When Good Girls Turn Bad (Or How My Daughter Got In Trouble At School)

Yesterday afternoon, I picked my daughter up from school and ran into her teacher. She grabbed Natalie’s hand lovingly and brought her over to me. Immediately, I felt all warm and fuzzy because I thought this was going to be a “your daughter is so great” conversation. Instead, I heard about how this week has been a little “rough” for Natalie and how she made some “pretty bad choices”.

“Like what?” I responded. My mouth went dry.

“Well, she made a big mess in art with paint and all her classmates copied her which caused a huge issue for the teacher. And … a few other episodes just like it.” (I’m paraphrasing of course)

The teacher and I then spoke to Natalie about what she did wrong and how she could improve her actions moving forward. The art teacher just happened to be coming out of the building. So, I made sure that my daughter apologized to her and made Natalie promise to help clean up in the morning.

As soon as she spoke, my daughter began to weep. I know she was sorry. It was written all over her face. She doesn’t want to disappoint her teachers, but she did.

Now, I get it. We all make mistakes. But I feel like a really bad mom because I haven’t been around much this last month. So, of course I start thinking this is all my fault and it’s just a cry for attention from my little one.

I tell my friend all of this and she points out that I just had a typical “mom response”. We are always to blame. We immediately point the finger at ourselves… even though it could really just be about a little girl pushing boundaries at school while trying to show off to her friends.

Deep down inside though, I feel like our very unstructured life is coming back to haunt us. I know my children are always with one of their parents, but yesterday I felt like I was failing them. And I don’t know what to do about it?

I have to work. There is no two ways about it. And work sometimes requires me to go and do things outside of the house. Just like the rest of the world. I shouldn’t feel guilty about doing these things. This is what puts bread on our table. This is what keeps this ship afloat.

But somewhere inside of me, I feel like I am doing wrong by my kids. Makes me sad to think I’m not giving them my all. But I only have so much to offer. I guess this is the struggle that every working parent faces.

Feeling helpless…

About Vera Sweeney

Vera Sweeney – mom, blogger, and New York resident – is the founder of Lady and the Blog. Her main focus is to help busy women stay on top of the latest style, culinary, and parenting trends.

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  1. and it makes ME sad to hear you beat yourself up…You are a great mom. Natalie is a great kid. All of us have bad days!

    Posted 4.26.12
  2. Nadia Rima wrote:

    You call it the “unstructured life” I like to think of it as giving them a “more structured life” than the norm. This sounds like a case of the guilty parents’ syndrome. I hear there’s no cure and we will eventually pass this along to our kids. Cycle of life, right? As much as we would like to believe our kids are perfect, they’re not and that’s ok. Take it as a learning experience for both you.

    Posted 4.26.12
  3. Tristin wrote:

    My best friends little girl got in trouble last week for flushing crayons down the toilet at school (she’s in kindergarten, btw). Her parents are there every day/night, I think it is more of a pushing the limits type of thing than intentionally misbehaving.

    Posted 4.26.12
  4. It is so natural to blame yourself and point the finger to your guilt spot but you are reacting in a wonderful way – without anger, but with empathy and love which makes you an awesome mom. And as a working mom, you are an excellent role model for your kids, Vera!

    Posted 4.27.12
  5. Sofi wrote:

    Vera, I am a working mother and my mother was the same. That is the only thing I say to console myself when I start going down that path, that I didn’t turn out too bad, and what’s even more that my mom never ever thought that she was any less of a mother for working outside her home. I don’t think I ever heard her wondering whether she was doing the right thing or not.
    Now, I know how a mother’s mind works. Anytime my daughter gets into any sort of trouble, which isn’t often but still, I immediately think it’s me. It’s always me. I failed her. But you know what, you are a great mother, and your kids are experiencing life in a way that will only enrich them and make them better himan beings. Stop being so hard on yourself (((hugs)))

    Posted 4.27.12
  6. Vera wrote:

    wow guys thank you so much for taking the time to comment because – believe me – I needed to have this conversation with you all. I really appreciate it.

    And I “know” that I am not to blame… at least I want to “know” it. Hearing you all confirm this makes me feel MUCH better.

    Thank you again ladies

    Posted 4.27.12

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