Friday Essay – Worst Mom Ever

In honour of all the kids going back to school and parents trying to be perfect in getting them there I am admitting something: I am the worst mom ever.  I never had a photo of my kid in my wallet.  I never had tissues in my purse.  I let her quit most of the activities she started.  I didn’t save enough for her post-secondary education and I expect her to take out student loans or get a job or something. I let her dress herself and get piercings all over herself. I hardly ever text her now that she’s moved away.  But worst of all I never made her these:

Ladybug Apple Snacks

No offence to the person who came up with this recipe and posted it on allrecipes.com; I’m sure lots of parents and kids will have delightful quality time creating these little suckers.  And, of course, I don’t just mean I never made her apple ladybugs. I mean I could never be bothered with any of that precious mommy-daughter crap.  We never did our hair together or went for manicures together or baked cookies together.  And, if I wanted her to eat apples, peanut butter, raisins and pretzels I would never have gone to the trouble of turning them into ladybugs. I admit this also has something to do with the fact that a ladybug bit me then peed on me when I was a child and I have not forgiven them. In any event, I was the worst mom ever.  I made the biggest mistakes one can possibly make.  I’m sure my child will require serious therapy in the next ten years.  I was a single mother – not one of those divorced women whose ex takes the kid every other weekend – I raised my child with no partner whatsoever.  Unless, of course, you count my parents, my brother, and friends who made sure I was as sane as possible.  Still, I got two degrees, worked outside the home, sent her to school parties with cookies purchased from the grocery store, made her take the bus and refused to buy her designer jeans.  Worst mom ever!

Instead I took her out of school so she could see art exhibits – Impressionists one year and Picasso another.  I didn’t make too much fuss when she had her face pierced; I did make her pay for that on her own.  I let her play in the neighbourhood playground without my supervision from the time she was four.  I did not go completely ballistic when she brought home a pregnant gerbil in an ice cream pail.  We went to the library and read a lot of books.  I let her play with bugs and mud and tubas. When she asked me how babies got inside ‘there’ I answered her question with no mention of storks. I let her cross the street to the convenience store all by herself.  I did my best to understand when she explained the difference between various types of heavy metal music – apparently it isn’t all the same, who knew?  

So, if your ladybug treats are not the hit you thought they would be.  If your kid throws a fit because the [Planes, Dora, One Direction] lunch box is not the right one.  If you are making yourself crazy driving your kids to hockey, soccer, dance, banana growing, whatever classes. Don’t worry about it. You can’t be the worst parent ever, because I am.

Be Lovely to Each Other,

Laura

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