My big challenge lately, has been to try and control my self-flagellation and tendency to cast myself into a mud puddle where I sit and gripe that I'm sitting in the mud.
Wednesday the 20th of January I was standing outside my car, next to the driver's seat, while the door was open. I leaned down to pick up the trash I'd piled on the seat and had a back spasm. I took some ibuprofen and rested. I was supposed to work the next day. There was no way I was going to be able to walk babies with my back in this state. I notified the service I work for that I wouldn't be able to make it and went to bed.
The next morning I told Scott I wasn't doing well. I was going to go back to bed after he took Will to preschool. Then I started to cry, telling my husband that I'd hurt my back, I was exhausted and therefore, was going to get some sleep. I was startled at how horrible I felt about having to stop everything I was doing.
I managed to get through Brownies that day. Walking around felt better than sitting, so I walked around quite a lot that day. Friday I was better and Saturday was very close to being back to normal.
On Saturday, Scott and Zoe got started on her science project. This has nothing to do with me. I've never done a science project, I wouldn't know where to start. Zoe wanted to figure out the differences in weight or mass. She and her dad settled on doing an experiment with water displacement to determine weight. We went to Toy Joy to pick out some items to use. As we were wandering around finding glass ice cubes that are heavy for their size, rubber dice that are light for their size and marbles I noticed that two of the young women working there were hard core retro/rockabilly. Catty eyeglasses, authentic vintage dresses and shoes. Teeny little waists and nice full skirts.
I immediately started in on myself about how fat and pathetic I was. I struggled to stop and get the gremlin to shut up. I reminded myself that I was not in my early twenties with no children. I didn't have the budget for true vintage stuff. So one of them had purple dreds, so what? How did that change me?
I did okay, but not great. My response to my little pep talk to myself was "Yah, well....."
That night I got back to thinking about crazy Facebook woman. It took a great deal of strength to get my brain back into a positive place.
Monday came with a whole new set of stress. Every time he went out, Gibson the dog barked at birds. I'm really worried that he's going to disturb the neighbors so I'm constantly running outside to tell the dog to hush. Then I bring him inside for a while. Then he goes back out and barks at birds some more. I go back outside, and the world goes round and round.
Will was being a good kid. He likes to talk to me which is fine.
that wears my nerves.
That afternoon, Zoe did nothing but homework. Her science project report needed to be done along with her regular homework assignments, drills on spelling words and moving on to the threes in the multiplication table. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday are the days we have to do homework. Brownies is on Thursdays. Trying to get homework done that night is close to impossible. Zoe is required to write a 21 line composition every week. This is the hard part of her homework.
I do what I can, splitting the page up into equal parts so she does seven lines every evening. She writes three lines, take a three minute break, writes two lines, takes a break, writes two more and is done for that night. But even that can be like pulling teeth and this Monday was a dental kind of day.
I tried to help her with the report part of her science project, but the instructions were Greek to me. I can understand the concepts behind her experiments, but I don't know how to communicate that based on the outline we received from the school. I hadn't done any of the experiments or research with her. I didn't know where to start.
I was frustrated and felt stupid that I couldn't help her. The project was due on Wednesday morning. She needed to get this report written and set up her tri-fold presentation in only two nights. And I wasn't able to assist her. I had no idea how this was going to get done in two nights.
I got online to chat with Scott who said he'd help her when he got home and to have her work on her picture of Archimedes putting the crown into a vessel of water. She drew a crappy stick figure in pencil and said she didn't want to do anymore.
And I beat myself up for being stupid and a mother who doesn't discipline her children. I let her chill out a while then got her started on her composition. In an hour and a half, she managed to write three lines. She did one more after dinner. Now she'd have to do lines on Thursday night. I had a long week of a lot of homework for my daughter with ADHD. It was going to be a frustrating week for me. I was going to have to try very, very hard to control my impatience.
While I was trying to get Zoe to do homework and discovering that I had no idea how to help with her project Will was next door playing with his friends. About every ten minutes he would come to the gate between the yards to yell "Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom!" until I went out to see what he needed. Usually to ask for a drink of water or to say he wanted to come home. He'd come home for a few minutes and then head back over to our neighbor's yard.
And every time I opened the door Gibson would come out to bark at the birds. I'd let him for a couple minutes, hoping he'd stop, then he wouldn't and I'd herd him back into the house.
Suffice it to say that my job was hard that day. And I too it out on myself. I wasn't a good mom, housewife, wife, person, dog owner, etc. I was going to feed my children pancakes for dinner because I was too lazy to make a homecooked meal. My dog barked because he wasn't trained properly. My daughter couldn't do her homework because I hadn't done the right things when she was younger.
At the end of that long, long day I tried to find the sunny spots. Where were the flickers of pleasantries? Will and I blew bubbles on the back patio and watched Gibson chase them. Will gave me a hug and said "I love you mama". Will and I drove a senior couple to the gym who smelled delicious, like curry and mint. The woman gave me a hug when I dropped them off. The pink fabric printed with Brownie Try-It badges had arrived in the mail. I'd gotten in a nap. Laundry was getting done. I'd successfully done the dishes. I'd taken some nice photos of the sunsets we'd had in the last few days.
I felt okay. Not great. But okay. It felt all wrong, but I had managed to make myself feel better. The next day would have to take care of itself.
Here's to hoping.....