Friday, May 7, 2010

A Not-So-Good Day

Well, maybe it's best to think of them as not-so-good days.  Less bad, but still not good.  This is going to be a cathartic post, so if you're not in the mood to hear me carry on, best stop here.  There are lots of really positive and motivating posts all over this blog, so go check those out instead!  My whining will be over shortly and tomorrow is a new day.  Amazing what a good night of sleep does for one's perspective.

I've noticed a pattern in all the many weeks that we've been homeschooling.  I start out strong with a plan in mind on Monday, lists and everything.  Tuesday still hums along pretty nicely, Wednesday starts to get a little jumbled because it's broken up a bit by karate and our neighborhood public school gets out early on Wednesdays.  Max somehow has instinctual radar about this, and wants to go play with his friends by about 1:30, which is fine and good for him.  Thursdays.....well, by then I'm starting to get weary about the stuff that hasn't been attended to.  Fridays - today was a perfect example of not getting much done, but it sure feels like there were a lot of things that were begging for my attention and I tried to get to several of them while other stuff suffered.  Basically, I'm mad at myself for not having my priorities straight.

I know what the problem is and have known it for a very long time.  It's the way I do things.  I'm chaotic, spastic and sorely unorganized.  Ack!  I'm a first-born achiever who is quite driven by the stuff I am passionate about, but those passions can quickly absorb all of my attention, which means nothing else gets done.  IF there is any chaos swirling about me in the form of clutter, dirty dishes, laundry up to here (picture me standing in front of you with my hand held about six inches above my head), animal cages that are starting to smell, a truck that needs to be picked up at the shop, pictures that need to be delivered, groceries that need to be purchased and brought home, exercise that is supposed to be happening, good food that is supposed to be materializing in the kitchen, all sorts of tiny nagging odds and ends that need attending to, THEN I have a hard time doing anything well.  Sometimes I don't even know what to do next and sit down in a heap, paralyzed by my own expectations, feeling overwhelmed.  I know I'm going about it the wrong way, but can't seem to go about it the right way, either.  I always fall off the wagon.  Frankly, there are some days when I am a rotten homeschooler, we don't get anything done and I feel stressed about everything and anything.  Take your pick and I'm sure I've stressed over it.  Silly behavior, huh?  I KNOW.

This all makes for a hurried mom somedays which makes for a grumpy mom which makes for schooling that is rushed which makes for a befuddled ten-year old who is probably perplexed by his mother's mood.  In his eyes, bionicles laying everywhere, dirty dishes being picked over by the dog who already has cat litter stuck to his nose, mismatched socks meeting up in corners to whisper derogatory comments about the mess, dirt tracks on the carpet, a bedroom floor supporting the contents of a closet emptied so the furnace guys could get access to the attic last week through said closet - this stuff doesn't register with him.  He lives in an alternate universe, one blessedly far away from the stressful universe we grown ups orchestrate.  AND THAT'S EXACTLY THE PROBLEM -ME.  I am the conductor, orchestrating chaos and I need to figure out a better way to do this sometimes for all of our sakes.  When Mom is out of sorts, the whole family pays a price.

Today was kind of like that.  Just kinda.  The whole time I was aware of my state of mind, but didn't have the wherewithal to fix it.  I should have set schooling aside, gotten the house in a bit more order, hopped on the treadmill, or went outside to scream.  All of those actions would probably have led to a better outcome.  Now I feel like a rotten mom who can't get her act together.  Or I should have scrapped everything, grabbed Max and went for a walk, to the park, or to the zoo.  Or maybe out for ice cream.  But then the treadmill would have loomed larger in my mind, so maybe not.  Maybe I should get up earlier in the morning and do some housework or exercise.  Or meditate, which of course would send me right back to sleep.  Help?
So - what am I doing typing up a whiney post instead of doing a couple of loads of laundry, straightening up and preparing for tomorrow?  Good question!  That's what I need to be doing.  Actually, the dryer just finished and there's another load to toss in and I already did the dishes and picked up a little.  There was a time over the winter when I was hanging the clothes on a line and ironing everything in an effort to save energy.  Sure, Earth's natural resources were being guarded, but my physical resources were draining pretty quickly.  I recycle like crazy, grow some of our own food, homeschool so we don't drive to his old charter school twice a day, my husband rides his bike to work everyday, I try to use environmentally safe cleaners.........ack.  See how I am?  The dryer won the battle and I'm back to drying clothes using electricity - sacrilege!!  How did our pioneering ancestors do it????????

Just processing.  I'm not doing a very good job of setting myself up to win, if that makes any sense.  And this has a direct impact on Max.  And my husband.  And the animals whose cages are starting to get ripe.  Dark chocolate is not the answer (rats).  Therefore I see no other option.  I NEED TO CHANGE THE WAY I DO THINGS TO BETTER SET US UP TO WIN.  Maybe if I shout it it will sink in and start happening.  Maybe I need to type it out in really big letters and tape it to the fridge.

Anybody want to come over and help me do this?  Well, like I said - tomorrow's a new day and I'll probably feel better tomorrow.  Have you heard of Fly Lady?, I think.  She helps you set up a schedule for tackling your house and feeling more at peace when things are more orderly.  I tried her for a while, but fell off the wagon and hurt myself.  Her system did work and I do remember feeling better, but I also remember having to be pretty organized which at the moment seems out of the realm of possibilities.
Well, best go clean out the cat box, finish that dryer load and head to bed.  Weekends are good for rebooting, so maybe I'll come up with some ideas for a better week next week.  Thanks for tolerating a different sort of post.  Sometimes I just need to write it out and think about it, so I'm using the blog in that way tonight.  Comment if you have similar woes sometimes while homeschooling.  Comment if you feel like this more often than not!  Comment if you've tried something that has worked and helped you and your family.  Please don't comment if you truly have your stuff together and you never stress over anything - I don't want to hear it, at least not tonight :).

I should create a new category for the blog called 'Whining' and put this post there.  Maybe I will!

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