Friday, May 24, 2013

Where Have I Reallt Been?

 I think I checked out last fall when I got the hives.  I was tired a lot and crabby since I couldn't eat the foods I was used to eating (read chocolate covered caramels) and I spent a lot of time hungry, trying to figure out what I could eat that wouldn't make me itchy and have trouble breathing. 


The poor kids had to hear a lot how I had a headache or I was tired.  I really just wanted to be left alone so I could sew or paint or clean up the numerous messes around the house.  Christmas came with a flu that left Mike with pneumonia and me with a sinus infection.  Add in Charley's birthday and I was a pale (truly pale) version of my worse self.

Sometimes the many responsibilities weigh you down and you just get overwhelmed and don't know how to do it all, even though you probably can't (Which makes me crazy.  Give me more hours in the day and  more energy).  I am one who likes her sleep too.  Add in a cat that wakes you up to use the litter box or a kid that cries out because they are uncovered and cold, and there just isn't enough sleep to go around.

I thought everything was OK.  Yeah, the kids drove (drive) me crazy but that is normal.  But I haven't been present with them.  I let them watch a lot of tv.   The wake up came when B just wasn't progressing in school they way I would like.  A child who loves information didn't want to read and had horrible hand writing.  At the beginning of the year I was concerned about reading and the teachers said don't push it.  Well, in March, B was still not what I would call a reader.  I had bought books at the book store, but B had a lot of trouble.

I then pressed the teachers, bought some phonics books, had Mike (since he has more patience) work with B, and within the last month, she has come to love reading.


I had a not so minor meltdown last week that was caused by a lot of guilt.  Guilty that I really wanted to get away from the kids and I didn't enjoy any time I spent with them.  Each puzzle I did with Charley was just marking time until B came home to play with her.   Every TV show just gave me more time that I didn't have to listen to them.  And I felt guilty that I let B off the hook with learning.  A smart kid can just coast by by not even trying.  Oh, how I failed her, not finding her motivation (which happens to be TV tickets and trips to Learning Express (one of the rewards on the summer reading chart)).

Mike pulled me out of the funk (probably temporarily, because today, my kids are a holy terror of a challenge and I just want to hide in the bathroom) and I am really trying to spend meaningful time with them.  I still find it hard because I exercise hard and still don't get enough sleep or enough time to make fun things, but I am trying.  Why is trying so hard?

Maybe this will help me understand B.  When stuff is hard, the perfectionist (which I really am not, Mike is the one who fits this bill) in B won't even try.  She is so used to stuff being easy.  With practice, her reading has gotten easier (her hand writing, oh, we work on it, but man, that kid should stick with a computer).  I need to learn from this.  Patience takes practice.

These are some pictures from the last week or so.  I am trying to put down the phone, and not work on a project during puzzle or tea time (Charley is really into tea parties lately).  And I am saying yes when they want to go to the park or play on the swingset with me.  Though I really want lock myself in my office and paint t-shirts.  We went to the zoo last week when they had a half day because of school conferences, just because they wanted to pet sting rays.

Every day is a new day and a new chance for me to be better. So many things I should do better. So many things to be done. So many ways to fail. Wait, why do I get out of bed again?

The following pictures are taken by B, while Mike and I were at Charley's school conference.

I knew having kids would be hard. I thought I had a good grasp on how hard it really would be. I thought it would be worth it.

Turns out, motherhood is a thankless job, and let me tell you, my kids are some of the politest out there - well B is. Charley isn't quite there yet. There are few rewards. More like lumps, bumps and saggy boobs.

But there are moments. And those are the ones I need to recognize and remember. The, "you are the best Mom there is." Which, let me tell you is not said as often as "get out of my room" (which I heard today). Or, when I see them do something they are so proud to do. Whether it is reading, or doing the monkey bars, buttering their own english muffin or setting the table.

I have it easy. I have a fab husband who picks up a lot of slack. He picks up B from school when Charley and I are running late at the store. He listens to all my worrying, even when he has already heard it 10 times.

He takes out the garbage (and thank God because if it were up to me, it would linger past its due) mows the lawn, listens to my off key singing of made up lyrics, takes turns taking that cat to the litter box, cooks dinner (because we would starve if it were up to me to cook, lots of greens and eggs (told you there isn't a lot I eat)) and looks hot on a daily basis while talking me off the ledge.

Enough poor me, poor me. Because, though my kids are "strong willed" (which is Montessori for stubborn - something they got from my Mother) and almost a daily challenge not to strangle them, I have it pretty easy. My husband doesn't travel, my kids are healthy and there is a fabulous shoe store and chocolatier in town (must have shoes and have to have my ACK double darks).

Every morning I wake up to a new day and try to do a better job at life. I find if I get my breakfast eaten before the stampede of little feet comes down the hallway, I am off to a good start (that and that first cup of coffee, why is that first cup of the day so good?). If we get to school close to on time - it is better. Then if I get in my exercise class and some sewing, it is even better. Add in some kids who are goofy like mine (love the pictures right?), and cross your fingers they each only have one breakdown a day and maybe we have tacos for dinner with a chocolate chaser? Well, I can't ask for more than that.

But if you know me, I will.

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