Friday, March 11, 2011
I wish I were an octopus.
Or better yet, cloned!
I'm feeling stressed and sorry for myself today.
Yesterday I was a little early dropping Gus off at Preschool. I sat down on a bench while Gus played on the little playground, waiting til he could go inside.
Gus's teacher came out and sat down next to me. We exchanged a little small-talk, then she got to the point. "So, how is Gus doing with practicing his letters & reading books at home?" I pause, thinking of how very little of that I've done with him. And she says, very nicely, very gently, "Is he kind of falling through the cracks a little bit? I know you're really busy...." Guilt. Shame. The sting of impending tears in the back of my eyes. "He's just really behind in his letter sounds."
Now, I know it's just preschool, but this is the ivy-league preschool we're talking about. I really think they're expecting them to be reading Harry Potter by the end of the year. But still!
I'm stretched too thin and I don't like it. But I don't know what I can cut out and keep my sanity.
I see it like this:
You have the Good Young-Child Moms and the Good Teenager Moms.
The Good Young-Child Moms will actually sit down at home with their child and practice letter sounds, they do play-dates at the park, take their kids to the zoo on a random Tuesday, play Candyland & Chutes and Ladders (instead of paying an older sibling to do it), volunteer for every Kindergarten fieldtrip, make home-made playdough, sign up for Mom & Me swim classes, spend hours making a Star Student poster, and maybe even coordinate matching Easter Sunday outfits.
I don't do any of these things. I used to. But not any more. Because I'm either over it, like Tee-ball, or I just don't have the time anymore. Because I'm busy trying to be a Good Teenager Mom too.
I'm trying to play in both courts at the same time & feel like I'm losing bad! Fifty percent at both ends.
So then you have to sit by the Good Teenager Moms at your junior highschooler's basketball games.
Good Teenager Moms don't have any little ones at home any more, so they can devote all their time & energy to their teens. They do things like make it to every game/recital/tournament/concert their child is in. They'll even have their hair & makeup done and be there on time.
Good Teenager Moms will do things like bring their Jr. High student lunch from Sonic so they don't have to eat the cafeteria food, and take their 14-year old & a car-load of their friends to a movie on a Friday night. They stay up late to chat with their teenagers who are most talkative late at night. They're always available to take them to the mall, and know all the ins & outs of the high school graduation requirements. They're on top of the whole Scouting thing, put team parties & banquets together, and always have their cell phones on them so they can text their teens back & forth.
I'm not doing well in this category either.
I'm trying to keep in mind one of my favorite quotes:
"You don't have to do everything there is to do,
in order to become who you are meant to become."
Comforting........except when you have a child "falling through the cracks".
So maybe I'm being a little dramatic, a little hard on myself. But this mothering of a wide agespan is harder than I thought it would be. There are so many positives, but so hard to do it well.
I'm feeling much better now.
I think I'll pull out the Candyland.