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: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/glennon-melton/dont-carpe-diem_b_1206346.html