that big of a deal? Or are you just like me…are you just trying to find your way in this whole parenting journey?
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How about you, what’s your most epic mumfail to date? Let me know in the comments below!
Until next time…