Join Me in More Parental Confessions

Sign that says "Confessions Booth"

While browsing through some of my past posts I came across one I had written in 2012 – Three Parental Confessions. In there I confessed to three times where I felt I had fallen a bit short of being the perfect mother. I now need to unburden myself of a couple more such incidents, and give you the opportunity to confess too.

French Lessons

When my son started secondary school three years ago, he was doing just fine in all of his lessons except French, where he really struggled. I spent a lot of time trying to help him with his French homework, but he just couldn’t grasp any of it. In the end I was just doing the homework for him and he would copy it into his book. I told him that at the parents’ evening, I would speak to his French teacher, and see if there was any extra help they could give him. He didn’t really want me to do that; he said that he had already decided he was going to drop French after Year 9 when he picked his options, so there was no point. I insisted that there was a point because he still had to do French for two and a half more years until he could drop it.

When the parents’ evening arrived, my son and I walked over to the French teacher’s table. As we approached, she had a huge smile. Before I had a chance to tell her about his struggles, she said “I’m SO pleased you’ve come to see me because I want to tell you how well your son is doing in French!”

Toy of teacher at desk

“Really?” I asked.

“Yes,” she said, and went on to tell me how he was grasping concepts that the rest of the class weren’t, and how he was much more advanced that she would expect from a year 7 student. I sat there lapping it up, a little confused, but delighted.

Finally she pulled out a book. “I’ll show you what I mean,” she said. It was his homework book. She began leafing through it, showing me all the pieces of homework I had done, saying things like “Look at this! 10 out of 10! Nobody ever gets 10 out of 10 for this,” “And look at this, I didn’t expect anyone to understand this so quickly!”

After the discussion we had just had I felt far too awkward to say “Oh I see, no, I did all that.” So I just sat there smiling, saying things like, “Wow, that’s great! I’m so pleased!” and “Wait, why is that one only 9/10? Let me see that.”

As we walked away my son said “Good job mum, telling her how much I’m struggling with it.”

“It doesn’t matter,” I told him. “You’re dropping French after Year 9.”

Raffle Prize

On one occasion when my kids were at primary school, we went to a quiz evening at their school. My son was 8 and my daughter 11. They were also doing a raffle. The raffle tickets were sold at the start of the evening and the draw was at the end of the evening. Those who won were able to go and choose whatever prize they wanted from the prize table.

I bought three strips of tickets, one each for me, my son, and my daughter. When it came to the draw, one of my son’s numbers was drawn. “Ooh, what are you going to pick?” I asked him.

Used raffle tickets

“I’m going to pick the travel game!” he said, and began walking up to the prize table while people applauded him. I tried to let it go, I really did. But I had seen the travel game earlier and it was one of those rubbishy little sets that quite clearly came from the £1 shop. He almost made it to the table when I couldn’t take it any more, I leaped out of my seat, ran up, practically shoved him out of the way and grabbed the case of beer instead. I’m pretty sure there were a few shocked gasps from the other parents who had all witnessed my behaviour.

As we did the walk of shame back to our seats I muttered to my son “I’ll buy you a travel game, it’s just that this is worth much more.” I like to think I was teaching him something about value. In case you’re wondering, yes I did buy him a travel game, and no I didn’t enjoy the beer; it was too tainted with my guilt.

So come on, fess up, what parenting mistakes are you ashamed of? You’ll feel better if you share.

—————
Photo credits:
Confession booth sign
Toy teacher at desk
Raffle tickets

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69 responses to “Join Me in More Parental Confessions

  1. I enjoyed yours too much to dwell on mine!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Well, what a cop out! 😉 Do feel free to come back and share later if you change your mind!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yours are just so amazing, Vanessa! My bad decisions involve daring do-like allowing my kids to take their little red wagon down the monster hill. No helmet. Just freewheeling. Or tying down the rubber raft on the car roof and flapping down to the river for some fun. These stories irritate my husband (who is Mr Double-Check) and create great holiday table stories.

