Skip to main content

Selfish Mama

Today was field day in Maya's class which meant that all the first graders donned adorable t shirts they had decorated themselves and went off to our local park to play games and have a picnic together. Of course an event like this requires parent help, and I am a good mommy who has her mornings free so I volunteered.

Well, I sort of volunteered. By that I mean I showed up at the school at 9, carried a bag of supplies, helped set up and led some parachute games for one of the groups. Then I taught another mom how to play cat and mouse and got on the subway to go to work, aka the dojo.

The kids were split up into about 9-10 teams but I only managed to play with one of them before abandoning my post. The event was supposed to go until 1 or 2. I left at 11.

I am a bad, bad mommy.

I teach karate from 3-6 today. But I left the park at 11 because running parachute games for small children is actually one of the things I do for a living. I left at 11 so I could get to the dojo in time to eat lunch, get dressed and maybe even watch an episode of Parenthood on Netflicks before my classes.  I left at 11 because we just got back from two days at Great Wolf lodge where I spent no fewer than four hours running up and down stairs with my kid, hunting for MagiQuest runes. (The app on my husband's phone says he walked five miles. And that was just the first day! Seriously my feet still hurt.) 

Sure I could have stayed at the park with the kids until 1:30 and then rushed uptown in time to teach karate. And I might have if it just involved chilling on a blanket with Maya and her buddies. Like, you know, sitting on my butt under a nice shady tree and making friendship bracelets or something. I also might have stayed if today were my day off. But it isn't.

I am a selfish mommy. And this selfishness thing?  Today isn't my first infraction. Some mornings I make Maya wait until I finish eating my eggs before getting her another glass of milk. I have been known to tell her to play by herself for half an hour so I can lie down and read a book. I have a herniated disc and when my neck is hurting I sometimes tell her we can only stay at the playground for an hour and a half instead of two.

She is not allowed to get my husband and I out of bed until 7:00am.
Even if she wakes up at 6:30!

Sometimes she asks me to play Legos with her and I say no. 
I occasionally make her sit on the side and play while I take jiu-jitsu.

Seriously, the list goes on and on!

And then there was that time she was born. She was in the NICU for two days. After the first night, the nurse said I could of course stay in the hospital again or go home and come back in the morning. 

I went home. 
I was in labor for two days prior to being admitted. I do not sleep well in hospitals (or hotels, or other people's houses or basically anywhere but my own bed). At that point I had seriously been awake for three days. And I knew I would be taking home a newborn soon.

So I told the nurse I was going to go home to get a good night's sleep.
To which she said, "Good for you for taking care of yourself."

I was back at 8 the next morning and have been a doting mommy ever since. I promise.

So here I am at the dojo, writing this blog post in a quiet, empty room. Soon I may get a sandwich. Being here now, for these two hours, instead of running around in the park, will make me a better teacher this afternoon. Which will make the kids behave better in class. Which will make me a better mama to my daughter later. 

See, its all circular. My selfishness has a deeper purpose.

The thing is, I still feel bad. I spent two days riding water slides and seeking fairies and allowing my kid to have donuts for lunch. I spent two hours working for free at her field day this morning. I gave her a really good hug when I left. But I still feel bad that those other mommies stayed and I didn't. Even though I am the only one who has to teach other people's children today. Even though I spend more time with my kid in one day than most of them do in a week. (No judgement, it is not their fault they have full time jobs.) 

What is it with these ridiculous expectations that we mommies put on ourselves?

On that note, I am going to go lie down. 
Because in addition to being horribly selfish, I am very very lazy.

Maya and her "boyfriend".


Popular posts from this blog

November 20, 2018

This morning, while out walking my dog, I watched a mother put her young boy onto the school bus. "Have a good day," she said. "Listen to your teacher."

The boy, who was about five years old, replied that of course he would, although it was unclear which of his mom's wishes he was agreeing to.

Listening. So and so is a "good listener." We talk so much about it, but many of us have no idea how to actually do it., so caught up in the words inside our own head that it is almost impossible to hear anything else. Yeah I am listening to you, but not really, I am really thinking about the next thing I am going to say. I am listening to you, but not really, because even though you know an awful lot about this, deep down my egotistical brain still thinks I know better. I am listening, but not really because even though you just showed the technique in perfect detail three times, and I swore I was really paying attention, somehow when it was my turn to drill it…


For the past two days I have been feeling sick; an obvious side effect of spending so much time getting breathed on by small, germy children. This morning I was feeling much better, but not well enough for BJJ, so I decided to go to a yoga class instead. Turns out I was not quite well enough because about halfway through class my body was like, "Hey you, sick girl, you are kind of tired, this feels kind of yucky actually. How about you spend some time in child's pose instead."
As a lifelong athlete I am really, really good at getting messages from my body. I am less skilled, however, at actually following them.
This was not a difficult yoga class. But for me, today, it was impossible. My brain really did not like that. As I sat there with my eyes closed, breathing, the ever helpful voice in my head was saying things like "Everyone must think I am so weak. The teacher must think there is really something wrong with me. I should push through anyway. This is pathetic.&qu…

Roller Coaster

Its the roller coaster that gets me. The fact that you are just going along, doing your work, slowly climbing up, everything is going exactly according to plan, then Zoom!, down you go, fast, maybe not all the way to the bottom again, maybe somewhere halfway, but man you got there FAST! And now here we go again, back on the slow climb.
Some days it feels like you are doing everything right, you are busting your ass to accomplish all of your goals in every way that you know how, yet things just aren't going the way you want them to. On those days it is easy to get angry at the world. Don't you see I am doing my best here? Don't you see how hard I am working? OMG just get the f&*k out of my way! Stop asking for more of me! Can't you see I don't have any more??
But the thing is, that down part, it is on the track. It is part of the ride. it has always been a part of the ride. We knew if was coming, we could see it at the top of the long climb up. We didn't know…