2016 black boys education parenting positive parenting school

I’m Failing Too

So, I read this great post from a fellow blogger, Deborah the Closet Monster. Please head over to her blog and check it out. But, I wanted to write a piece about her angst that she’s failing her child. I have a confession… I feel that way sometimes.

Heck, many of you reading this post may feel that way too. Working mothers constantly feel like we’re failing our children. Maybe it’s hormones. I don’t know. But, it hurts like heck.

Especially when your son gets a “D” in math. Yep, a “D”. My baby boy got his first “D”. He has no concept of letter grades. He asked “Did I do good? Are you proud of me mommy?” “Yes” I replied. I shuddered when I looked at the report card. He’s 7. He needs help. I knew it. I watched him struggle. I hired a tutor. Too late.

It’s hard being a working mother. A working mother that enjoys working and knows that she’s a better mother because she works. It is hard as heck! No, I’m not trying to say that working mothers should get a pass (okay maybe I am) but what I’m advocating for is the ability to be able to work and raise our families without something or someone suffering.

I thought it was just me. I thought I was the only woman in America suffering from being a working mom, cleaning house, washing clothes, doing homework and then having time for me that includes dating, girl time and sleeping. Mr. C. said “You like to sleep”. I responded, “Yep, I do.” I’m exhausted all the time.

Sleep rejuvenates me. There are days that I don’t get enough and I feel like I’m depriving myself of my God given right to rest. So, life suffers. That load of laundry is still packed high, I need to pack up my house because I’m moving, I need to take down my Christmas tree (don’t judge me) and I need to figure out the next 60 days.

It’s almost Spring and Munch is registered for swim classes that start the first weekend in March and spring soccer. Oh, he still takes Tae Kwan Do and has tutoring. He has church school and sings in the church choir. When he’s not busy with all those activities, I’m helping with homework and projects.

Right now as I’m writing this post, I’m supposed to be sending questions to two women that I’m interviewing for black history month, working on Munch’s oral presentation at the PTSA’s Black History Month program tomorrow night and finishing up his latest IB project for school on natural resources. Oh, did I mention that he’s in a French school and the whole thing has to be in French? Yep, I’m busy.

I’m not alone. There are are a lot of us suffering in silence. How do we balance it all? I don’t have anyone to share the household chores with me. I don’t have anyone who can tag team and work on a project while I write the presentation and cook dinner. It’s due on my week, so it’s my responsibility.

It gets overwhelming. But, we have to do it. We have to stop feeling guilty about what doesn’t get done and focus on what gets done. It’s called parenting. I don’t care if I don’t get on the recommended 4 websites the teachers want him to access each night. I don’t have time. I have to make sure that he eats dinner, does his homework and has the recommended rest in order to start the day over again.

Your recommended websites are a  great tool to supplement classroom learning, but I have no time to log on each night. I started creating worksheets to provide supplemental help in Math. It’s still new to us. I’m tired of feeling like he’s never going to get math. He will. Someday. I will continue to work with him. I will keep paying a tutor and I will keep encouraging him to try his best. I’m not going to stress. I will throw a load into the laundry, kiss and cuddle munch and help with his project and oral presentations.

Munch gets sad when we talk about the “D”. He feels bad. I told him that it’s okay. I will get him help and I will work with him. He looks at me sadly. All I can do is love and encourage him in spite of feeling like I’m failing him. Because he won’t learn everything at the moment he’s supposed to, but I promise you that he will learn it.


  1. Thanks for that insightful dialogue. I wish I knew what you’ve already grasp while raising my son as a single parent. He and I would have a better relationship and he would not be burden with the guilt of being a failure and responsible for everything and every body. You see as being a stressed out single parent I was quick to point out how his actions and attitude and wants and needs contributed to my already stressful and guilt ridden life. I wished I had taken more time to enjoy the wonderful and amazing young boy he was and let him now he was wonderful just the way he was and gotten him the help and support he needed alobg the way.


    1. Thank you. I’m trying. I grew up in a single parent household and my mom made me feel as though I was adding to her stress. That caused me a lot of angst and made me not want to be a mother. One of the reasons I try to stay positive and loving is because I don’t want him to suffer my same fate. I want him to remember that he tried, I tried and we tried. It’s hard being a single parent, heck a working mother in general. We do the best we can with what we got. That’s all we can do.


  2. I feel like I fail in some way as a mom most days. I can confirm for you that you will have the mom guilt no matter which route you take. I’ve done both – worked FT and have been at home FT. There is always guilt. The oldest reminds me constantly what she doesn’t have because we can’t afford it, etc. She also got her first D this year. Instead of a punishment, I tried to get to the bottom of it, and now she is doing after school tutoring. I’m not worried, because – like you – I know she’ll learn it eventually.

