Let me preface this with a warning... I am about to dribble on and on about feeling like I can't keep up and that I am feeling like a crappy Mom because of it. I don't need consoling. I just need to rant and get the feelings out. Feel free to rant too in the comments. I think it'll be a good release.
I feel like I am a fairly decent juggler. Not literally, cause I can't juggle for real, but definitely figuratively. I have a lot to balance and keep in motion. I am a Mom of Three, a Wife, Housekeeper of a 5bedroom 2bath home, and I am an Artist. Looking at those four little titles would have you thinking "that ain't so bad", but there are so many layers to each of them.
Mom of Three is complicated by having one child in his first year of middle school, one child is struggling with bi-polar, and the last one just started kindergarten. I don't think I need to explain the layers to being a wife, lol. I think anyone in a relationship knows how much work they are. If you have read my blog through the summer, you know a lot of about what I have juggled with our new home. On the surface, "5bedroom 2bath home" sounds fabulous... but it was built in the 1940s and I am putting my heart into fixing this place up into a place we can be proud of.
As for the Artist, I am feeling like it isn't as glamorous as it sounds. I think it is every high school doodlers secret dream to be able to say they are a successful working artist. I mean, seriously, it is an awesome thing to be able to say, isn't it? I am a successful working artist. But the art balls that I juggle aren't all glass rods and roses. There is the business half of it too that if not delicately handled will suck the creative life right of me. Who wants to write expense spread sheets, and learn html, and book shows, and mail packages, and organize sales summaries?
So here I am, day to day, trying to keep all the family-home-life-art balls up in the air like they should be. And I am thinking "WOW, look how well it is all going... I am doing this... I am making it work..."
And then I go to curriculum night at Jacob's school...
Let me tell you about my Jacob. First of all, he is wicked smart. The boy has been reading since he was four years old. In kindergarten, they sent him to a multi-age 1st grade classroom so he would be challenged. He was in enrichment programs in 2,3,and 4th grades. In 3rd grade, he was reading at the 9th grade level. Now add to those brains the skills of an athlete. He loves sports. He excels at every sport he tries. He learned to ride a two wheeler when he was 3. He gets grand slams in baseball, scores goals in soccer, and is a defensive force to be reckoned with in football. If brains and brawn aren't enough... add to that a huge, kind heart and a great sense of humor. The kind of heart that will have a tea party with his 5 yr old sister and the sense of humor that has parents coming to me saying how funny their son thinks my son is. He is just a great kid.
SO WHY IS IT THAT HE IS BEHIND IN EVERY SINGLE SUBJECT IN SCHOOL?!?!
Last night was a shocker for me. Unfortunately, I think it is my own fault. I feel that the way I parent really depends on the kid at the time. I give them what they need as they need it. Andrew struggles in school, so I sit with him every night and do each bit of homework with him step by step. Lauren doesn't have homework but is becoming more social, so I sit with her and listen to all the stories she has to tell me about her day. Jacob has had my trust. I ask him "dude, you got any homework?" And when he says "nah, I did it in study hall" or "Zac lent me a pencil and I finished it on the bus"... I trusted him. But now I have learned that he isn't doing his homework. What he is doing isn't being handed in on time. And now he owes almost every teacher 2-3 assignments!
I know this move has been a big adjustment for him. He has been thrown into this new environment with all these new people and I have expected him to become a juggler himself. Can't you juggle school, new friends, sports, and your family wonder kid? That sentence right there is why I feel like a crappy Mom today.
At the same time, I do what I know. My Mom was never all up in my business picking every single homework assignment outta my nose for me. I either did my work, or suffered the consequences in school. Sink or swim kid, you have to learn. Why isn't that in him? He is like me in so many ways... why isn't that in there too?
But then I waffle, and the guilt comes rolling back. I don't do enough for him... but I don't feel like I could handle more... I could be doing more, if I let this or that go... if I balance this or that better... maybe if I wasn't "working" so much... ugh! It is such a sick cycle.
Deep down I know that I will find a new way to juggle. It has already started. I will become the parent he needs right now. I will make him show me I can trust him and that he is as capable as I know he is. He'll do he assignments and show me they are done. I'll guide him through time management. I'll make him miss football to show him what is most important. But I am worried that something else will suffer. And from that worry will come the compensation in my actions to balance everything else in a new way too.
That... and I think some chocolate cake will help.