Working Mama Drama

Yes, summer vacation is officially over, and it has been a R-O-U-G-H week!

The kids are handling it great. They love Gram and she is apparently quite a break from two whole months of 24-7 Mommy.

In just one week (actually in under 48 hours), Chi has learned to tie her own shoes. I came to pick the kids up on Wednesday and watched the Gram/Chi duo recite the steps to strangle bunnies (or something like that) while each was tying their bows on shoes sitting on the coffee table. Wow. She says she can only do it when I’m not watching (or around), but she can do it all by herself. Isn’t that a great thing to be able to do when you’re an official second grader next week?

I could pretend that I’m not a little jealous in Chi’s willingness to let anyone but Mommy teach her how to do the important things in life (tie a shoe, ride a bike, roller skate, read). How can I hide the pangs of hurt when she tells me with certainty that I’m not cut out for those things, I am overly critical, I yell or snap too much in frustration.

And Ya? He’s loving exploring the new surroundings, walking without holding anything (when he thinks no one is watching), and asserting his independence. You’d never even know he was a five times a day nurser just last week, as he is now content with the solids during the day and needs Mama just out of “habit” and as a good night send off. I’m certain that by the end of next week he wont even eagerly rush toward me when I arrive to pick him up. How quickly Mommy can be replaced.

So how is Mommy doing? I have beaten my alarm every day, fingers hovering over the silencer so as not to wake my kids when it finally sounded. I have procrastinated in front of the computer instead of getting “it” together efficiently. I have discovered just how much more work it is to get three people presentable and ready for the world outside the house. And I have felt totally exhausted as one-year-old Ya changes his sleep patterns every night and sporadically wakes up throughout.

Work is… work. The same things happen every year in my classroom, though some years the class dynamic is less than ideal and sometimes the students carry more burdens than I have ever experienced. I’ve not met the majority, though a few familiar faces are on the rosters. I wonder what those who’ve moved on have told them about me…

Sometimes I wonder if I’m missing too much of my own kids’ lives while at work. By next week I’ll be swamped with writing assignments I have to grade and will be juggling lesson plan adjustments with SLC, PLC, PAC, SOL and other various alphabet soup coded group meetings. I’ll be made to feel (once again) less committed because I want to go home and be with my kids instead of working late into the evening on committees, giving tutorials, or attending extracurricular events.

I find myself walking a tight rope with one of those bendy balance poles. Sometimes the side of the pole where my kids sit gets outweighed by the side where my job’s responsibilities sit. And as I carefully place one foot in front of the other and try to stay moving , it is really hard to get the balance I need to effectively maintain forward momentum.

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