“Hi Mrs. Morley? I have Jack here with me up at the school office.”
Of course I immediately go into panic mode, or with this kid, roll my eyes mode. What is it this time I silently wonder, another monkey bar collision? Concussion? WHAT? just tell me so we can get this show on the road.
“Is he okay?” I tentatively ask.
“Oh yeah, he’s fine, it’s just that there isn’t actually any school today. Or all of this week in fact…”
And that there is just one example of one of my many fails as a mother. Look, I try okay? It’s not like I don’t give this parenting thing a red-hot go but sometimes I fail. And I fail hard. I don’t pretend to be a perfect Mum but try as I might; there are certain things (often let’s face it, natural instinctual things) that just elude me.
Plus, if I’m totally honest, I never read all those bloody emails from school because they never…seem…to…end. For example: Just for your information, little Johnny has a stone and leaf-collecting lesson on Friday at 2:15. OKAY, that’s great but I’ve got lots of sh*t to do, so PLEASE, please just fill me on the important stuff that I, as a mother, need to be on top of.
I don't pretend to be a perfect mum. Image: Giphy.
From the outside though, I probably present as quite a normal, responsible mother to my friends, other school Mums and my colleagues. One who has her sh*t in a pile, so to speak? So I’m guessing they’d never know how close to the edge of failing I come to on a day-to-day basis. It only takes a power outage and ensuing alarm failure to turn my world into complete chaos.
For the most part though, I have it all together and for the most part, they turn up to school in their (ironed?) uniforms and with full lunch boxes. What goes on behind the veil of ‘parenting perfection’ though, well, sister, just take a peek.
Like the time I obviously read the note wrong and thought my daughter’s Easter Bonnet parade hat was meant to be constructed in class but in fact, was clearly meant to be a collaborative effort at HOME. This became apparent to me as I watched her classmates file out in front of her, sporting professional millinery level bonnets whilst my daughter walked the entire parade with a cardboard cylinder on her head that had a few limp fluffy chickens sticky taped to it.
"From the outside though, I probably present as quite a normal, responsible mother." Image: Satin City Productions.
Or the time I sent my middle son to camp, which was an actual, in tents, camping kinda camp, without a sleeping bag. In the middle of a Victorian winter.