Some days I feel like I’m on top of everything. I have a very supportive and loving partner, my son is kindhearted and smart, and I have a great job. My family’s healthy and we are not in need.
And then there are days when I just feel like a total failure. There are days when I have to resort to feeding my son junk like canned food or hotdogs. Days when I have to let him use the phone or the tablet because I’m chasing deadlines at work. And days when I have to bribe him with the promise of gummy candies because I’ll be out the whole night attending a real estate event.
(Let’s not talk about the days I go over budget, both in money and calories…)
Whoever told me that parenting gets easier when the child gets older is wrong. It’s not exactly more difficult — I’ll still take problematic school days over sleepless nights — but I think it gets more challenging.
I thought I was ready for those challenges. Apparently I’m not. Because there are days, just like today, when I totally mess up.
All along, I thought the school’s quiz bee was today. Yuri is in the afternoon class, but the quiz bee will be held in the morning, so we have to be in school early. I had to make adjustments to my work schedule. Since I’ll be in school watching for a period of time, I volunteered to start my work early. I was already up at 3:30 am and was on my laptop by 4 am.
Of course Yuri had to wake up early, too. Since he usually goes to school after lunch, I allow him to sleep until 7:30 or even 8 am. But today he had to be up by 5:30 am. It was probably the Mondayest of Mondays; it was a frantic morning in our household as we were in a hurry to eat, get dressed, prepare, etc. And I was also doing some last minute updates for work.
On top of it all, we got stuck in traffic. I was really worried because we were already late and the cars aren’t moving. By the time we arrived at school, the students were already inside the classroom.
The prefects of discipline for elementary and middle school were at the school entrance. Both of them were my teachers when I was still a student so they were a bit friendly with me and Yuri even went up to mano. It’s a good thing kindergarten students don’t get tardy slips! At least that’s one good thing.
We hurried to go to the classroom… only to notice that none of Yuri’s classmates were there, only the kindergarten students from the morning class. Yuri dutifully went inside despite noticing this while his teacher went outside to talk to me.
The quiz bee got rescheduled, ma’am. Sa Wednesday pa. No class for the afternoon class today.
I already knew that there was no afternoon class. But I honestly thought quiz bee was today because that’s the first schedule I was told. And why else would we choose to go to school on a Monday morning, right? Yuri’s teacher was very gracious and apologized for the incident. I can’t blame her. There was a mix-up. Last Friday, which happened to be the kids’ Scout Play Day, they announced that the quiz bee will be on Monday. The teacher who announced it must have corrected herself but I didn’t pay attention anymore. Also, it was very noisy, with a gym full of young Kab scouts.
Yuri’s teacher must have told me about the rescheduling, too, but either I didn’t hear it or I misinterpreted it.
She offered to let Yuri stay in the classroom together with the morning class since we were already there. When I asked Yuri what he wanted to do, though, he just wanted to go home. He was visibly upset but he didn’t complain or whine. This kid gets self-conscious very easily so I hope you can imagine that this was quite a big deal for him…
I was upset and frustrated, too, because who wouldn’t? I already made big adjustments and planned my day around this event and it turns out I was dead wrong. However, I couldn’t really blame anyone because it was partly my fault.
We went home immediately because we were still sleepy and I still needed to work. I got over my frustration pretty soon but I was still feeling guilty over dragging Yuri off to school so early in the morning when he should’ve been sleeping and resting, just like his other classmates. I felt guilty because he relied on me, his mother, and I failed him. He was very obedient and uncomplaining even though he felt embarrassed. I’m glad none of the kids made fun of him because he’s friends with a lot of the students from the morning class. So I know he got over it immediately as kids often do, but I still feel like I completely failed at parenting.
Some of you must be rolling your eyes at me now. I know this is not a big issue. I know this is not the most difficult problem in the world. Still, I can’t help but think I let my child down today.
Do you still get a feeling of inadequacy? How do you deal with it?