‘We can bring your Leprechaun trap a day late, okay?’ I see the disappointment in his face, pull over, and ugly cry as the mom guilt sets in.’: Mom shares important reminder ‘we’re doing the best we can’

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“A leprechaun trap.

If asked, I could have easily provided a mile long list of what I thought was going to be my (almost) final straw. I could have made an educated guess, based on history and such. Nowhere on the list would have been a leprechaun trap.

Life is funny like that. It likes to keep us on our toes.

My son came home with an optional leprechaun trap family project. Optional. But, he’s 7, and these days childhood days are fading way too fast. We opt in.

Courtesy of Jacqueline Waxman

Together we come up with design ideas. I obtain and cut the box. Together we paint the box.

We order some stuff off Amazon (red pipe cleaners) and the rest we grabbed from Target (gold glitter, shamrock marshmallows, paint, a mousetrap).

Then, the green box sat. For. Days. And days.

Every night, my son asked if we could finish the trap. Every night, I was too busy doing our nightly routine or too tired from life. The days go quick around here.

The last chance was this past weekend and I worked 15-hour days both days of the weekend.

Suddenly, it’s Sunday night around 9 p.m. Still a random green box sits on the counter.

I tell my son I will finish the trap to his design protocol while he’s sleeping. He seems okay with that answer. He goes to sleep. Then, so do I.

Yeah, problem city, l know.

Monday morning comes and he’s disappointed his trap isn’t done, but I assure him his teacher will be okay if he brings it tomorrow.

Reluctantly, he seems okay with this. We arrive to school and the kid in the car in front of us hops out. With a leprechaun trap.

I can see in my son’s face how disappointed he is. I reassure him bringing it tomorrow will be okay. He exits the car without said trap.

The mom guilt pours over me. I pull over and cry. Like the ugly cry. The ‘I surrender, please send help’ cry.

I feel bad I worked so much this weekend. I feel bad I work so much all the time. I feel bad it’s (just) me and taking care of 3 kids is hard. I stay up late cleaning up the day’s mess, and washing too many clothes. When it’s all over, I’m tired.

I feel like a complete and total failure of a mom. A mom who is on a roll with disappointing this particular child. This middle child wedged between a special needs teenager and a feisty preschooler.

After my crying session, I drove home and rushed around to grab the supplies and blow dryer. I assemble and drop off, to school, a leprechaun trap before morning snack.

Courtesy of Jacqueline Waxman

When I picked my son up I immediately say, ‘I’m sorry the trap was late, I hope you’re not too disappointed. I’ll try harder next time.’

To which he replies, ‘I was shocked when the secretary walked it in. Everyone loved it and thought it was so cool! All the other kids are jealous because their traps don’t have lasers. You’re the best Mom, thanks!’ Followed by a giant hug.

Courtesy of Jacqueline Waxman

What? I still feel guilty. I don’t know. The trap should have been done when I said it would be.

But, as parent, we’re trying the hardest we can. We’re doing our best. Our plates are full. Life is hard. Parenting is hard.

Maybe we just all need a little bit of the grace of a child to keep us going.”

Courtesy of Jacqueline Waxman

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Jacqueline Waxman and originally appeared here. Submit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

Read more from Jacqueline:

‘He’s out of control. You didn’t discipline him and now it’s too late.’ I bought into what everyone else was saying.’: Mom urges ‘special needs behavior cannot be fixed with traditional discipline’

‘You’re the parent who tries everything and gets nowhere, but still doesn’t give up.’: Woman pens ode to parents of children battling mental illness

‘You asked me this morning, on your birthday, ‘Why did those people blow up New York?’ I was unprepared for this moment.’: Mom shares open letter to 9/11 baby

‘The school district took the very blunt stance, ‘It’s my way or the highway.’ Special education is under attack with little pushback.’: Special needs mom urges ‘we must draw a line in the sand’

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