        Like

  2. I laughed out loud about the beer! Do you get the television Modern Family where you are? I can totally see these things happening on that show. Too funny! I have many, many imperfect parenting moments–one that comes to mind is when I decided it was time for my daughter to learn how to make her own lunches on the weekends, so I could get extra time to write . . . and she ended up burning herself on the oven rack! Talk about guilt, all because I wanted an extra 30 minutes of writing time. That one was hard to get past.

    Liked by 2 people

    • We do get Modern Family but I haven’t really watched it – it’s on my list of things I’d like to watch but never get to. The best comedy is always based on real life isn’t it. Oh dear about your daughter burning herself! Actually having her make her own lunch is perfectly fine isn’t it, it’s just that because your motivation was to get some time for yourself it caused the guilt!

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  3. I’m a 100% perfect parent, because I’ve never had any children! Hee hee But seriously, my mother used to tell me it was a good thing I’d never had children, because I had too much of a temper.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Oh lord. Too many bad parenting episodes.

    Perhaps my worst was when I was convinced by my son to be a cub scout leader. I am pretty sure I was the worst one ever. I hated it.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Oh Vanessa the beer one cracked me right up. I’m sure you taught him a great deal about choosing value, or possibly about the want of liquor . 🙂
    Have I told you the one where I chased my daughter’s boyfriend down our street screaming obscenities at the top of my lungs? Try to beat that parental confession? It’s now 15 years later and my daughter loves telling the story of her Mom who was usually the calmest parent anyone had lost her mind. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Oh dear, the Beer.
    I’m enjoying the Confession Booth… How is your son’s French these days? That’s a shame he could not change to another language he might enjoy more. Long ago, I was forced to take Latin… what for, I could see it if I were Catholic, but I’ve never spoken a word since.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Well he’s now in Year 10 – he did indeed drop the French at the end of Year 9, but they did German as well from Year 8, and he got on much better with that, and is still doing that. I believe Latin is useful if you go into medicine too, but other than that, a bit of a waste of time when you could be learning a more everyday language!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I am absolutely disgusted! Je ne me souviens pas de cette bière.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. The beer one is an example of good parenting if you ask me. He wins, you win, what’s not to like.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I can’t think of any off-hand, because, you know, I’m the perfect mum. But for reals, shoving him aside and grabbing the beer–BEER of all things–that’s just too perfect. Sorry you weren’t able to enjoy it.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Well, I think you must be a pretty good parent, Vanessa, because your children are turning out super!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I made a parenting faux pas before my first was even born: I dropped out of my prenatal class after two sessions. Just couldn’t take the new-agey stuff, and since I’d already delivered babies myself, I felt I knew enough about the nuts and bolts. Needless to say my husband was far from disappointed. I’m sure he did a happy dance inside.

    Great post, Vanessa. Thanks for making me laugh when I needed it.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Applause. Applause. I award you the highest honor in the land for true confessions.
    😀 😛 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Love the beer one!

    The only one I can think of right now is when I was working as a teacher there was always one more thing to do before I was done with work. My daughter would call me and ask when I was coming home. I said in about a half hour, to which she replied, “okay, I’ll see you in 2 hours.”

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Those are great stories, V. Did we go to the same mothering school and skip out at the same time? 😉

