All Roads Lead To A Village
New to the city, new to the school, and I do this?! What must they think of me! Article written by Audrey, WP Creations Head Office Team.
As a stay at home mom, I've always prided myself on my organization. I plan things, I follow through with things, I write everything down and therefore, tend to never forget to do things. It's natural for me to be this way, however, I also use it as a confidence booster. There are moments when being a stay at home mom has left me feeling like I'm not doing "enough" and while I know, logically, that's not the case at all, it doesn't always feel that way. Becoming a stay at home mom, while never really imagining that was how I would contribute to my family life, is something I've wrestled with, despite being so grateful for the opportunity. Anyway, not really my point.
I'm organized. Yay me.
Last December I actually started working from home and it's been great! I love the company I work for, WP Creations, I owned part of the franchise not long ago while I was in Sault Ste Marie, and since I moved, I now work at Head Office. It's been keeping me busy! Busier than I have been in a long time. But the beauty of working at home is that I work when the kids are out of the house, and I am still available for them when need be.
Except when I forget to pick them up from school.
It was a morning like every other Monday morning, despite there being a cold warning. Like frostbite in minutes kind of warning, so the school buses were canceled. My youngest was still getting rides to school while my older two took the school bus so giving everyone a ride to school wasn't out of the ordinary for us either, because there have been certain occasions where the older two kids would prefer to ride with us. And so off we went. In my mind, I knew that the buses were canceled, but in my reality, I was doing absolutely nothing out of my regular routine. I dropped off my kids, kissed them goodbye and went home to start my work. Like any other day.
3 pm rolled around and my work was done for the day so I started preparing a snack for my kids to eat when they got home at 4 pm when the bus drops them off. No bells ringing yet. Puttering around the kitchen, 3:21 pm the phone rings. I see the name of the school on the phone and even then, no bells. All I'm thinking to myself is that the school must be calling to let me know the buses are a bit behind schedule. I pick up, "Hello?" The secretary, who I've had plenty of conversations with, responds with, "Hellllooo?" Something clicked, I shouted "OH MY G**! BYE!" and I tell you, I've never run so fast out the door.
Work done, House clean, snack ready....what am I missing?
I drove to the school feeling like absolute garbage. The worst parent, the biggest "organized" hypocrite. I thought, what these teachers and staff must think of me, crazy lady moves to Barrie from the Soo and months in she's already forgetting her kids at school! All of this stuff was running through my head, I was really beating myself up. It was only a 10-minute drive, but it felt like 10 hours. I pulled up to the school, I'm almost positive I stopped the car before I got out, and I ran up to the front doors. There they were, the three of them, standing outside the office, all bundled up with nowhere to go. No other kids, just them. I wanted to cry.
And then one by one, the Principal, the Vice Principal, the secretary and one of the kids' teachers came out of the office. Looked at me, and in unison, they all asked me, "Are you ok?" I guess they saw my face. They then smiled at me. It was a look of fellow mom camaraderie. It was an unspoken "we've all been there, we all make mistakes, don't be so hard on yourself" kind of smile. It was the type of response you get when you realize, that no matter how new you are to a community, fellow moms, caregivers, and school staff are an immediate part of your village. My kids were safe. They waited no more than 10 minutes after the bell rang, and they called me immediately. I am fortunate enough to work from home, so I was able to pick up and go. They were fine. I cared deeply, but they couldn't have cared less.
Home Safe and Sound
I realized that no matter how great of a mom I try to be, or how organized I am, or how much I love my kids, I make mistakes and sometimes they're forgetting to pick up my kids kind of mistakes (don't worry, that's not happening again. Ever). But I am human. We all are. And it was the response of the staff at the school that has allowed me to forgive myself.
The humble pie I've been munching on turned out to be a something I'll be keeping in the pantry from now on.
So, the next time mom guilt creeps in when you have made a mistake, take a breath, remember you are human and the kids will be ok :)
Because there will be a next time! Many many next times!