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 daughter – 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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
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