Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Backpacks filled with unrealized potential...

I can't believe I have been mothering for nearly a decade. Sometimes it seems like I have just begun this journey. Of course other times it seems like I have been doing this forever. When I was little I wanted nothing more than to be a mother. I was the kid that was always pretending to be the mom. I had elaborate "houses" and pretend "kids". My imagination vividly created a world where I had lots of children and I was always the perfect mommy. I couldn't wait to grow up and have those dreams realized. As I grew older, I babysat all the time, and even as a young professional left social work for a period of time to nanny for two precious little girls in Chicago. I fully admit that BEFORE I had
kids, I thought I had all the answers. I was so smug, watching other people's kids, judging and always thinking, "When I am a mom I will never or I will always." Oh how I have eaten crow over the last nine years. What an idiot I was. While nannying children is a noble and sometimes difficult job, it has NOTHING on the real deal. Yes, I have loved and cared about the children I have watched during my babysitting years, but it pales in comparison to the love and investment I have in my flesh and blood. I never realized how much shame would be associated with mothering. I read an article by Jen Hatamaker last year about how most moms are "limping to the finish line to summer vacation." I feel like the Simpsons are limping from about October. For real. We never have gotten into a good homework rhythm . Our library books get sucked into the abyss,  our backpacks are filled with old cheese it crumbs and unsigned permission slips. Matthew's star of the week that was to be turned in around September is just getting finished now. The icing on the shame cake came yesterday in the form of a stern talking to from Matthew's piano teacher who basically said, "If he's not going to practice ,you're wasting my time and your money." Ouch. Sometimes I take solace in knowing that I am doing the best I can. But, more often than not, I feel ashamed because really, I am not. I could be more organized. I could forgo relaxing sometimes and get shit done. (Sorry, I felt the word was needed there) For awhile I blamed my working nights, but really, its been a year. I am used to the schedule so that is a sorry excuse. I have grand plans to get our crap together starting this summer. We've hired a nanny and she seems pretty on top of things, Oh, the irony that a nanny will end up getting this mom on the right page. Thankfully the kids are pretty bright and their academics have not lagged yet. But, as they grow older I know that we won't be able to get away with how we've approached their academics. That, and we certainly aren't setting great examples of how to be independent learners and establishing good study skills that will be needed as they enter middle and high school.
I guess I am wondering if I feel this much of a mess nearly ten years in, when will it start to get better? As they mature, their lives only get busier. This Spring sports season alone we have three kids playing some form of baseball, plus soccer for Caroline. We are running around like chicken with our heads cut off. At the end of the day, I don't like what being lazy about all this school business makes me feel like. We can do better. They say that the first step toward change is acceptance. I accept the mistakes I have made with Matthew and Caroline's schooling and really want to change that. I will even accept a 23 year old nannying showing me the way:)

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