We got paid the other day, and I went on one of my twice-a-month grocery shopping trips. I went when Miss G was in school, so I just had the two boys. I always shop with Jack in a sling across my chest. He feels so snuggly and warm that he instantly falls asleep.
I got home and unloaded everything and put them in their proper places. And then I noticed that I didn’t pick up any toilet paper. A low growl escaped my lips because I knew I’d have to make another trip. I REALLY try to keep my grocery store visits to a minimum.
As I was putting the kiddos to bed later that night, Ben mentioned that he didn’t see any new TP. I admitted that I’d forgotten it. Gillian then busted out laughing and said “Mom, that’s soooo you!”
“You’re always forgetting just one thing.”
Sigh. Frown. Quivering lip. Sob.
The fact that I’m a numbskull is one thing. The fact that it’s gotten to the point where my family doesn’t get frustrated anymore - that they now consider it laughable - is another. I felt like one of those sitcom moms who are characteristically late or always dressed in wrinkled clothes and non-matching shoes or sneaking a bottle of scotch at noon on the dot every day. And that there should be that fake audience-laughter whenever I am characteristically forgetful. I don't want my family shaking their heads at me with a condescending smile on their faces, accepting (no - expecting!) me to not get things right the first time!
I get frustrated with my kiddos when they get distracted and don’t finish what they start. But – HELLO – look at their example! Drats. It’s not like I’m ADD or anything, I am just not as focused as I wished I was, as I need to be. I know I just had a baby. I know I’m a busy stay-at-home mom with three little kids and a few side projects going on. Yeah, yeah, yeah, but why can’t I just FOCUS?! I don’t want my kids to think that my forgetfulness is endearing! I want them to see me set a goal and reach it. I want them to see me get it right. I want them to see me focus, work hard and achieve.
I don’t want them to see me as a failure. I have no problem asking for their forgiveness when I screw up. And it's great and all that they have a model of humility. I just want it to be the exception, not the rule.
I know that sounds like I’m beating myself up. And I am a little bit. But I also know not to stay stuck in that mindset. (Knowing me, that won’t be hard. It seems that things of value just slip right out my head these days, and no matter how desperate I feel about my kids seeing me finish a project, I know that I will get distracted and not finish it for days.)
I know. That was harsh. And fatalistic. And pessimistic. But if I don’t change, it’s the bloody truth. I’m not a psychic. I just know me.
So how do I change? Do I take ginkgo biloba? Do I just wait until Jack is sleeping through the night (ie. I am sleeping through the night) to make a judgment call here, to see if things change? Do I set timers around the house, little alarms that alert me to things that need to get done? I have no idea.
One thing I do know – writing blog posts about it isn’t really going to help. But it certainly feels good to get it out there.