Today I Feel Like a Failure as a Mom

Why do we, as moms, take so much on ourselves?

Right now, I’m looking at my kids’ standardized test scores with a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. Both of them have downward trending math scores over the past year. My gut is telling me that I could have done something to prevent this. And I probably could have. I could have worked diligently on keeping up with our math skills over this past summer as I had the summer before. But, for some reason, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.

My kids are awesome and smart and funny and kind. Last summer, I just wanted to appreciate them for what they are and not fight with them to achieve things (even those those things are easily achievable if I just fight with them a little). I wanted to love and enjoy my children. That is not to say that we didn’t work on reading and art and music and math over the summer. It just wasn’t a regimented daily schedule.

Don’t get me wrong, math is super important to me. I have thoroughly enjoyed my fair share of calculus problems (and by enjoy, I earnestly mean I enjoyed working my way through Calculus I and II in college). But I don’t want my job as a mom to be that of ‘sit down and do some rote work because you will be tested on it.’ I want my job to be a supporter of my child. I want my children to look to me for guidance and safety, for love, and, yes, for help with their homework.

I’m disappointed that I feel that I again have to assume the role of ‘rote-work assigner’ so they can climb back up to where they were before I assumed a bit more of a laissez-faire attitude. I’m also disappointed that I’m disappointed.

At this point, I have to mention that my daughter was chosen to be the one in her class that will meet and greet new students. She was chosen based on the kindness that she exhibits throughout her normal day. I find it pretty sad, however, that I waited until the 6th paragraph to bring it up. Instead of sitting here with a smile on my face, satisfied that I have done something right in creating such a kind and caring daughter, I am lamenting my abject failure as a mom for letting my kids’ math skills slide.

In any event, the sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach persists as I plan how to incorporate practicing more math skills into our daily schedule.

NB: I feel like I have to explain that I’m not upset over what their scores are. Rather, I am disturbed by the downward trend. This could signify loss of focus, forgetting what has previously been taught, etc.