Tuesday, March 09, 2010

There Should Be a Law Against Giving Up Sugar in March.

Thanks to a random e-mail from a friend this morning, I just realized THERE IS NO PRESCHOOL ON THURSDAY. Gah! Seriously, I would have driven to preschool on Thursday morning, FOR SURE, had my friend not mentioned it in her e-mail. (It's parent-teacher conferences day.) Forgive me, I'm going to be a bad mother here for a second, but it does not make me happy to hear there is no preschool on Thursday. And yes, I know Spring Break is coming up, when NEITHER of my children has school FOR OVER A WEEK, but that is different. I am mentally prepared for that. We are going to do all sorts of fun exciting things. Some of those things will involve wearing pj's all day and watching cartoons while snacking. I've got a plan. I can handle that.

But this is just one day in the middle of a grim, gray, dirty week, when I lose out on one of my two 90-minute chunks of weekday alone time, in order to spend more time with Miss Crankypants. Yes, I love her. Yes, she's very difficult to hang out with much of the time and generally on Tuesday and Thursday mornings I spend half of my free 90 minutes trying to breathe deeply and not think about how difficult she is. Then I try to get a few things done before I have to go back and pick her up.

But honestly, does it really matter? I'm not getting any writing done on these preschool mornings lately anyway. I have started a second chapter, and YES I WILL complete it before March is over YES I WILL, but right now I can't think of anything to say. Mostly I'm preoccupied with avoiding sugar for Lent and calculating how many more days until I can have a DQ Blizzard. Also how much mileage I've missed out on recently with my running, because of blisters and shoe problems and sudden attacks of laziness, and how out of shape I am consequently becoming. Also how everyone in my house is coughing at night and keeping me awake, and how tired I am because of it. And how much I hate dusting the furniture and cleaning the kitchen. And how those things need doing. Sigh.

I think the hardest part about being an at-home mom is the lack of positive reinforcement. You don't get a paycheck, let alone raises or bonuses, and no one ever sits you down for a performance review and says, "Way to go! You've successfully coped with twelve hundred tantrums in the past year, managed skipped naps and school drop-off freak-outs, and I've been so impressed with the way you've consistently kept the house sparkling clean and turned out homemade meal after homemade meal, on a limited budget and with frequently challenging time constraints! FANTASTIC JOB." There are no public kudos after successfully volunteering at nursery school or planning a multi-kid birthday party. No one puts a glowing memo in your file when you change the thousandth diaper or sleep-train the baby for the third time. If you're lucky, you'll get the kisses and hugs and thank-yous from your kiddos themselves, and those make it worthwhile. But most of the time it's not like that. Toddlers and preschoolers and kindergartners aren't famous for praising your concerted efforts to get them bundled up to play outside in the snow even when the bundling takes more time than the actual playing. Nor do they notice that it takes a lot of motherly patience to cheerfully wipe yet another bum.

And if only there was preschool on Thursday, I could use those 90 minutes to turn all that into a chapter for my book, now couldn't I?


Mnmom said...

So why again are you giving up sugar? Seems kind of counter-productive. Give it up in June fer cryin out loud!!!

Motherhood is the ultimate thankless job. I went through all of that with 3 little Miss Crankpants girls. Now I get to hear what a horrible mother I am, how much I embarass them, everything I don't understand, and my every single failure is lamented loudly each and every day.

Today the youngest is having sinus pain and we made her go to school. She said "but Mom, you just don't understand what it's like to have a bad headache AND have to work all day". Oh really sweetheart? I could tell you stories that would make your toes curl.

You have all my sympathy. Well not all because I still need some for myself, because no one has any thanks or sympathy for a Mom of older kids.

Mom said...

Some of those rewards will come a number of years down the road when one of the girls says, "Remember when...we used to have Pajama Days?Remember when Mom helped us make those great Valentine cupcakes? Remember when we went on a nature walk and came home and made collages out of all the sticks and pebbles we picked up along the way?" I am still uplifted when one of you girls -- or one of my many daycare babes -- mentions one of those "remembers".

Rita Ortloff said...

Oh I am so sorry to hear you were having a sad mommy day. If it helps at all, your writing about your sad day has made mine a bit brighter.

Hang in there.