...because we all have our motley moments!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Mixed Metaphors of Motherhood

Lately, situations around our house have left me thinking, "This is the stuff only cockroaches survive." My THIS is motherhood - everyday life - or more specifically our lives. Jon and Kate had one thing right, "It may be a crazy life, but it's our life." We have spent the better part of the last two weeks in meetings at school and at specialists to come up with some plans to help Alex be his best. It is a constant balancing act between picking your battles instead of fighting over every issue, and being tactful and assertive instead of being offensive and demeaning.

Picture me as a street performer at Mallory Square in Key West. Who knows why, but I have decided to spin plates. Oh, how I would love to be in Mallory Square right now!

Plate one - advocating for my child's education. It's a swirly plate representing lunch recess, speech therapy and school lunch. I want Alex to be happy and enjoy life. I truly do not care about how smart he is, but I do expect the school to do what they can to help him do his best. They think I am an overachiever who can't handle the fact that my son might be average. BTW - the THEY is his teachers at our public school.

So add in another plate. I see the shortcomings of his current education yet my husband teaches for the same school district. As my son fake farts in my face, which he learned at school, I can't help but complain all the while I am using their pay to provide a roof over our head!

Plate three - my husband coaches varsity basketball. It is a little known fact, but everyone in the world knows more about basketball than the coach, and they are quite happy to say so. Last Thursday, I was sandwiched between my husband's team (we sit right behind the bench) and some loud angry fans from the other team. Alex was clinging to my lap usually crying because his dad was yelling at the guys, or he was hungry or he wanted to go on a walk. My hands were pressed firmly over hears the WHOLE time. The fans behind us spent most of their time criticizing my husband to the point where I was going to have to confront them. I said a silent prayer asking God to help them be quiet or to give me the courage I needed. Fortunately, I didn't have to say anything, but I am not going to let some stranger put down my son's father in front of him. Ironically, we sit behind the bench because it is the best place to avoid most of the criticism.

Plate four - dishes, cooking, cleaning, paying bills all to be done in the four free hours I have while my son is at school.

Plate five - stress eating. I could really use some comfort food to help me balance all of these other plates, but if I eat enough chocolate to make all of this other stuff right, I will not have any clothes to wear!

Plate six - exercise would really help me deal with some of this stress, but plate four is really tricky and takes a lot of time to balance.

Plate seven - I really just want to have fun with my child. I want to bake cookies and play with toys. I want to teach him to read and blow bubbles in the house. Yet, everyday life creeps in. We get up late and are rushing for school. Before 8:30 on most days I am apologizing to him or he is apologizing to me. He will only be five once, and he now has to ability to remember things! I only get one shot to make this a fun time in his life. Yet, I can't bake cookies everyday. See plate five!

Plate eight - my taxes have not started figuring themselves, so I guess I need to work on that too!

Plate nine - money. I am so lucky to stay at home, but that means money is really tight right now. A quick fix to a lot of our problems would be a little more cash. I could buy more clothes if I ate too much chocolate. I could hire my own speech therapist. I could pay for a personal trainer to help me work off the chocolate, and so on and so on.

Plate ten - my Norton antivirus software has expired and is holding all of my online passwords hostage! I need to pay my bills online but can't remember my log in ID or password. I can buy the new version of Norton, but I am waiting until it goes on sale, see plate nine. Must call bank soon!

I can share this with you because I know all of you are also keeping a handful of plates spinning above your heads too. Some of our plates are different, some are the same. Some of us have very large heavy plates that threaten to crush our families. For you, I am saying extra big prayers that you can keep those plates spinning for as long as it takes. I am thankful that my plates are small and manageable, but I am still tired. I am like a salmon constantly swimming upstream, and I just want to stop and enjoy the swim for a while.

Now, I am trying to learn how to drop some of these plates. On Saturday, I went out for a day alone just to be by myself. I went shopping in Iowa and had to cross a very scary bridge to get there. I had a great day, and it was great to forget about the plates for just a short time.


Donna said...

It's quite a balancing act, Pam, for sure. That famous sense of humor of yours is such a gift from God. Sometimes, you just have to let a plate drop and laugh away the mess.
I'm beginning to figure out which plates I really HAVE to keep spinning and which ones are doomed to drop. My clean floors plate is doomed. My volunteer for everything plate dropped a few months ago and I don't miss it at all. My grocery bill plate was getting really heavy, but I think I'm getting a handle on it. It's getting lighter, thanks to the S.H.A.R.E. program at the care center.

Good luck figuring out which plates will make it to your family table!

Pam said...

Thanks Donna - people should really watch out though because I may just start throwing a few :)

Liz said...

Hmmm...throwing plates...what a grand idea! Great post, Pam, one I think we can all relate to. :)

fawnda said...

Great post Pam... we do all have plates to balance... good thing we have good friends and a God who loves us to help out too! : )

But I would like to throw a plate or two every now and then! : )

Lindsay said...

I am so in if we all start throwing plates!

Great post today Pam. One that every single one of us can relate too as a mom.

Pam said...

LOL @ Lindsay! Thanks everyone! Fawnda, you are right, we need God and good friends to help us keep balanced.

Just think, if we all started throwing plates, we would spend way less time washing the dirty ones :)

Karly said...

Like the other ladies, I can totally relate! I especially relate to number seven. I really want to have fun and enjoy my kids every day, but really life gets in the way. It is so hard to figure out the balance. It is tough for me to chose the laundry over Candyland or the play park. But we all need clean underwear and they ain't gonna wash themselves.

And neither are the dishes, so this plate throwing thing sounds pretty good to me!

Bryssy said...

I can relate as a mom, Pam. We all balance so many plates! Mine tend to fall frequently - I've switched to plastic!

I hate to hear that you are having a hard time with Alex's school. But, remember, teachers have way more than 1 student - all with their own issues. It's hard for me to hear teachers blamed for everything a kid learns at school - especially from peers. The teacher is only one person and can't be everywhere at once. I work everyday to make sure my students are learning and interacting, but with 37+ in some of my classes (about 200 students a day), it's impossible for me to know everything that goes on. Blaming teachers for all the problems that kid encounter isn't the solution, either.

Sorry, for digressing, but it's hard to be a teacher and constantly see teachers blamed for all the problems in education (and society in general).

Pam said...

Hi Bryssy,

I don't blame the teacher for all of the bad words he is learning, but I do blame her for not believing his medical diagnoses. Thirty-seven is a lot of students! Holy cow! Alex is lucky that his class is small and only has 9 students with one teacher and one aide.

As a teacher myself, my opinion about teachers was always like yours until this year. Maybe next year will be better.