I'm all about keeping it real over here. I also really like to avoid pity parties, "woe is me" attitudes and "My life is soooo difficult" diatribes. Everyone has a difficult life. Everyone has challenges that, had I a need to face them, I'd probably hide in my bed with the covers over my head. I'm not comparing my life to anyone else's, for I know full and well that my life is cushy and a cake walk compared to what some of you endure day in and day out. I APPLAUD you for all you do, every day and in every way. I firmly believe that most of us don't get the accolades we deserve.
That being said, this post is not so much any of the above as it is just a method of me attempting to process some ideas, thoughts and discussions that are going on in my head right now in light of a couple of conferences that occurred yesterday. All names have been removed to protect the innocent and not hurt anyone's feelings. Above all, this post - like 99.99% of what I post on this here blog - is allllll.about.meeeeeeeee.
By the time bedtime rolls around, I feel like I've been hit by a bus.
I don't have any energy left. I don't want to watch tv. I don't want to have a conversation. I don't want to look at anything that requires that I think, process, respond, feel or DO. I just want to read for a minute (that's about how long I have until I pass out) and fall into a sleep coma.
I feel overwhelmed.
I foretold that I'd have two easy conferences, one difficult one and one was a total wild card. I was right - oh, boy, was I right - but the kids didn't correspond to the conference slot in which I'd placed them in my mind.
In other words, Kid A didn't match up with slot 3. More like slot 4.
Let me put this in all caps so no one misses it - IT'S NOT ABOUT THE TEACHERS. I LOVE THE TEACHERS. I THINK THAT THEY ARE DOING EVERYTHING THAT THEY CAN. IT'S ME. ALL ME. I'M CLEARLY FAILING AND I NEED HELP. I'm treading carefully here, as many of the teachers and administrators read here, as well as several parents and I've been burned a time or 12 in the past.
One of my kids is chronically disorganized. This is so not a stunner to me. What was a bit of a wake up was the fact that all of the work was done - yet some of it wasn't turned in. It sat, completely done, in a binder. Why? I have no idea. Kid A has no idea. Tests to be signed were crumpled in a cubby, and zeroes were given for not turning said papers in.
In other words, the work was done, and ready to be turned in - and it just didn't.
I work incredibly hard with this kid. This kid takes the vast majority of my time and energy. I also discovered last night that I can't rely on this kid to check the homework assignment and get it done. This kid requires that I follow, hand hold, remind, check the schedule myself, and teach that homework assigned to be turned in on Wednesday does, most emphatically, NOT mean NEXT Wednesday, but rather, tomorrow.
I get it. It's my job to do this.
As hard as I'm working to get this kid to be organized - it's apparently not enough. And the idea that I need to not only work harder, but in essence need to work SMARTER, because what I've tried thus far clearly isn't working - is overwhelming.
Kid A is also, as a side note, experiencing bullying. It's so not fun around here most days.
Kid B is a self motivated, self starter with probably one of the smartest brains out there. The conference for Kid B was projected to go something like this: No problems with Kid B. Everything is awesome, grades are super, no trouble whatsoever. Pretty much the same conference talk since forever.
As an aside, have you seen the movie "Life As We Know It"? The social worker comes over and is upset that she has work to do, saying that this case was supposed to be her easy case, she got a cup of coffee on the way, anticipated no trouble and the main characters blew her theory out of the water by becoming difficult?
Yes. That was my feeling yesterday.
Kid B isn't studying. Kid B is blowing off tests, not utilizing the open book aspect of the open book quizzes at all - seriously, this part slays me - if you have the PERMISSION to use the book, wouldn't you, I dunno - DO SO?
Kid B claims to be bored. Kid B sees no value in studying, because Kid B has never had to do so in past years, and so Kid B just.doesn't.care. Kid B has the capacity, capability and brains to make straight A's with exceedingly little effort. Kid B? Just doesn't care.
If you plan to tell me - just let them fail and see what happens - I'm not open for that. I'm not the type of mother to toss them out there and let them sink or swim by themselves. I've tried that before and I'm not a fan of it. It didn't work for this family, because letting a kid make their own choices and decisions about their grades - well, it didn't pan out. If it works for you - stellar. You are a much better parent than I will ever dream of being.
I have a different set of, not difficulties, but challenges, to overcome. I'm not a military wife whose spouse is away on deployment - but I am the only parent here for the vast majority of the time. I'm the only one doing dinner/bath/homework/study/chores/pack lunches. I'm it. It's me. I'm the disciplinarian, the meal provider, the quizzer, homework checker, chore reminder, bather and cuddler. That needs to be understood, and I say that not for pity, but as a statement. I'm it. If you have a spouse at home at night, no matter how unhelpful you think that person is - it's another adult.
I feel, many days, as if I'm a drill sargeant at night. Sit. Eat. Study. Bathe. Study. Medicine. Sign papers. Check homework. Check Again. Practice your instrument. Pack your lunch. Don't forget your snack.Study. Bring me your signed papers. Let me see your planner. Check your homework online. Check it again. I run and run from one thing to another. The thought of doing any working out, writing, reading, answering emails, phone calls, anything other than kid stuff - is laughable.
I feel as if I run from one fire to another, squirting flames with an almost dead fire hose and I turn around - to see another fire beginning.
I've been letting kids be responsible for their own efforts and work and it's not working. We already do no tv at night, and the new rule is for the youngest 4 - no gaming systems, iTouches, what have you - after 8.
So I need to ramp it up a bit in the evenings. And the thought of that, frankly, scares me.
How do people with 7,8,10 kids do it? I mean, do it without going insane or losing someone in the process?
I'm totally overwhelmed at night. And feeling like I'm drowning.