Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Three Great Kids and a Screw-up Mom

I have been feeling like a pretty crappy mom lately.  Despite all of my attempts to have a calmer life and devote more time and energy to the things that really matter (my children) and less time and energy to the things that maybe don't matter as much (the Perfectly Clean House), I still have a crazy life.  And I realize that I am not the only mother in the entire universe who has an insane schedule.  I'm sure that all six of you who are reading this blog also have very full calendars and no time to fold laundry.  That's just how it goes.  But since this is my blog, I'm going to complain about MY overstuffed life.

And I am trying to be okay with it.  I really am.  Change what I can and accept the rest, you know?  I am trying to learn balance.  And I am failing miserably this week.

Today I was seriously tempted to go sit in a corner and rock back and forth while ignoring all that was required of me.  You'll be happy to know that I resisted that temptation, and instead got out of bed, put on my lipstick and mascara and tromped off to work where I taught three lessons.  It would have been four, except one was sick (tender mercy), and I used that time to practice for my upcoming stuff which I should totally have memorized by now, but when on earth I am supposed to memorize Italian arias?  Beats me! Then I walked over to the cafeteria, where I had a lunch meeting for my other job that I don't talk about much on this blog but have to do nonetheless.

After my oh-so-filling lunch that consisted of a banana and a gluten-free granola bar, I dashed off to the elementary school where I helped Sophia and her classmates make a Valentine's project.  One would suppose that such a project would have tipped me off to the fact that TOMORROW is February 14 and that maybe I should have thought about making/buying Valentines for my children to hand out in class.  But, it didn't.

After all of the cute first grade projects were finished, I dashed off home, where I let the dog out of her kennel and ran around the house cleaning what I could, and then I loaded Puccini up in the van to run errands. Like going to the bank.  I deposited some checks and Pucci got her doggy treats (she knows the word "bank," you know) and then we ran over to pick Joel up and off to Girl Scouts.  I am the co-leader for Sophia's troop, and today was our meeting.

After girl scouts, I put my chauffeur hat on and dropped off and picked up each of my girls at their various musical endeavors: Youth orchestra, piano lessons, group violin.

It was when I picked up Chloe from piano lessons that I realized that I didn't have Valentines.  That I haven't even THOUGHT about having Valentines.  OHMYGOSH!  What kind of a mother doesn't remember VALENTINES?   And since when did I become that mother? 

We had about 15 minutes before we had to pick Bria up from orchestra, so we ran to the nearest grocery store where they did not sell any Valentines.  Or--more likely--they were out of stock since it is February 13.  We were just about ready to buy Easter candy to give out for Valentine's Day, when I finally saw some cute heart-shaped suckers.  But it was nearly 6:30 pm and our day was FAR from over, and I had no idea what we would actually do with the suckers.  But I bought them anyway, and went on my not-so-merry way.

We ran home and shoveled dinner in our mouths (how thankful I am for a husband who happily cooks dinner while I am chauffering!) and ran out the door yet again.  This time to take my three daughters to their very first rehearsal for Fiddler on the Roof.

My three girls auditioning for Fiddler on the Roof.  Sophia is in the pink snow pants, Chloe is next to her with the blue boots, and Bria is right behind Chloe.

You might wonder why on earth I have allowed them to be in a musical when, clearly, I can't handle it.  I wonder the same thing.  But they were all dying to be in it, and how could I deny them such a wonderful experience?  And, folks--they even sang SOLOS at the audition.  In front of people.  My children.  My children who have an opera singer for a mother but who HATE singing in front of people themselves even though they sing all the livelong day at home.  Okay, so Chloe doesn't mind the singing in public thing, but Bria and Sophia would rather stick forks in their eyes than sing a note for a person who doesn't share their same DNA.  But they did it! My heart nearly burst with pride when Bria got up and sang some Taylor Swift song about throwing remotes and football helmets.  She turned a little pink and looked like she might cry at any time, but her voice was clear and beautiful, just the way it sounds when she thinks nobody is listening.  And Sophia sang Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, and it was quiet and cute and perfect and I couldn't believe she did it and so I cried.  I was just so dang inspired by the way those two conquered their fears and did something that scared them to death because they really wanted to be in a play.

And that is why I let them be in the musical, even though it's just one more thing on our schedule.  So I stayed with them for a while at rehearsal, (man, they were adorable!) and then I went to book club where I got to be with friends and recharge my own batteries a bit.

I came home only a few minutes after the girls had settled in bed, so I went upstairs to kiss them good night.  I listened to them tell me all about rehearsal and the songs they had started to learn and how funny the lyrics were (...and marry whoever Papa picks!).  They eagerly showed me the Valentines they made all by themselves with the pink and red cardstock and heart stickers I dug out for them before I left for book club.  They were happy.  Ecstatic, even.  They certainly didn't care that I didn't buy them cute Monster High Valentines or make the Perfect Crafty Valentines.  They had a wonderful day in spite of my imperfections, and I looked at my three wonderful, beautiful, amazing daughters and started to realize that maybe I'm not such a screw-up of a mother after all. 