    I made lots of blunders. Let’s see. One of my son’s first “girlfriends” in high school was more interested in him than he was in her. If only he had shared that little piece if intel with me before the Junior prom. She came to our house dressed in what only can be described as a wedding dress—white lace number, all poofs. The only thing missing was a veil. Maybe she left that in the car. Anyway, she spent all her money on the dress and didn’t have any bling. I felt badly about that so, ignoring not so subtle looks of horror from my son, I enthusiastically dragged out my jewelry box and loaned her some fake diamond earrings and matching necklace. My son relaxed. Then I offered her my engagement ring (I had stopped wearing it because it was too small). I don’t know who’s eyes were bigger: her’s or my son’s. Poor guy. All night long he had to avoid questions about possible lifetime scenarios with her as she fondled my ring on her finger. They broke up shortly after that.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. These are hilarious, Vanessa! I would have grabbed the beer as well. I love ‘the walk of shame’ Haaaaaa. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  16. I was walking the dog with my daughter who was about 9 at the time. We came to a stop light and a man sitting in a truck was texting. I thought I’d teach her a lesson in civic responsibility and vehicle safety. I said, “Excuse me. It’s illegal to text while driving,” which is true in the state of New Jersey. He got out of his truck and walked over and told me to mind my own business. He was 2x my size. My daughter looked on horrified that I was about to get pummeled, which almost happened. I taught her a lesson, alright.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. When our son (now in his late 30s) was a wee chap and had just moved from a cot into a bed, my DH and I got fed up with him coming in to our bedroom at crack-of-dawn. I bought a large simple wall clock and spent much time showing him that he shouldn’t come into our bedroom until the hands showed 7 o’clock. All was going well and I was congratulating myself on this strategy when one morning at 7.15am my husband opened our door to go to the bathroom and practically tripped over a pottie full of sick that had been carefully placed outside the door. The poor little chap was back on his bed, running a temperature and obviously unwell. I was so concerned and asked why he hadn’t come to tell us and was told “The clock hands weren’t in the right place yet – I thought you would be cross”. Oh the guilt, the guilt….

    Liked by 2 people

  18. I can’t choose just one! I’ll have to get back to you….

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Ha – Love the French class confession. I have been known to write papers for my kids (in a pinch – of course) and then get annoyed because the teacher didn’t give “us” a perfect, or near-perfect score. On the good side of that, they have become quite good writers, I don’t know if that is because of me, or in spite of me. Great post!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you. Yes I’ve also done art homework for my son in the past and then been peeved about only getting a B or something! I’m sure teachers often know when the parent has done it and then deliberately mark down (that’s what I tell myself anyway if I get a lower mark than I think I deserve 🙂 )

      Liked by 1 person

  20. I love the French class confession. And you were soooo right about the beer. I would have done the same thing.

    I was going to say I can’t choose just one, as Miss Darla did, but the fact is I always block out the bad things I do – it’s the only way I can sleep at night.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Flunked French royally in high school I did. But the beer – aaah yes the beer… 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  22. You confessions are stupendous. We parents are too hard on ourselves. I was a PERFECT parent. Just don’t ask my kids. They’d have a long list of things I should ‘confess’ to. Sigh.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. Your meeting with the French teacher made me laugh. 🙂 … Meanwhile, because my wife and I don’t have children, I have no examples of me being a bad parent!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Ah, this should be the season for multitudes of parent confessions!
    Meanwhile..
    Waiting for sunset on Christmas Eve is like standing toes-over-the-edge on a high diving board.
    Every year we’d cruise casually by the window to keep an eye on the sun’s progress until it was officially evening.
    Then the shout “Christmas Eve Gift!” would ring out.
    You see, the traditions says that the first person to voice that phrase on Christmas Eve to another would be graced with good fortune and joy all the next year.
    (And of course, whomever was first won. Everything was a contest…)
    It’s more difficult to be first now with caller ID.
    As all those who have become my friends in blogland are spread widely across time zones, I’d like to wish you all “Christmas Eve Gift” now.
    And as I already feel so fortunate to have such wonderful readers and writers in this neighborhood, I wish to share any phrase acquired good fortune and joy with you in thanks.
    No matter where you are or what you are guided by, hope you have a very merry Christmas and a new year full of adventure and joy.
    Peace on earth and goodwill towards all creatures great and small.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Loved the teacher praise story! Thank you for sharing!!

    Liked by 1 person

  26. I’m a new mom, my little guy is only a week old, and I’m already so worried about doing everything right. I like reading that parents can make mistakes, and that it’s ok.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Congratulations! Yes, worrying about getting it right is such a huge part of parenting. There’s definite comfort in sharing the times you get it wrong with other parents, and realising that nobody gets it right all the time!

      Like

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