I messed up today. A mom mess up. I got the frantic call from my son around 6:45 – just after I had declared it “sweats time” and myself done for the day, about to settle down for dinner, a glass of wine, and an episode of Mad Men.

“The meeting for the music abroad trip is tonight. You got the email. You have to go.”

I searched in my Inbox for said email. No luck. I searched in my Deleted folder. No luck. I vaguely remember the email, but couldn’t remember whom it was from, or what it said.

Bottom line – I didn’t find it and didn’t go to the meeting. Bottom line – someone will gather the info for us so we’ll be okay. But I could hear the disappointment in my son’s voice, and I could feel my self-bashing rising.

Very little, if anything, is more important to me than being the best mom I can be to my kids. My work matters; I love what I do. But my mom-ness – that’s everything. And I had dropped the proverbial ball. I had messed up and let my son down. Even though I knew, and know, it will all be okay, I felt bad.

It was a major OOPS.

I’ve taught my older child – and many of my clients – that OOPS is my favorite word. And I have to remind myself of that now, so that I don’t run off to the meeting that I can’t really make it to in order to make my son happier, and so that I don’t beat myself up endlessly because I missed it in the first place.

Why is OOPS my favorite word?

  1. It reminds me not to take myself too seriously. I can take myself too seriously. I can feel the burden of the world in every situation, and every situation is just not that vital. OOPS reminds me of that.
  2. It reminds me that I’m not perfect. And I never will be. So I might as well stop trying. OOPS is acknowledging that I’ve given up trying.
  3. It reminds me that I’m human. While I’ve had challenges with accepting that in the past, it is true. And it can be freeing.
  4. It reminds me to accept myself as I am. And to model that self-acceptance to my clients, and my kids (when and if my son stops being annoyed with me).
  5. It reminds me to be easier on others. I often tell clients that if they have too high expectations for themselves, they most likely have too high expectations for others around them. If I admit and accept my flaws and slips and errors, I can become more accepting and supportive of others.

Today was an OOPS. One we’ll get through and most likely forget about, but an OOPS nonetheless. Another opportunity to practice what I preach, and to heighten the gentleness and self-compassion.


I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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