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Why I'm a Bad Mother

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Momlogic's Julie: Today was picture day at my kids' school. I made sure their outfits were pressed, hair washed, teeth brushed. But I forgot to fill out the picture forms ... so they wouldn't let them get their picture taken at all.

boy wearing school uniform with hand touching face

Am I the only mother of an elementary school student who gets like 100 pieces of paper a week? When my son was in kindergarten and first grade, it was bad enough ... but now that my daughter has started kindergarten, too, the paperwork is double trouble.

I have tried everything I can think of to keep it straight. I got an in-box. When things started getting buried in there, I began hanging important papers on the dining room wall. It didn't look that great, but I figured this way, I would always remember what would need to be sent back to school, and when.

Boy, was I wrong.

Today was picture day at my kids' school. I made sure their outfits were pressed, hair washed, teeth brushed. But I completely forgot to fill out the picture forms. They were hanging right there on the dining room wall, just waiting to be filled out. And I spaced completely.

Today, when all the other kids in my childrens' class were saying cheese, my kids had to sit on the sidelines. My husband had to endure an embarrassing call with my son's teacher. We both feel like horrible parents. In fact, I'm on the verge of tears just thinking about it.

Why can't I get my sh*t together, keep everything straight? Yes, I work full-time ... but so do many of the other mothers, and they managed to get their kids' forms filled out and checks enclosed just fine. It all makes me feel so inadequate, like I'm doing the world's worst job.

Oh, well. All I can do is vow to be more organized next time ... and hold on to the fact that there's always Retake Day.


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21 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous October 3, 2008, 12:14 PM

My two sons picture day is coming on oct 9 and i hope I have both papers to fill out..So thanks for remining me…sorry ofwhat happened to u

JMM October 3, 2008, 12:29 PM

I filled out the forms for my kids and was told I can’t turn them in UNTIL picture day. That’s just setting a mom up to fail. Why can’t we turn them in sometime during the two weeks before?

I think the schools are out to get us. ;)

foxymama October 3, 2008, 1:02 PM

I cussed up a storn with my kids in the car today. They looked at me as if the fear of God was in them. I feel so terrible. Parenting is not without tough moments, we won’t always have our shit together! We’re in it for the long haul though. We’ll learn from our mistakes and move past them. In the wise words of Obama, “Yes We Can!”

Wendi October 3, 2008, 1:20 PM

My 2 oldest are in middle school now so I can feel your pain. I have done that more than once, now I have learned. Anything that needs to get back to the teacher gets filled out right when I see it and then handed back to the correct kid. Then they can keep it in their back pack untill it needs to be turned in. This way they will have it, because as we all know, their back packs are more like something to encourage them to become a pack rats! It seems to be working, I started this when they were in about 3rd or 4th grade.

Proud Mom of five! October 3, 2008, 2:12 PM

Being the Mother of five I feel your pain. Before I started homeschooling when the 4 school aged children got home I would sit at the kitchen table and go through their bags with pen in hand. Like Wendi I would fill everything out there and then, waiting didn’t work for me. Then I designed a folder for each chid which they keep in their bags specifically for paperwork on one side was labeled to home and the other to school. That way it is the teachers fault if they don’t have the paperwork because it is right there in the backpack.

Tracy October 3, 2008, 2:41 PM

Don’t feel bad. We’ve all been there. Besides, some of those kids who did get their picture taken may have had to eat a peanut butter sandwich in the cafeteria later that day because their mom forgot to send lunch money.

anonymous October 3, 2008, 3:33 PM

Girl, don’t beat yourself up! Why do you think they HAVE retake day? Cuz your not the only one!

yvette October 3, 2008, 3:50 PM

Right there with ya, sista!
Today I totally forgot the kids’ lunch and backpacks and had to backtrack home and bring them to school. When got there my son’s preschool teacher almost peed in her pants telling me how my 4 year old ratted me out and annouced to the class that I had forgotten to send in his lunch and show and tell..welcome to the bad mom’s club!

a. October 3, 2008, 7:11 PM

how does this make you a bad mother? big deal. get over it. you’re human. you’re going to make mistakes and miss things. that does not a horrible mother make. you could be doing far, far worse things to your kids than forgetting to fill out a stupid picture form.

Michelle October 4, 2008, 12:50 PM

Don’t feel bad. I drove through carpool line, got my one child and kept driving and left the other behind. I thought she has soccer practice. I can’t get that together either. Happens every now and then where I get a call from daughter asking me please come back to get her.

