working mom

Feeling I Failed

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It was 2nd trimester report card day today. I knew what to expect. I know they both struggle in reading, but Logan has improved so much I was hoping for a little better. Deacon…well I could go on a complete rant about his teacher but I promised myself months ago that I would not go there. I’m seriously contemplating having him do kindergarten again with a different teacher seeing he just made the mark to enter this year.

What’s really getting to me is that I feel like an absolute failure. I feel like I’ve failed them by being a mom who works full time. I don’t have enough time in the week to give them each that individual time they need. It’s the same thing day in and day out. Get home at 5pm, make dinner, have dinner and talk about our day, get homework done (give someone homework I printed out because his teacher doesn’t give him homework), baths/showers, brush teeth, read books, and then bed by 8. This is the time I see my kids during the week aside from the hour of getting ready in the morning. That’s it. Three hours of scheduled time. I’ve made sight word memory games and flash cards but we don’t have the time every night to do them. There just isn’t enough time! It drives me crazy and I feel completely awful about it. And you know what, sometimes I just want to play knights and dragons. We read books together every night, but with the three of them together no one can truly focus. Logan gets frustrated and it’s just not fair to him. I need individual quiet time with each one of them, which is nearly impossible during the week.

I want to be the mom that picks up her kids at school. Gets them a snack and then gets homework done right away. I can’t be that mom. I can’t be that mom that I want to be. It’s depressing. There is nothing I can do about it. I HAVE to work full time. Tonight was a night I just needed to rant. That’s the one thing I love about blogging…a space to just let it all out. Maybe find someone else out there that experiences the same thing. So, I’m going to pour myself a glass a wine and tell myself that it’s okay, I do the best I can, and it will all turn out okay.

32 thoughts on “Feeling I Failed

  1. You have different struggles with 3 school age kids, but I can tell you even at 4yo and 2yo I feel like I don’t devote enough time to helping them learn. I feel so guilty that my son could identify all his letters, shapes and colors at 2yo and most days I forget to even ask my daughter. I feel so guilty that everything seems to be about the oldest in my house and I feel like I am failing her every day. And I stay home!!!!

    I am not trying to make this about me, I am simply trying to say that guilt comes with the territory. We always question how much we are doing or whether there is more to be done (there’s always more), but life isn’t as black and white as we want it to be. Who knows why some things turn out certain ways. We can’t carry all the weight. Their grades might be exactly the same if you were home. Try to let it go eventually. Just take it as a sign that you care so much – which is clear. You are a great mom, doing a great job.

  2. You have different struggles with 3 school age kids, but I can tell you even at 4yo and 2yo I feel like I don’t devote enough time to helping them learn. I feel so guilty that my son could identify all his letters, shapes and colors at 2yo and most days I forget to even ask my daughter. I feel so guilty that everything seems to be about the oldest in my house and I feel like I am failing her every day. And I stay home!!!!

    I am not trying to make this about me, I am simply trying to say that guilt comes with the territory. We always question how much we are doing or whether there is more to be done (there’s always more), but life isn’t as black and white as we want it to be. Who knows why some things turn out certain ways. We can’t carry all the weight. Their grades might be exactly the same if you were home. Try to let it go eventually. Just take it as a sign that you care so much – which is clear. You are a great mom, doing a great job.

  3. Hey… do your kids feel loved? Uh… YES!!! So: YOU WIN (read: stop beating up on yourself!). Enjoy that wine: you deserve it. (Sending you Great Big Mama Hugs; some days are hard, but tomorrow will be better.)

  4. If you go to bed at night knowing that you truly do the best you can then that is good enough. No one, including you, should expect more. It sounds to me like you’re doing a great job.

  5. I’m certain you’re not alone in this feeling of failure (and by all the comments this proves to be very true). Thank you for so candidly expressing the struggles of a working mom (which I will soon be)- I think there will be many others to benefit from reading this as well.