Until I got downstairs and realized that nobody did their homework this afternoon.

Ah, well.  I can live with being a screw-up.  I've gotten pretty used to it.

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Lara Neves
Lara Neves

Lara is mom to three daughters—two teens and a tween. She loves to share her parenting and homemaking triumphs and failures here at Overstuffed! She was diagnosed with Lyme disease in 2015 and has been fighting it ever since. When she isn't working on her mother of the year award, you can find her reading, singing, or taking photos.


  1. I was fun to actually see what Joel was talking about and what you guys were doing this busy afternoon as he snuck in a phone call to me. It was so great to talk to him and hear about your life. I"m a bad blogger as you know, but I'm so glad I clicked the link and got a glimpse into the chaos that happens at other houses like mine. My boys had store bought all the way. Party treats, teacher gifts everything. I had to work today & tomorrow, so OH WELL! It's the best I can do. And our best is pretty darn good Lara. Love you!

  2. Oh, you really must be my sister. There's no other way we could be so alike. Well-spun, my friend. I might have ended up rocking in the corner. I've been doing that more than I like to admit lately. :)

  3. Holy crap, Lara. If I was giving advice (I'm not...this is IF I was...) I would drop the Girl Scout thing. They can still do Girl Scouts without you being the leader. The other things are more music/job/family related. But that's just if I was giving advice. But that's just me. Believe me, I'm feeling it too. Please allow me to VENT so you don't feel alone. I'll probably have to come back and copy this so I can write a blog entry abuot it later today: I'm the Bears leader (9yo Cub Scouts), and right now, I hate it. I love the boys. I love my teacher-companion, but I hate the calling. Mostly becauseof the stress of Alexander. Mikelle isn't much help with Alexander (it's more work dealing with her whining about watching him), and when he does come with me, he's nuts because the 9yo Bears are running around with the basketball and being 9yo boys. Alexander thinks he's one of them and as big as them. It's all fun and games until he gets hurt. And last night, they dared have a MEETING at the end of Bears while the boys were playing the same room. Christian started playing the piano (Book of MOrmon stories) and one of the other leaders told him to stop. So he stomped out of the room saying "FINE! I'll go play in the Relief Society Room!Why do we have to stay for this meeting anyway?!" and then the boys played with the ball and then Alexander got knocked over and bumped in the head. Then he climbed on top the podium and stood up and almost fell. THEN, I got hit in the back of the head with the basketball so hard, a weird sensation went into my jaw.I finally lost it. The meeting had been going on for 25 minutes about the same stupid thing and I had enough and the ball was the last straw. I was all, "That's it! I'm out of here." The Blue and Gold ceremony is next Wed AND New Beginnings is the SAME night. I want to cry. Who's bright idea was THAT to schedule those the same night?! I aske Chris is he can come home early, but I told him I get it if he can't. I'm just at the end of my rope. When they called me to Bears, I told them I wouldn't have a husband to help with Alexander that time of the evening and they assured me I'd get help. BULL CRAP. I'm so done. Sorry...but believe me, I get it. You're an awesome mom - just over scheduled. Your girls will look back and see how awesome you were and all the work you did. But you have to live to see them grow to adulthood. Just more adcive if I was giving it, which I'm not. :-)

  4. Land love a duck, girl. How do you keep your head on when this is a normal day?! Wow. You amaze me.

    But what I think I love most about this whole thing is that behind every word of yours is a sacrifice on behalf of loving someone else. How on earth could you ever be a failure in any degree? You love. Often. Well. And with all of you. That's spells WIN in my book.

  5. You might not believe me, but I can ssure you - after reading about your day - you are RIGHT ON TRACK.

    The girls memories of the day will far outwiegh any insecurities you may have felt. Not that it diminishes them, but over time, you realize that you are doing just fine.

  6. When I had my 6th baby, the lady in the room next to me spilled coffee on her new-born, sparking a 7 alarm freak-out with the nurses and about sending herself to the psych ward.

    I just wanted to run to her room and hug her and tell her that it was just the beginning of all the mommy guilt she would experience.

    I spend a lot of time thinking, "Bad Mommy!" Sigh.

    I think that they'll all grow up anyway, and hopefully forgive us for the things we did wrong, which are totally different in their minds than in ours. I'm always surprised that the things that I thought I did wrong were somehow OK, and the things I thought I was earning a gold star for were just wrong, wrong, wrong.

    The baby was fine. The coffee was lukewarm. Mommy's scars will probably never heal.

    Go, Fight, Win!


  7. Hi I'm Heather! Please email me when you get a chance, I have a question about your blog! LifesABanquet1(at)