Becca October 6, 2008, 5:52 AM

I wouldn’t worry about school pictures!I don’t even have my kids get pictures by the schools anymore! No offense but they lack quality and all look the same! I’d rather pay sears or JCPenny’s for better photo’s! I worked for the school’s and each kid literally takes like a min or less to take a photo! If I’m paying money for a photo they better take the time to at least make sure my kids hair still looks nice and is smiling!
As far as you forgetting the items that are important to send back to teacher? Why not fill out the forms first thing when you get them! Put them in your kids bag that day and send them back! That is what I do!Help with homework and fill out any papers first thing! I make sure my daughter puts her things back in the book bag!I have two children and one on the way so I have experience at this too! Plus with working at the schools I have picked up a few tricks along the way! One is getting all that homework and paper work done ASAP! It really helps and as for things that are to be returned later keep them on the fridge and remind your self daily! In fact fill out the majority of it the day you get it and the rest later if needed!Good luck and hope things work out!

momoffour October 6, 2008, 7:05 AM

I use JC Penny too. Better pics and can be cheaper too if you use the coupons. I use bins for the kids (this can be boxes or plastic bins), and the fridge for schedules and school lunch calanders, but there is always something going missing. Library books, packed lunches, lunch money envelopes, constant school projects and homework. All things I deal with the my mom didn’t have to. Along with driving them everywhere. When I was a kid I could walk everywhere. Just do the best you can and live for those good days and happy moments.

Anonymous October 6, 2008, 11:26 AM

Please don’t feel bad. I have two boys who are worlds apart in the age differences. 11 and 2. I have purchased a huge dry erase board and hung it in my kitchen. it’s not beautiful but it works. We all put the things we have to do on the board and if it’s coming up soon we mark it in red ink. This really works for me. Oh yeah the board is also magnetic so you can also post notices, bills, flyers etc…. on it.

Try it it just may work for you.

Tracy October 6, 2008, 12:33 PM

I know your trouble, I have three all in Elementary School. Ages 7, 8 and 10. I have had to drive back to school many a morning after seeing homework still laying on the table. Organization is key. Always, always read through at least one group of the papers and determine what you need both of and what is trash right away. This cuts down on your paperwork making appear less daunting.


irene October 6, 2008, 12:55 PM

well my daughter did something close to that she forgot to pay for the pictures and had the wrong day

Nicole October 7, 2008, 1:08 PM

I get so many papers every week from my one child’s school it is insane! My dining room table looks like an explosion of papers. I too have forgotten a very special occasion, the book fair! My daughter was so upset because she did not get to get a book, I felt horrible!

Anna October 7, 2008, 9:24 PM

don’t be so hard on yourself, my mother always waited last minute or forgot to sign those millions of papers that came home, therefore i had to learn to forge her signature by age 10. She also would give me a hard time about making her sign them, like it was my fault. As for the school pictures she would often refuse to pay because the price was too high. I’m not bitter though… Not at all…

renee October 7, 2008, 9:49 PM

it happens to the best of us…i forgot to send in my daughters too

Old Mom October 27, 2008, 6:45 PM

If this was individual pictures and not the group photo, don’t worry about it. There will be a make up day, won’t there? There’s always make up day for the absent people and also for the ones who looked too goofy for the parents to buy the photos.

My sons are now 20 and 15. With the 20 year old I had all the sentimental regrets. Not having the photo paper would have made me so sad. He was my guinea pig. I gradually learned not to obsess over mistakes.

Make it fun somehow. Dress the kids up and take them out somewhere with your camera and make your own photos for this school year. You can go to one of those Kodak kiosks and make pictures that look just as good at a much better price. They even do wallet sizes for the relatives.

The important thing is to have that photo to remind you of how they were in that grade.

I have just about stopped buying the over priced photo packages. The most important thing to my 15 year old is that he looks reasonably cool in the yearbook.

Digital cameras are giving photographers a run for their money these days.

DEbbie November 4, 2008, 10:16 AM

Well I have two teens and having been there, I found it easy to have a bulletien board in the kitchen and a Mom’s plan calender. This way any paper from school that has an important date on, WRITE it on your OWN clalender. Then stick the paper on the pin up board. YOU will remember the date and know where to find the important info/or form for that day!! Hope it helps you!!!


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