Saturday, January 21, 2012

On and On

For so many reasons this has been a difficult week. I was talking with a co worker this week about working mothers. She was able to stay home when her children were younger and was expressing awe at how her grown daughter and I manage as working mothers. She said it seems like such a juggling act and just one little things throw off the whole balance. Oh if only she knew. No matter how hard I try, I feel more and more like an excellent manager and a not so excellent mother. I don't want to be a "dying swan," so I rarely tell people just how hard it is some days. I alternate between congratulating myself along the lines of "I am woman hear me roar!" and collapsing into bed at night wondering if I even stopped through the rush of the day to kiss my children.

This week: I worked, visited a friend that I hadn't seen in awhile, held parent conferences, planned and taught part of a literacy workshop for ESOL parents, chaperoned for Lily's field trip, took Caroline to drum lessons, made many meals and lunches, washed laundry, planned for next weeks lessons, graded some papers, baked and iced 48 pink cupcakes, hosted a teen scout jewelry making party, consoled my teenager about various teen type worries, bathed my youngest child three times, brushed the dog, fed the dog daily, fed the turtles daily, took Lily to dance class, and hosted Lily's seventh birthday party. All that and I am sitting here feeling bad because my grading isn't finished and I forgot to light the candle on Lily's cupcake and sing happy birthday. Oh yeah and add to that: I don't think that I ever stopped to enjoy the moments or have fun.

My friend posted an awesome article on Facebook this week that addresses this feeling. We don't really enjoy parenting until after the fact. Next year, maybe as soon as next month, I'll look back on this week and congratulate myself on having parented well. I'll even remember much of it as fun. It's just hard to appreciate it when you are in the throes of it all and that's okay. I am not less of a parent for hissing at my my child during her party "You will never have another birthday again if you don't stop this right now!" It was perfectly okay to think to myself "Why the hell am I doing this?" as I was dashing around drenched in sweat. It was also okay to be very pleased that I got so many compliments on my awesome party hosting skills. It was fine to think "Damn straight!" when other mom's wondered how I was able to do this while working.

PS Here's a link to the article:

Monday, January 9, 2012

Watching, Waiting

I think the thing that makes me feel the oldest is the fact that I am the mother of a teenager. I picked Caroline up from Skate Night an Friday and was surrounded by the sort of jackassery that only the combination raging hormones and tired parents in SUVs can create. As I stood in the freezing cold and looked for my sensible daughter I tried not to laugh at the teens around me. They were trying so hard to be cool and look like they didn't care whether or not they were cool. God, how exhausting that must be. Caroline finally came over and I quip "Let's go. I don't mind hanging out with my teenage smart ass, but I don't have to put up with other people's." Of course at that moment her boyfriend and friends come up to say hi. That's right, Melissa, keep it classy, be a role model.

Honestly, we have managed to get into a grove with the whole raising a teenager thing. She is a really good kid. She works her butt off in school and has the grades to show for it. She is involved in lots of activities and has really good friends (some of them I find wildly amusing). She has a razor sharp wit and the potty mouth to go with it (I'm working on that, but the pot really shouldn't be calling the kettle black, now should she?).

We joke that we need to get her a shirt that says Nerd Goddess. Seriously, this girl is every nerdy/geeky guy's dream. She is gorgeous. I'm not saying that just because she's mine. The thing is she is totally unaware of how pretty she is. She is very comfortable in her skin. Caroline loves music and books. She devours books like oxygen. Her room is filled with super hero posters. She is anxiously awaiting the films The Avengers and The Hunger Games. She can talk rock music, comic books, football, basketball, wrestling, and action films. What boy wouldn't want to hang out with her? I'm watching her turn into her own person. She isn't exactly who I thought she'd be. She's probably better; she's defiantly more well rounded. Now the next step is to watch and see how Lily turns out.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Next Stage

Very shortly I will be turning 41. It is hard to believe because some days I still fell like such a kid. When I went in for a check up before my surgery the nurse asked the doctor if I needed an EKG because of my heart murmur. He looked quickly at my chart and replied "She's over 40; she'll need one no matter what." When did I enter that zone? What a surreal feeling. It reminded me of the first time someone called me Mrs. Simpson. I just giggled inside. "Who me? I'm too young to be married." I thought. This time I didn't giggle. I still feel too young,though. I still listen to college radio; I watch independent films. However, my joints also crackle like Rice Crispies when I get out of bed every morning. I guess the gig is up.

Getting old has creeped up on me. I know that I've written about my body looking like "a can of biscuit dough that has a broken seal." Yet, it still surprises me when I am getting ready in the morning and catch a glimpse of my body in the mirror. Let's just say nothing seems to be where it is supposed to be. Gravity stinks! Rob and I have been talking about putting money aside in a "cafeteria plan" in order to pay for the kids expenses (braces, inhalers etc). This morning it occurred to us that we really needed it for us. Every time we turn around we are being sent for one test or another.

I don't mind getting older, I have written time and time again about enjoying the freedom of this age. I know myself and feel comfortable with who I am. Every once in awhile it does smack me in the face a bit.