A week in the life of a Bad Mother

Image: Flickr/piewerkwerk

My Mum, in that way Mums do, recently asked me how it is that I have an (allegedly) high IQ, a degree, a post-graduate diploma and a successful career but I frequently manage to leave my front door keys in the door overnight.

My theory is that there are only so many available slots in the human brain. And when you become a parent, and particularly a single, self-employed, portfolio careered sort of parent, there simply aren't enough slots for everything. So if I'm going to remember that trousers go on OVER underwear, then something else is gonna have to give, frankly.

How else do you explain last week in the Whittle household? 

Monday: There’s a note in Flea’s reading book from her
teacher. ‘Please could you put some white socks in F’s bag tomorrow as her PE
socks are missing.’
That'll be because they've been in her bedroom since half-term, then. 

Tuesday: We remember the PE socks. Unfortunately, the PE
shorts are still in the washing machine.

Wednesday: We remember the PE shorts. We forget the morning
snack. It’s on top of the washing machine when I get back from the school run. The afternoon snack never made it out of the fruit bowl.

Thursday: We remember the snacks and it’s not a PE day. Ha!
I rock. Or I would, had we not completely forgotten Flea’s school bag. I realise just as we walk into the classroom and I see Flea's only carrying a frozen yoghurt and an apple. Bugger.

Friday: We remember everything. We totally rock. Until Flea
goes to a friend’s for a playdate after school and when I collect her (in her
miniature England kit) I forget to ask for her school uniform. Which is still in someone's hallway,
somewhere on the other side of Lancashire, I presume.  Oh, and the Father’s Day card Flea spent all
week making? Is still in her drawer at school, so I had to do an emergency run
to M&S on Friday night to buy one instead. Gah.

Tell me it isn't just me, is it?


Sally is a full-time blogger and founder of the Tots100, Trips100, Foodies100 and HIBS100 communities, along with the MAD Blog Awards. She spends a bit too much time on the Internet. She’s also a very happy Mum to Flea, the world’s coolest ten year old.

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  1. 22nd June 2010 / 10:13 am

    Definitely not just you – tbh I consider it a triumph these days if I manage to get child to school full stop – irrespective of bags and uniform! Getting all three children to the right place at the right time is well… virtually award level stuff!

  2. 22nd June 2010 / 10:34 am

    Nope not just you! I suck at remembering most things everyday and I say thank you for technology for reminding me of what I have to do. If it could do it for me too that would be even better. Oh and I forget the keys in the front door very regularly too and quite often I have the community officer knocking at my door telling me I am lucky to have a giant dog because one day I might come face to face with the wrong type of person in my hallway… and she hands me back my keys…

  3. 22nd June 2010 / 11:00 am

    I have been saying the same for years! I think its like your hard-drive, it just about manages simple tasks when full and it is definitely a one in, one out type scenario. None of my friends and family can understand why I have such a bad long term memory and I am sure its because I have so much short term guff to remember!
    I once had a community officer knock on my door and hand me back my keys – ironically he was doing the rounds with leaflet on household security as there had been a spate of break ins!!

  4. 22nd June 2010 / 12:36 pm

    Not just you…. and yet, you do it with more aplomb than most!
    However, as long as you didn’t have the G-string over the top of your jeans again, I think it is all very forgivable.

  5. Sarah Wolf
    22nd June 2010 / 1:54 pm

    You are in good company. Managing to make it with lunch-box (oh mum I had to have cheese salad again), book bag (are you ever going to sign the reading results book so I can get my books changed), gym kit (I think that when I fell over in the playground I landed on a slug that’s why my blue shorts are dirty – oh and my daps are too small) and show-and-tell/important form/cheque for sports-club/’homemade’ offering for cake sale NEVER EVER HAPPENS.
    I’m sure I’ve said before that running a team of precocious PR people is easier than being a mum of a school-age child :-0

  6. 22nd June 2010 / 1:03 pm

    It’s not just you. The mother of one of Jack’s friends has now taken pity on him so she texts me each time a swimming kit, bike or change in uniform is required.

  7. 22nd June 2010 / 1:48 pm

    Blimey, I’m not sure what I’d do with three!

