Do you ever feel like a bad mom?

The state of my kitchen table yesterday. I do.  

Like, all the time.

Take yesterday.  I was was trying to keep the kids on schedule (camp for Ollie; music class for Felix) because if we dawdled much longer then there would have been no point in even trying to get out the door.  (And before you ask, "So? What's the harm in that?" let me say that we all do better when we get out of the house.  Otherwise the boys rip the place apart, maul each other within an inch of death and basically make me crazy[ier].  In other words, I see no upside to staying home--especially on a gorgeous summer morning.) 

But things didn't go smoothly.  Chris took off for an early meeting before the dishwasher was unloaded or reloaded, before the kids ate, before I had a chance to shower, before the rush of getting teeth brushed, snacks packed, bodies into the stroller etc.  So as I plowed through the morning's tasks--and the kids were their normal 3.5 and 1.5 rambunctious selves--I started to lose patience.  I let exasperation creep into my voice.  I got annoyed. 

"Can you PLEASE just let me put your shoes on?" I pleaded.

"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"

(Okay, read that last line again, only this time with more vehemence, hatred, and eff you attitude.)

"Then how are you going to go to camp (or music class)?"

"I DON'T WANT TO GO TO CAMP."

"So you'd rather stay home?"

"NO!"

(Yes. Like that, but with more fierceness and animosity. Try again.)

"Okaaaaay." (Can you hear my exasperation?) "Then let me help you put your shoes on so we can go."

"NO!"

(You get the idea).

 

Skip ahead to 8:15pm,  and I was crying on my yoga mat  (missed going to the studio because the boys melted down even more when Chris and I tried for a quick changing of the guard), totally frazzled, feeling like a failure and wondering what I could have done differently or better throughout the day. 

Are my expectations out whack?

Am I wrong to want to have some sort of schedule?

Would we all just be happier if we hung lose (and didn't attempt to make Jamie Oliver risotto during nap time so that we could have something decent to eat that didn't involve ketchup)?

There's so much out there about Type A Parenting and Helicopter Parenting right now.  And everyone loves to poo poo overscheduling etc...but yet, the classes I sign my kids up for all have wait lists, and I heard someone else at the fancy kids' shoe store the other day ask when the new fall styles would be in (so that the sizes they need wouldn't sell out).  So clearly there's a lot double talk going on here.  I know I get stretched too thin when I try to do it all (and by "all" I just mean parent.  There was no personal time happening for me yesterday, or work time.  There was just taking care of the kids, my house and family life.), but I'm not sure I (or we) would be happier if the schedule were more slack (especially when it starts to rain.  At least in the summer we sometimes just bike around the neighborhood or play in the front yard with the neighbors.  Not an option for about 10 months out of the year in Vancouver.).

So, um yeah.  Sometimes I feel like I've got it all together.  And others, not so much.