It has been 11 days since I last posted here.
Maybe you hadn’t noticed. It has been a crazy week for so many.
It felt like forever for me.
It’s not that I wasn’t writing. I write constantly.
My job requires well crafted emails, letters, posts, tweets, reports and occasionally the nicely drafted handwritten card.
Add to all of this, school work.
That is right, ladies and gentlemen. I have just completed my first week of college after a nine-year break.
Have you met my nine-year old son, Isaiah?
I am taking a creative writing course. I foresee that school commitments will affect my family, derby career and my social life. Those decisions are already starting to chafe.
This is precisely why I get so irritated when I see advertisements or articles offering women a strategy to having it all.
Here is a strategy you can count on.
If you want it all, you must want very little.
If you are willing to make sacrifices, you can commit your life to deep loves but not much else.
Take it from me. I am a expert on the topic. :)
I am already a bit tired and hyper vigilant when it comes to my calendar. Thanks to a coworker, I have my profesh and personal calendars all synced. I have never been a calendar girl. No pun intended.
I now live and breathe by Google reminders.
What about my boys?
They start Karate next week. Two times a week they will learn their hi-yas and ker-chops. They are both in school and need help with homework. I have a nightly study partner in Isaiah, who needs as much practice spelling as I do in mathematics. We are riding the routine struggle bus as we adjust to stupid early mornings and regular friggin’ bedtimes.
I am still waiting for the world to recognize the value of a slow start of 11am.
Vito is confidently sauntering into daycare waving to the drooling toddlers and teachers alike. He has no fear. I am not completely comfortable with him having such an independent life. He is the first of my children to attend daycare. It is only part-time. Why do I feel like a part-time parent?
My husband is getting emails from me regarding where he can pick up the photo I had printed for Isaiah’s class. I invited him to view my calendar so that we can also sync. We are thinking about having a weekly morning coffee date to discuss…whatever the hell we want to when we are not running around like a team of two people out numbered by three children.
Paul has even changed his schedule so that he can be there to pick up our boys at school and help out on days when I work from home.
This week has left my family a cranky, whiny, exhausted mess.
Why, in the name of all things educated, did I need to make things so complicated with my career, my continued education, my roller derby and my friends.
There it is. There is the millstone around my neck.
The internal belief that I, as the best mother in the world, am responsible for fixing, making right, soothing and coaxing the Pleasantville life I used to see on T.V. for my family. If my children throw temper tantrums, it must be as a result of my lack of parental focus. If my husband, can’t find the ketchup, well darn it if I forgot to organize the pantry. If my mother-in-law shops for our school supplies, it is because I am too busy after partying with the Vixens.
Well that part might be true. :)
Do you know what I remember about the time my mother put herself through college and graduated with a degree after my father died? I don’t recall substandard meals, missed appointments or her general disorganization. I can’t remember one spinning plate crashing to the ground even though, I am sure it must have happened.
I boast about the kind of woman who raised me while pursuing that degree. I am proud.
I have a feeling that in the next 16 weeks and perhaps for the several semesters that follow, I will need to remind myself that I do not have to manage it all to be successful. I need to remember that my children benefit from my role modeling and the lifestyle I provide for them. I need to be reminded that their behavior is the result of years of loving discipline and not a few hours I spend away after bedtime. I may need to be reminded that my children volunteer, do yoga, attend bouts, ride motorcycles and know many trusted and loving adults that are the village I have chosen.
Most importantly, I need to push my monster mommy ego out of my own way. My family’s life does not need to revolve around me. I am not at the center of the universe nor am I controlling its balance. We are a family. Just like I sacrifice so that I can afford Karate classes my children will more than likely quit before the Olympics, they will sacrifice by reading quietly so mommy can study sometimes.
This week has been difficult. Sacrifice is difficult. Seeing those ends you hold together come apart is a humbling experience. Recognizing that your lifestyle of love, peace and grace has made it possible to stretch those ends through loved ones is humbling.
We can all consider this the first lesson of the semester.
I wonder if my children will ever cease being my greatest teachers.
Enjoy your weekend,