The weight of my mistake weighed heavily on my shoulders.
I opened my email to see I had missed a deadline to have my daughter included in her 8th grade dedication booklet. And my heart broke. Not this. Not now.
Do you ever have those moments when you feel like you have completely messed up as a parent? I have. And this was one of those moments for me. How did I miss this?
I knew this was my fault. I recognized if I had stayed on top of things I wouldn’t be writing these words right now. But honestly, it’s been really hard for me to keep up with things like I used to.
This may sound strange given the fact that we don’t have any plans and rarely leave our house, but it’s for that exact reason that sometimes – I just can’t.
I am trying to take care of my children’s physical and emotional needs during a time in life that is like nothing any of us have ever experienced. The house work still exists, the shopping still needs done (even if it’s online), the laundry is still there, the meals need made, my husband is working from home, and at the time when this occurred – we had added schoolwork and an insane amount of daily emails to the mix.
And we never leave. Let’s not forget that.
Sometimes it feels like a lot.
Each day seems kind of like the last, with a little variation. We went from days filled with school and sports and homework and structure, to barely any structure at all. I am trying to create structure, and there is some semblance of that, but nothing like what we used to have.
I’m trying to be strong. And keep a positive attitude, but some days and moments are hard.
And this was one of those moments.
I wished I could go back in time to when I decided not to check my email for a few days. I wished I would have seen the highlighted message saying the dedications would not be accepted past midnight on Friday. But I can’t go back in time. And I can’t change it.
I just need to own it.
I messed up.
We all mess up. I have messed up before. And I will mess up again.
But for some reason this mess up hurt a little more. I couldn’t help but to feel like I had taken something from my daughter during a time when she’s already had so much taken away. When I think of her flipping through the book and seeing the messages to her classmates from their parents, but not one for her – it breaks my heart.
If this were any other year, I’m not sure it would feel so painful, but right now – it does.
The end of the year came so abruptly without any of us knowing it was the end; so I want to make things special for her now. I want to celebrate her. And acknowledge her. And I have been trying to do that. I have been trying to celebrate milestones and cheer her on as best as I am able from the comfort of our home.
Not just her, but all four of my children.
But I missed this opportunity.
I told her about my mistake, and apologized profusely. She handled it well. Even though she said it was okay, I couldn’t help but think that there was disappointment in her eyes. I’m sure there was.
As parents, we will mess up. That is guaranteed. It’s what we do with it that matters. I have apologized to my daughter and will find a way to make this up to her. In the grand scheme of life, there are so many things that could be worse – but that doesn’t take away the fact that this hurts.
I am trying. I really and truly am. And in that moment, when I discovered my mistake – I felt tired. And overwhelmed. And sad.
Sad that the school year ended this way for my children. And sad that summer will be different, too. Sad that my daughter won’t be celebrated in the booklet. And sad that the reason is because of my oversight.
But I also recognize the importance of acknowledging my feelings and then moving on. I don’t want to get stuck in this place. I made a mistake. Just like we all do. And now it’s time to offer myself grace. Just like my daughter has given me.
I took a break from emails because I needed a break. I was maxed out. My intention was not to leave my daughter out of something deliberately. And that’s what I need to remember.
Parents, we will mess up. These times are challenging for a lot of different reasons. The last thing we need to do is heap guilt and condemnation on top of the struggle.
We will snap. We will yell. We will forget things. We will miss things. We will make mistakes.
We will try. We will give it our best.
And that’s all we can do.
Just keep trying.
Just like I tell my children, it’s what’s in our hearts that matters. Our intentions. God gives us grace daily, in abundance – so let’s be sure to offer that grace to ourselves. All of the time.
And especially now.