    For now, that is good enough for me. I bow to you, amazing mama! Just be sure to keep lots of mac ‘n’ cheese on hand. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL. He hates mac and cheese. Can you believe it? Never thought a child of mine would despise it. Thanks for the comforting words. I think we all feel guilt. I also think the dang public schools are to blame because all they do is test the kids and there is no real comprehension. Okay, so how will I make sure that he gets it? Not enough hours in the day.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. If you tell me he hates chicken nuggets I’m done. I’m sick of the system too. It’s not that the teachers don’t care…maybe still do. The communication is lacking however, and many times you don’t even know there’s a problem until it’s too late.
        I know (from talking to them) that teachers are under tremendous pressure as well. My girl started middle school this year, and I know the ‘new school’ thing adds another dimension.
        All we can do is keep trying, talk to teachers when we are able, and try to help them as much as we are able!
        He’ll get it – don’t worry.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Nope. He loves chicken nuggets. Yep, I see the pressure they face and I just want him to know that I will help him no matter what. We’ll bring that “D” up. I want him to learn for comprehension and not just testing.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yes, and YES! It does drive me mad how it flies all out the window once the testing is over. I still struggle with figuring out how to achieve that.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m kind of writing a book about work/life balance and how important it is to make time for ourselves and our families.. And of course part of my point is that families need to take more trips together. This post just kind of struck a chord with me.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m almost positive you’re doing a great job cause most of us are. On another note, I just watched a TED Talk about saying students “aren’t there yet,” as opposed to focusing on letter grades. Apparently, it makes all the difference in the world. And on another, nother note, I have a similar series coming out called “Confessions of an Overachiever.” A lot of us are overwhelmed but I hope that you’ll know that what you’re doing is probably good enough 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much. Yep, the “D” hit me like a punch in the gut. I knew he was struggling but never thought he couldn’t pull up. This is his first year getting letter grades. I just want him to know that as long as he tries his best it will be okay. We’ll get through this.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I think what is most important in this post is your concern about failing your son, and that in its self proves that you are a spectacular mother! As a teacher I have seen SO many children with no support at home. We were making mother’s day cards and I asked one of my favourite kindergarten boys what was his favourite thing to do with his mom. He says “nothing”. after a few minutes of offering suggestions (playing, cooking, reading) he said his favourite adult was his babysitter. I know his mom so I can believe it, she has no interest in her children at all.

    As for Munch, math is really, really hard! The abstract concept of numbers and how they work together is very difficult for a lot of students to grasp. Does he like computer games? In Ontario, they use a game called “prodigy” there is a free version, you can sign up at home. He makes his own character, and then you put in what grade he is in. He starts the game based on where his own skills lie, and then progresses by doing math questions. There are help buttons along the way to explain the concepts if he gets stuck. And the more he plays, he will improve, and the questions will automatically get harder as the game recognizes his skills improving.

    *sorry for such a long reply!*

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OMG! Thank you so much. I’m researching prodigy now. Nope to computer games, but I’m willing to do whatever it takes. I just don’t want him to think he’s a failure because of his “D”. I need him to know that we will get through this together. Thanks again.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Not a problem! 🙂 If that doesn’t suit, feel free to send me a private message if you want to – I’m not familiar with the American curriculum but I’m sure the concepts are the same and can pass along some resources 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I don’t know how you single parents do it! I can’t barely take care of my damn self let alone another little human being. You guys are truly remarkable just for being parents! I’m always in awe of you guys and what you sacrifice to provide for another growing person. That’s unconditional love right there.

    Furthermore, I will say that we tend to not give ourselves enough credit on what we actually do on a daily basis, in general, parents and non-parents alike. We keep falling for this unrealistic idea that our lives are supposed to be perfect when no one’s lives are even close to perfect and that’s okay. We never really fail. We only really just grow and learn and expand through life’s experiences. It’s supposed to be that way and as long as you’re doing the best you can, you’re fine! Sending love and light to you and your son and praying that you get a nice vacay very soon for yourself!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww, thank you so much. Yes, I feel the same way. I just have to keep reminding myself that he will be okay. Heck, it’s hard when you’re married and you are working because you just want your kids to be okay, but you realize that you can’t have it all and that’s okay. You have to choose. You can be an average employee and a great parent or you can be an exemplary employee and an average parent. You can even excel at both, but it will cost you more – your own well being. When I realized that my munch’s well-being was worth 10 of my perfect jobs I just started to love who he was more and enjoy the time. It’s a process girlfriend! Some days are definitely easier than others.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s beautiful that you chose your child’s well-being before anything else and he’ll always be grateful for that for sure.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Okay, came over here from “Parenting isn’t perfect” and I have to tell you — you aren’t failing your son! You aren’t. Sure, he got a D, but life is challenging (even at 7) and you’re helping him get through it to the other side. You’ve got SO much on you…I honestly have no idea how single parents do it…and you have to keep telling yourself that you are giving him the best that you have. We all drop a ball or two but the world keeps turning — your son knows he’s loved and cherished, and that’s the very best gift of all.

    Liked by 1 person

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