  6. Sheri, It saddened me to read your blogg today. I think you are such a wonderful mom.
    You have not failed at all. As a young mom you have given your children much more than you know. Education is very important, but imagination is just as important, love, stability and being in a safe place called home. I work in this school system and see plenty of children that don’t have any of the above your children are blessed to have the two of you. Just be patient they will be fine and turn out to be wonderful adults I know it.
    Happy Easter !

  7. I am an at home mom right now and I can tell you that I completely understand how you feel, but in a different way. I do get to pick my kids up from school and spend A LOT of extra time with them….but that’s all I do day in and day out and I feel guilty because there are days when I really wish I had another job just to be with adults again (while all of my working mom friends want the opposite). No matter what we do as moms, there’s always guilt of some sort. If you are spending time with them each night, even if it seems like it’s not enough, they are getting exactly what they need. Kindergarten is a transitioning time for all kids and some handle it better than others, but their successes and hardships in Kindergarten won’t define them for life! I can tell from all of the fun things that you do with your boys that they know they are very much loved and have a wonderful life. And that is the most important thing you can give them! Especially imaginative little boys! Hang in there!

  8. Unfortunately Sheri, we married for love not money, so work is in our immediate future for a very long time 😉 I have to say that I am thinking about dealing with two now at home while I am working full time – I can’t imagine how that will work out. But I do know one thing – you are a great mom and the boys know you and Martin love them very much. Your boys are well behaved, respectful and love each other too. I was never a stellar student but I am a good person and turned out pretty good if I must say so myself. Like I said this a.m., one of us NEEDS to win the POWERBALL!!

  9. Don’t be hard on yourself. You are a great mom. I have been in your shoes countless timse as a working mom full time and all of the other ways and there is always something not quite right about education and our children.
    I frankly do not think it has anything to do with you but that is another story.
    But as long as you have a loving household and do your best with homework and make sure there is no other issue with learning at home your kids will be just fine.

    I thought I failed my oldest son. I had a horrid divorce and the father basically left him high and dry. I did everything I could to keep that relationship going and nothing worked. My son suffered greatly. He was never great at math or reading comprehension but what he lacked (at that time) in these areas he made up for in how he interacted with peers and adults.
    My personable awesome son ending up in the end nailing a scholarship to Pepperdine in California and is making straight A’s in an environment filled with practiced VPs and other upper management in all types of industries. Every time I think about it I cry. Because unlike you, when he was little, I was just trying to stay alive.
    Now I am in a loving marriage, with no pain and another little guy. Which on the outside would look like a perfect world. I do work, but mostly part time with tons of volunteering which woudl equal to many a full-time job.
    But even in an ideal environment my youngest son is struggling with, again, reading comprehension. And he reads, really, really well just does not absorb and writes super slow and not so neat.
    I am learning to realize that sometimes it takes a while for the old learning bug to catch a ride on my kids brain. lol

    But my friend, you are a great mommy. And you just wait and see, all that love and all that juggling will pay off big later.
    Schools systems are not as good as they were 20 years ago, it is a sad, politically driven, hand shaking and shady dealing fact.
    P.S. I do have to homeschool part time, otherwise that crappy Every Day Math would turn my son into a basket case by Jr. High.

    Later and lots of love to all of you,

    Pam

  10. I am soooo right there with you. Some days it feels like it is literally impossible to juggle it all, and I think it’s worse when they’re in school. I’ve had the “I failed” feeling several times when my son’s K teacher emailed me about some “behavioral issues.” Sigh. I’d LOVE the chance to work in my field part-time or job share, but unfortunately those opportunities don’t exist. Hang in there. You’re a great mom who loves her kids – in the end, that’s what is most important (now I need to take my own advice!).

  11. I’m sorry you feel like a failure 🙁 My Mom worked full time since I was a baby and I’m in awe of her as a Mom. I think all of us Mom’s get that feeling though sometimes, even the ones who stay at home! Big hugs!

