I missed my son’s first sports day

July 23, 2013 at 10:05 pm | Posted in Daily Life | 6 Comments
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The low point of 2013 to date.

I’m hoping other parents can feel my pain and help by sharing some words of reassurance and compassion.  Maybe some shared experiences?

It’s a ridiculously unnecessary chain of events.  Here goes.

I tried to fit in one extra chore before the school sports day – my son’s first ever one.  We were both really excited.  The chore was a trip to B&Q to return a radiator valve and buy a roll of wallpaper.  My life is nothing but rock and roll DIY and other sexy things.

Unfortunately I’d taken a trip to the charity shop earlier that day with a load of old clothes and given them the radiator valve by accident.  So after a return trip home trying to find it, followed by the light bulb recollection moment and returning to the charity shop to retrieve it, I made it to B&Q, exchanged it and got my wallpaper.  I also had a look at sinks whilst there.

I made it to school. spent too long applying suncream to Sully and I, packed the change bag, chatted to another arriving mum, returned to the car having made it half way up the school drive to close the passenger door which I’d left wide open and finally made it to the school doors.

Which were locked.

With no way of getting in.

And, to my horror, by the time we were let in by the school office, the boys running race had taken place and the final heats were in progress; of which my son wasn’t a part.

I felt devastated.  He asked where I was – why I didn’t see him running.

All for a radiator valve and roll of wallpaper.  I’d never get that moment back.

I’ll be totally honest, it’s taken me a week to get over it.  I’ve built my whole adult life and  business values around one main principal – never miss a sports day.  And I missed my son’s first ever sports day.

I did see him do a space hopper race which was pretty hilarious.  And I did the mummy race to try and redeem myself.  But I missed his running race and he knew it which broke my heart.

I decided to do something about it – I arranged a second sports day for us and two other mums who missed their son’s races because of the lock out or work commitments.


So we spent Sunday on the park near to our home doing running races, hopping races, shoulder ride races and more – we had medals, sweets and drinks and it was so much fun.

I felt better.  Slightly less guilty and slightly more fulfilled as a parent.

I learnt two valuable lessons.  1 – stop trying to fit in too many chores and 2 – you can always fix things if you want to.  Oh and 3 – children forget within minutes, you forget in time – when you let yourself.

Here’s to surviving parenting failures – and learning from them.


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  1. It is an imperfect world and we all do the best we can. That is all that matters

  2. I missed my daughter’s first gymnastic competition recently. I normally take her to her gym class as I don’t work on that day, but my company asked if I’d switch my day so I could do a presentation in London. My mother in law agreed to take her to her gym class and by the time I found out about the competition it was too late to change the plans. I rushed around train stations to make crazy connections in the hope of making it back in time to see some of the competition, but was scuppered at the last by the train being delayed by 53 minutes just outside the station I wanted.

    Oh well, I’m sure I’ll be there for the next one.

    • It’s hard to deal with isn’t it – my work mentor reminded me that my children are loved and happy so I try and focus on that, even when everything conspires against me! Well done for trying to make it xx

  3. I missed mine too. Felt terrible even though I had an excellent excuse since we were attending a prospective adopters course, but nonetheless I don’t want to miss it again. Love your idea of re-living it all in the park!

    • That is a very worthy reason – don’t give yourself a hard time for that – its for the overall good of your family and another child – I really admire you

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