Tuesday 6 July 2010

Tales from a Bad Mother

Like most Mothers, my schedule pretty much revolves around Chick and her out of school activities.  Every Monday she goes to Brownies which is an English version of the Girl Guides.  It’s held in the rooms above the local Baptist Church in the Centre of Town.  The church has its own reasonably sized car park but for whatever reason they have recently decided that we are no longer allowed to park there.  This poses somewhat of a problem as there is nowhere else to park nearby and it’s on a busy single lane road with several major bus stops.

I’ve been wondering whether or not to let Chick going but it seems really petty to pull her out over something as ridiculous as parking. For a while now she has made me stand at the bottom of the stairs and let her go up on her own as she wants to be Miss. Independent! Last Monday night we were late so instead of parking, I pulled up to the gate, watched her go in and waited a couple of minutes to make sure that she got up the stairs safely without being followed in. With Chick dropped off, I then go and see my Grandma for an hour or so until it’s time to collect her again. Except last week it was a bit different.

Half an hour after I dropped her off, I got a phone call from the Rainbows Leader (the younger girls) saying that Brownies had been cancelled and the Leader had texted everyone the night before to let them know.  Well I hadn’t received that message and all I could do was thank God that the Rainbows group was still on.  Ever since that phone call I’ve been beating myself up about being a terrible Mother and can’t stop thinking what if?

What if the Rainbows hadn’t been there? What would she have done? She has no way to call me because she’s way too young for a mobile phone.  Am I giving her too much independence too early, even though it’s only up a flight of stairs? Should I hand her over to them?  Well obviously from now on I will be because all I can see in my mind is a picture of Chick standing abandoned in the Church rooms crying because she doesn’t know what to do and she has no way to get hold of me.

I’ve been trying to reason with myself that the door wouldn’t have been open if there was no-one around and generally the caretaker is there and the choir practise on a Monday night but however I try to reason with myself I still can’t shake that picture and the fact that I’m a terrible, terrible Mother!!!


  1. OH my lovie...

    We all make these "mistakes"---even though they aren't really mistakes, they are just normal things that happen when you're a parent.

    She is your kid..she's got to be resourceful! :)

    You're not anything close to a bad momma!

  2. @Heather.....Thank you beautiful Lady! I did think about turning the comments off but I'm glad I didn't now!!!

  3. God Emma, this doesn't make you a bad parent! We've all done something like this - I sent Findlay to school a few weeks ago when he assured me he had an inservice day. It wasn't on the website so I made him go - he was right and I was wrong.

    Personally I think the church have got a lot to answer for and I'd write them a letter explaining what happened and how, and be sure to drop in some references to being a Good Christian & Jesus loving little children!

  4. I can remember dropping of my son at some saturday morning thing and then went shopping, knowing that he was safely inside for the next 3 hours. On my return he had huge tear marks on his face and a massive hug, next came the sobs and story of how the group was cancelled because of sickness. He had sat outside the building for 3 hours, waiting for his dad, who never noticed that there were no other cars in the car park, either at the drop off or at the pick up. My ex wife still hasn't let me forget and that was about 14 years ago.

    The Organ Grinder

  5. @Vonnie.......Thank God it's not just me!!! I do need to speak to the Brownie Leader but I was soooooo cross still last night that I thought I'd better wait until I calm down!!!!

  6. My mother has sooooo got you beat... our Brownies was the beginner level of Girl Scouts and I had gone directly from school to the church basement meeting, and then walked home, as I always did, after the meeting... we lived in a very small town and everyone knew everyone else and kept an eye out for each other's children... (those were the days!) I digress.

    Anyhoo... I arrived home to find a totally locked and EMPTY house! So, I sat on the curb, not knowing what to do next... a while later, the neighbor across the street came over and asked what I was doing there, because my family had MOVED to another city, that day!... well, the police were called and, after they tracked down my family, my mother was furious with ME because she was so embarrassed by being pulled over by the police and informed that she had left her child behind...

    So far as your situation, I think it was the organization's responsibility to clearly inform all parents (not assume that everyone texts or uses email) about any meeting changes and have someone present to catch the ones who didn't get the message... you were fine; they were wrong... come visit when you can...

    Twitter: SolarChief

  7. @Sharlene......Oh honey! I'm sorry to say I laughed at your story but only imagining the look on your Mothers face when she was pulled over! You poor thing....I'm sure it wasn't funny at the time!!!!

  8. Do you know what, this reminded me of when my dad collected me and my best mate from Brownies once, he pulled up outside and we used to just jump in the car. She got in the back I walked round the back of the car to get in the front, got to the other side of the car and dad reversed the car to get out of someones way. Over my foot!

    You are not a bad mother don't worry xxx

    P.S. Foot was fine just badly bruised and got dad back I bumped the car into him when I first started driving so we are even now ha ha!

  9. @Kerry.....Ouch!!! Funny but not funny all at the same time!!! Was great to meet you on Saturday!! Way to go with us doing so well on the quiz ;-)

  10. You are SO not a bad mother - how are you supposed to respond to a message that never arrived?! Your little girl is safe and that's all that matters. I'm sure you'll be over vigilant now... I've been like that ever since my four-year-old disappeared off on his scooter out of the school gates and I couldn't find him for a whole ten minutes. It felt like two weeks!!!!

    big hugs to you honey

  11. @FeedingBoys.....Gosh that sounds awful!!! See I need you to hold my hand every time I get scared now!!! Loves xxx

  12. Stopping by from SITS. Your not a terrible mother at all. We try our best, as mothers to plan for every possible contingency, but sometimes fate simply has other plans. The fact is that there was a group there, so your daughter never was in peril. You and your daughter both had a guardian angel looking over your shoulder that day with a reminder to always err on the side of caution from now on. I live in California and have two little girls. My 9 year old is also a Brownie, as part of the Girl Scouts. My youngest, 5, is starting her first year as a Daisy. I can relate to your parking and drop-off dilemma. Our elementary school underwent a massive construction project this year and it threw all the parking out of whack. Basically, there was no where to park. I don't think there was a single parent who didn't have a day with those same sort of doubts and guilt. You have a fabulous looking blog and great style. I'm so glad to have stopped by!

  13. @Jenn....Thank you for stopping by. Your comment is so very nice and I'll stop by your blog as soon as possible!

  14. Grandma Sharon7 July 2010 at 19:04

    With so many comments ahead of mine, I have lots of comments of my own!
    First, the Rainbow leader should have just accepted Chick into her meeting for that day & let her enjoy some new little friends. (You could have been given the message when you returned to pick her up.)
    I agree that you need to speak with the Brownies leader about making sure messages are delivered properly & received. But, I also agree with Vonnie that you need additionally to send a letter to the church. If they are allowing Guides to use their facilities, parking should be included!
    @Sharlene, I'm sorry, but I also had to laugh at your story. Your poor mom & how traumatic for a little Brownie! It's one of those stories that you can't help but wonder if it was really true if you hadn't heard it from the source!
    Finally, Sweetie, you know I am all about independence & think you did what every reasonable mom would have done (like me). Don't beat yourself up and don't try & pull the reins in too tight. She's fine & needs to continue to learn to be independent. This would be a good lesson time of 'what to do' like having someone call mum - just like she did!! Love ya both - Mom

  15. @Mom.....Wow that's a huge comment!! Thank you for your support though!! Love you too xx

  16. You are absolutely NOT a bad mother! We've all tried something out of ease and an effort to let our kids be a little independent, only to have it bite us in the ass. You'll do things differently next time, but eventually you'll try again, hopefully with less bite (or none). And Chick is ok, which is the most important thing.