Lately I’ve been feeling like less than Super Mom.

When people I work with find out I have three kids and my husband travels extensively, they say something akin to, “I don’t know how you do it.”

My reply, invariably, is something like, “Well, mostly I don’t.”

The list of mommy misses in the last few months is fairly long for me. Missed my daughter’s dentist appointment. Missed my son’s parent-teacher conference. Can’t manage the sports schedule. Failing dramatically at discipline for the four year old. Forgot pajama day at preschool. Yelled more than normal, which is quite a lot even on a good day.

In an attempt to get a handle on things, I employed both a babysitter and a good old fashioned calendar in addition to the numerous alerts on my iPhone. I think maybe they are helping a little, but not much.

Clearly, I’ve been overwhelmed. My one consolation of late is a mom I saw standing at the dentist office counter when I managed to remember my son Oscar’s appointment recently. It was nine o’clock and her daughter’s dentist appointment had been at eight.

While the two preteen daughters stood there looking at their embarrassed mom like she was an idiot, I couldn’t help feeling a twinge of silent victory. I wasn’t the only mom on planet Earth with her head up her you-know-what.

Just yesterday an interview I watched with former Olympic volleyball player Gabrielle Reece gave me a small amount of hope. She’s recently written a book about her life now as a wife and mother, and talks about how she believes less is really more when it comes to parenting, at least in terms of how much you chauffeur your kids to activities and hover about trying to make their lives perfect. OK, I thought, maybe my recent shortcomings aren’t ruining them after all.

Then, out of no where, a triumphant moment. On a Tuesday morning (a day my son is required to wear a tie for mass at his Catholic school), Jack was in a panic because his ties were all undone and he had no idea how to tie one…just something he and Dad hadn’t manage to cover just yet. As luck would have it, I have no idea how to tie a tie, either. But I knew who did.

YouTube.

Tie tying demystified, and my teenage son thinks I'm pretty smart, which is the real victory of the day.

Tie tying demystified, and my teenage son thinks I’m pretty smart, which is the real victory of the day.

Quick as a flash, I pulled up numerous tutorials with simple how-tos on tie tying. And with me looking over his shoulder (had to hover on this one), Jack learned how to tie a tie like a pro with minutes to spare.

My thirteen year old and I high fived each other like a couple of guys on the court, and I squealed like a cheerleader.

Later that day, he told me all the kids at school asked if he was wearing his little brother’s tie. I was so busy celebrating I didn’t notice the result of our Internet research wasn’t quite hanging down to his waist.

Oh well. If motherhood was about perfection, I’d have been fired a long time ago.