  12. You are a great mom! Parenting is just plain hard, no matter if you work in the home (like me), or away from home, or if you are a full-time mom. I think we all feel like failures trying to balance it all. I relate to this post because I feel like I just can’t keep up with it all and it does hurt so much when our kids struggle in school- I take it personal as well- what did I do wrong. I think we need to just keep doing our best and not be so hard on ourselves. You are a great mom and doing your best! 🙂 xo

  13. All kids learn at their own pace. As long as you are talking to them, reading to them and helping with homework you’re doing more than a lot of parents do. I was a 1st grade teacher for a very long time and I wouldn’t keep your son back in Kindergarten. If it becomes absolutely necessary do it in 1st grade where he would have two years of reading exposure instead of two years of letter recognition.

  14. You are doing great! I know how you feel. I just went back to work full-time and I feel like I am hurting my kids by doing so. It will be easier when my son is in school full-time, but I know we all just do the best we can. Your kids know you LOVE them!!!!

  15. Oh I could have written this post. You are doing the best you can with the circumstances you have. You are a GREAT mom, I am sure of that! It’s so hard to not feel like you are failing your kids in some way, I think all moms feel that way sometimes. I know I do, probably a little too often. But I do what I can with the time that I have, and that’s the best I can do. Hugs!

  16. No matter how many hours there are in your day, I think great mothers will always feel like they’ve left something unfinished. Great moms will always feel like they’re the worst moms. You are doing exactly the best that you can for your kids and if they know that you love them, they know ALL they need. We get to bed WAY too late in my house (9:30 pm for a 7 and 10 year old) and I am home in the afternoon. But there’s homework and playtime and sports and dinner and they get to see their dad the same way you get to see your kiddos…in small bursts at both ends of the day. And it’s never enough time. So we stretch it as far as we can, which is really a foot too far. But, we all do our best and it shakes out in the end. I’m glad you have a place to vent your frustrations and struggles and know that we’re all in it too.

  17. first, you are not failing!!! second, I think all moms (and parents, really), feel like this. There is never enough time in the day to do all the things we want to do. And still make money to feed everyone! You do your best with the time that you have — you can’t do any more than that. And you know what? Playing knights and dragons is important too! Hugs mama!

  18. Oh, Sheri… you are such a wonderful Mom. Remember, just as everyone else has said, in the short run, the long run and any run, LOVE and FUN and piles of smiles are what build a child. You mention the teacher. I taught for 30 years and know for a fact that some teachers just don’t connect with some kids. And the work thing? It broke my heart to head off to work each day while all the neighborhood kids had their Moms at the bus stop, and picking them up in happy carpools each afternoon, taking them to their practices and lessons piled into those big suv’s. You know what I’m talking about. I was lucky to have my summers free, but those work days take a toll. Have you considered hiring a tutor, a high school boy or girl recommended by someone you trust to help with the reading skills? Most high schools are happy to recommend kids for this to help with THEIR volunteer hours. Boys love older boys who make things fun and interesting and especially make reading seem like such a great thing to do. If you could get some reading materials and just let them GO! Maybe? My heart feels for you and please let me know if I can do anything to help… xo

  19. Sheri-

    I am sorry to read about your anguish. Time is never enough and there’s nothing worse than getting a discouraging report about your kids.

    All I can say is hugs and that I hope you find some good ways to make more time/help your kiddos. XXOO

  20. I’ve tried it all over the 10 years I’ve had kids: full-time, stay-at-home, part-time. And guess what? There is no magic solution because whatever you’re doing, you’re always thinking about whether you’re doing it right and how you could be doing it better (and how you’re failing miserably…). But you’re not failing! You’re doing what you can. I went to see Oprah speak last night (evening of a lifetime!) and one of the things I wrote down that she said was “Do it. Do your best. Let it go.” Hope those words will help you. They certainly helped me.

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