Sunday, March 14, 2010
Spring Break & a Confession
I. am. a. complete. mess.
See, I always begin the school year with an organized house & home office... but as the school year drags on, balancing work with household & family stuff beings to wear on me. And our house. To be honest, by this point in the school year, my house and I are both in a sorry state.
The organizational systems I started this year with are disorganized. The house is cluttered with the boys' school papers and stray materials from my job. Post-it Notes are stuck everywhere. Clothes and mending are piled high in the master bedroom. All those happy projects I started in late summer (e.g. Riley's quilt) have been relegated to a corner in the basement. My craft table is covered in perilously teetering piles of craft materials, school papers, glue sticks and other odds & ends.
I feel like the house is beginning to get to me. But upon further reflection, I realized that I am beginning to get to the house. I think the chaos around me is just a symptom of the chaos I feel inside me. I know that every mom has challenges. SAHM's with littles have to balance all of their domestic duties with wiping noses, changing diapers, potty training, and sometimes being supermom with a little or two clinging to you like a baby monkey. Moms who homeschool have to balance the roles of wife, mother, teacher, counselor, principal, and sometimes, SRO (School Resource Officer).
But right now this is my pity party, so I'm focused on the challenges of being a WOHM (Work Outside the Home Mom). In some ways, I love having a job. I really get to flex my creative muscles. I get to make a real difference in the lives of kids with special needs. I get to have conversations with grownups on a daily basis. I learn new stuff on a daily basis, and it's so awesome to be a part of so many great kids' lives. The breakthroughs my students have, and the smiles on their parents' faces are so wonderful to see when we meet. Music therapy is a really important part of most of my students' education; without it many of them would struggle to learn even the most simple skills. That is why I do my job.
But I really must admit that I liked my job a lot more before I had children of my own.
Sometimes (usually on Mondays) I have to fight back tears when that huge yellow bus gobbles up my seven year old son. I find myself wondering often during my day at work what my children are doing and learning and thinking and feeling, and oh-my-goodness-what-am-I-missing-out-on while I"m at work? I do find myself watching the clock, praying for the seconds to tick by just a little quicker, for 3:30 to come just a little faster, so that I can see my boys.
And in the evenings, I find myself watching the clock, praying that the seconds will tick by a little slower, and that their bedtimes will come a little later. I pick up Riley at 3:50; Tyson gets off the bus at 4:00. Their bedtimes are 7:00 & 7:30, respectively. That gives me 3 hours a day with my boys. That's not much time. We tried pushing their bedtimes back, but these are my kids, and like their momma, they need their sleep.
Another drawback of working outside the home is that I still have all the same responsibilities of the moms I know who stay home. I still have to fit in time to plan menus, do the shopping, cook meals, pack lunches, do the laundry, help with homework, read books, sing songs, be sure the clutter & slidge of life don't get too out of hand, counsel, teach, discipline and deal with a public school that doesn't really understand Tyson's sensory needs (and so wrongly chocks a lot up to stubbornness). Since we both work, my husband does help out when he can... but he works longer hours than I do. And I still have to coordinate all the help I get from him (& Tyson). My husband doesn't always know what needs to be done when, so it still falls to me to solicit his help & give instructions when needed.
As the school year wears on, all this starts to wear me out.
So, Spring Break is a perfect opportunity to get my house (and myself) back in order for the big push to summer vacation. All that stuff that has been piling up can be dealt with. All those projects can be finished. Organization and order can be restored.
And a little fun and quality time can be spent with the kids.
If you're even remotely interested in what may end up being a truly boring week of posts (featuring some before/after photos, personal reflections, soul searching revelations, small triumphs and fun with kids) check back here often! I'm planning to blog daily (which is something else I can hardly find time for during the school year!).