  8. 22nd June 2010 / 1:49 pm

    It’s true, fortunately everyone in our small town is over 80, so I could outrun them if necessary.

  9. 22nd June 2010 / 1:50 pm

    Arf. I remember once as students we fell asleep with the door open and a friendly Glasgow copper woke us up to tell us we’d been burgled. We hadn’t. We just lived with boys. My life feels a bit like that, still, sometimes.

  10. 22nd June 2010 / 1:51 pm

    I don’t think I’ve ever been accused of having aplomb before. This is something of a result, thanks!

  11. 22nd June 2010 / 2:35 pm

    you’re welcome – was going to throw in ‘panache’ while I was at it.

  12. 22nd June 2010 / 8:19 pm

    I think that there must be something in the air, I would forget my head if it wasnt screwed on!

  13. 22nd June 2010 / 9:49 pm

    Oooh. You don’t want to waste all the posh words on one post though. Later in the week I will try and post something that lives up to ‘panache’ – deal?

  14. 22nd June 2010 / 9:50 pm

    I can buy the idea that it’s viral, definitely.

  15. Aly
    22nd June 2010 / 11:18 pm

    Nope, not just you! With 3 kids, two at school I always cock up.Until recently my 4 year old was at another school for 6 months and that had hideous consequences.At least you can look back and laugh at it, maybe not now but you will.

  16. 23rd June 2010 / 4:49 am

    OMG – we so inhabit virtually the same world. It is not just you! Take some small comfort that by the time Flea is at the end of year 1, she’ll be rolling with your lunacy even more fantastically than she does now and will even start covering your tush for you.
    Arabella went to school after half term minus PE kit (yep, I forgot the lot despite getting it out the night before and leaving it by the front door) and when they did PE she simply said to the PE teacher, “oh it’s OK, my PE kit is at home Mummy didn’t have time to find it this morning, I’ll bring it in tomorrow”.
    I’m starting to learn, that perfection isn’t what matters (well sort of), it is simply what is good for us, works for us. And you know what we are all fine. Frequently a touch stressed, always a bit tired, and underneath it all perhaps not sane, but definately very happy.

  17. Christianne
    23rd June 2010 / 6:54 am

    Great post and glad it’s not just me. I even end up doing the school run twice some days as forgotten something or another, going back and the returning back to school to drop it off at the office…..doh!!
    I find if I pretend to be organised to everyone else I gain ‘some’ credibility 🙂

  18. 23rd June 2010 / 11:00 am

    Deal. I’ll meet you back here with a Thesaurus.

  19. Heather Davis
    23rd June 2010 / 11:45 pm

    I have four kids and that is my experience with each of them every day. So you can imagine how screwed up my head is. All I can say is yeah I hear ya and you are definitely not alone.

  20. Nikki
    24th June 2010 / 12:50 pm

    I think schools/nurseries actually expect a lot of parents. I’ve got two at the same nursery and they do different sessions and some sessions finish earlier than others etc. Add to that to take in a snack per week each child for sharing, book bags, change of clothes bags, latest fundraising activity/money, toy for show and tell – remembering the theme that week correctly plus hats, suncream etc etc.
    Oh and my proper job and all of the housework and correspondance.
    My hubbie has an easy life- off to work he goes…..Bah!
    You’re not alone on this Sally!! 🙂

  21. 24th June 2010 / 1:11 pm

    I laugh already – I find it ridiculous. Today we got halfway to school with me thinking, I’ve got everything, I’ve done it. Looked over at Flea – I’d forgotten to brush her hair.

  22. 24th June 2010 / 1:11 pm

    I want one of those kids! Go Arabella!
    And yes, perfection is vastly over-rated.

  23. 24th June 2010 / 1:12 pm

    Ugh, I hate having to go back again and do it twice. Nightmare.

  24. 24th June 2010 / 1:13 pm

    I bow down at your feet. I can barely keep it together with one child

  25. 24th June 2010 / 1:15 pm

    Yeah, let’s blame the schools. And yes, you’re right, I didn’t even think about library book day, “special box day” (ffs) and all the ladies lunches, social evenings, fetes, yoga, ARGH, it’s endless!

  26. Nikki
    25th June 2010 / 9:16 pm

    what on earth is special box day?