School moms

School athletics – I need a do-over!

What is the worst thing you did as a school mom last year? Mine was missing my son’s biggest achievement at the school athletics. It was such an epic fail that I waited a whole year for a do-over!

The school athletics was my biggest annoyance when I was at school. I loathed it and and as a shy child, I was terrified they’ve choose me as an athlete for the event!

Whenever the entire school was busy with selections and practice sessions, you’d have found me hiding in the music room, behind the staircases or around corners. When I got to high school I was crafty enough to fetch a doctors note when the school athletics began!

Fortunately, it’s a very different experience for my kids. I encourage them to have fun with it. Neither of them are shy like I was, they actually have real life school friends and they know that we are in the bleachers cheering them on! That just changes the narrative and it’s a much better experience for them than it was for me.

They never win though. I guess this is partly my fault because I sometimes lose my mind on the side-lines cheering them on so they stop mid-race to wave back at me! This is mainly the reason why Ashley comes too. Someone needs to keep my crazy at bay when we’re on the field! I’m just so darn proud of them! Even though they usually come last!

My big school athletics fail

At last year’s school athletics I made such an epic fail when I missed Joshua’s first big race! Now that the school athletics has rolled around again and I get a do-over, I can finally get it over it enough to tell you how I’ve failed!

Running in the School athletics

The reason why I missed it is basically because I’m a crap mom! When he told me he was chosen for the long-distance race, I’m ashamed to say I thought he was joking. I took my time on the day and arrived after his moment on the field was done!

I deliberately fried up his breakfast first and packed a nice picnic for us. By the time I arrived after enjoying a nice leisurely morning with Alex, his big moment was all over! He had finished his race without stopping out of sheer determination! 

Every time I look back at last year I wish I could have done it differently. The reason I didn’t believe he was participating in the first place was because his poor health had prevented him from doing any kind of sport for months.

Simple things like taking a deep breath or walking for more than a few minutes was a huge challenge for him. For months, I would tearfully lie awake at night and listen to his labored breath. It was only about six weeks before the sports day that we eventually got him to see a specialist who gave him a proper diagnosis.

Only six weeks into his new treatment plan he was feeling much better but I thought we were still light-years away from any physical activity. Then I arrived on the day of the school athletics to find that not only had my son run a 1400m race infront of the whole school but that he did it well! He paced himself and ran without stopping, he did well for his team and everyone saw it except me!

School Athletics 2018

So of course this time, I’ve been given strict instructions to be there an hour before the event begins as penance for my big motherhood fail of last year! Joshua is taking no prisoners. He wants to see me sitting on the bleachers when the sun comes (two hours before it starts). 

School athletics

The thing is, I know that he probably forgot all about it as soon as I showed up. That’s what I love about this motherhood journey, it’s so full of do-overs, forgiveness and endless amounts of grace.

What’s your biggest mom fail?

While I cry in my teacup over this until I’m about 90, I’d love to hear what you biggest mom fail is? Leave a comment below and share!

Misery loves company!


Anthea O'Neill is happily married wife and proud mother of two, a son and a daughter. She is a digital designer & front-end developer by day and a self-proclaimed glitter & crafting addict with a flair for the dramatic. Anthea's Project Life is a place for anyone who is looking to add some creativity and fun into their family life.

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  1. Pamela says:

    This story brought me to tears. Look how super athletic he looks but the last pic…………making sure you are there, oh no!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My eldest hate that I was a working mom and couldn’t take off and the 2 youngest hated that I was a stay-at home mom and was always in their face……….. can’t win……. I guess because athletics day was always fun for me, of course doing the mommy’s race afterwards was the highlight for me but horror for my kids. They hated the fact that I always wanted to get involved, apparently to embarrass them lol

    1. That’s the same expression I had when I looked for Mommy lol

  2. Anthea I missed it when my daughter won her first medal (bronze for longjump) in athletics last year as I was in a meeting. This year I was also and I missed her getting a silver for discus! I feel so bad as we do not even have a photo of her on the rostrum.

    1. Oh no! I know how bad it feels! And all we can do is make a big deal of them afterwards 🙁 I was so glad to be there this morning! I think I made up for it when I waited at the finish line with an ice lolly!

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