Sunday, September 4, 2011
September 4, 2011 ~ Day 269
A Fresh Start
I'll be kissing goodbye a long, somewhat fun but mostly grueling summer at home with the three small people I love most.
Am I ready?
It's time to embrace a different lifestyle. Two kids in two schools in two very different parts of the city.
There will be more driving, but a lot less of the roles I hate the most in my work as a mommy: police officer, diplomatic mediator and bodyguard.
Have I mentioned how tired I am? How worn down I have become after three months of their incessant fights and the need to constantly improvise new strategies for discipline?
My parenting fatigue shows, too. In the last two weeks I've managed to get into a stupid car accident with my own other vehicle while trying to break up a child argument and my two year old daughter overdosed on 85 vitamin B12 pills with me standing just feet away. Awful.
It's clear that I'm not at the top of my game.
I need to go meditate on hill, or sleep for a week.
* * * * * * *
In all honesty, there is another reason I am so glad that school is starting.
I'm secretly so grateful that I am going to have two more strong, capable women joining my parenting team.
On Tuesday my sons will gain two fantastic teachers - women who are experienced, great with kids, wise. They've each been teaching for upward of 25 years and I am just amazed by both of them so far. I need their help. I'm so excited, so grateful for their time.
Hillary Clinton wrote that it takes a village to raise a child. My little village needs to expand so that there are other reliable members helping to care for my children during the day... helping me share the instruction of important lessons about community, kindness, sharing, compassion and the Golden Rule.
Mothering is such an important job. I really can't do it alone.
Wouldn't it be wonderful if each child had at least two mothers? I'm thinking my three kids could each use at least nine mothers:
A mother for love, cuddling and nurturing.
A mother for nutrition and health.
A mother devoted to their learning, school and studying at home.
A mother for transportation.
A mother working to provide additional income for the family.
A mother for athletics, fun and adventure!
A mother to turn to when in need of guidance and advice.
A mother whose sole role would be to keep the house clean, fresh and tidy.
A mother for spiritual wisdom.
I'm probably missing a few mothers in there... but I think these nine would give my kids a great foundation and help them to thrive in the world.
I try so hard to be all of these things for them, but I probably fill no more than 3 of these 9 roles at any given time.
* * * * * * *
Yesterday we spent a few hours with one of my very best friends and her family at the beach, and I was not at my best. I could barely hold a conversation with her, I was so focused on worrying about my children as they roughhoused around the beach and tried to run closer to the edge of the ocean which churned with rip currents and unusually high surf.
Lifeguards rescued between 25 and 35 people from local waters yesterday and I just wasn't cool with any of it.
This isn't a normal reaction for me. I love the ocean. I love surf. I love the beach. I love playing with my kids on the beach.
I'm just at my limit, that's all.
I've reached the edge of my tolerance for worry. I've had six full weeks of worry and I'm totally and completely exhausted. I don't have my usual adaptability for risk, adventure and chaos.
Instead, I'm tightly wound. Ready to snap. Not much fun to be around, that's for sure.
So, my kids and I are all ready for some of those other mother figures to share our lives. Bring on the teachers!!! Woo-hoo!
At school my sons will have incredible resources: so many people who will help care for them and guide their growth. They'll also have numerous outlets for their energy... sports, music, computers, dancing, lots of other children to play with, and the sheer joy of learning more about the world around them.
They *need* this break from me.
I need the break too.
We all need to breathe, away from each other for a few hours each day.
Maybe when he has seven or eight hours off from spending time with me, my eldest son will stop rolling his eyes when I speak.
Maybe when he has seven or eight hours off from spending time with me, my younger son will become less shy (constantly hiding behind me and clutching my legs) and even form some close friendships.
Maybe when she has seven our eight hours alone with me, my little girl will leap out of her role as beloved and tortured younger sibling... and spring forth into her own clear being.
Whatever the future holds, at least there will be other people helping to ease the pressure I feel when the buck stops with me 24 hours a day.
That sounds selfish, and I'm sorry. There is nothing and nobody that I love more than my three children and I would do anything for them. I'm so glad and grateful though that at least five days per week, I'm going to have help.
* * * * * * *
During those blessed hours while they are at school, I am going to focus at least some of my energy on building my own business and working again!
One of my dear friends, the working mother of two boys, has always told me that she feels working makes her a much better mother for her children.
I'm so excited to get back out there in an adult world and take on some career responsibility. It will be a joy to rediscover just a small bit of my independent identity.
Who *am* I when I'm not policing, mediating and protecting?
Maybe I'll discover that I've got some fun and adventure left in me yet!
Either way I hope that between work and a little personal space, I will become a much better mother soon... so here's to our fresh start!