I move the stars for no one…

I move the stars for no one…

Today I had a busy day planned so I wanted to exercise before the kids were up.  Despite setting my alarm for thirty minutes before usual, my littlest somehow KNEW and came into bed to awaken me before that.

OK, so I’m up, and I can’t do yoga.  Well, since it’s Fat Tuesday (my middle child goes to a French magnet so he knows all about Mardi Gras), I decided to make pancakes for breakfast.  I have all this time and I can’t use it the way I planned so I took advantage and did something else of value.

All the kids came down and were dressed, fed, lunches made, all ready for school with about an HOUR to spare.  Great, right? 

That meant I had TIME to do my yoga that I had planned to do before anyone was up.

Do you know what happens when you lay down a yoga mat in a house with three small children?

You find out how difficult warrior 3 is with a child wrapped around your legs.

You find out how difficult cobra is with a child riding your back.

That’s what happens.

And then the yelling starts…at least here it did.

“Get off my back! LITERALLY!”

See, the problem is, they’re children and I’m their mother.  Only, I just wanted 20 minutes today where I sort of wasn’t.  I had a full day of everything I was doing set to be devoted to either my kids or kids in general.  I just wanted 20 minutes.

I have this righteous indignation problem.  I can’t shake the conviction that if I do what I’m supposed to, things should fall into place.  That if I do the right things, things should turn out right.

Anyone who has seen my knitting knows this clearly is not the case.

When I try to do the right thing and it blows up in my face, I’ll be honest — it really throws me off.  In a really bad way.  Like, watch out.  I’m full of what the fuck?!

Why do I think life is a mathematical equation?   Why do I allow this life view to coexist with what I know to be true of humans?

So, after getting my boys off to school, I drove my first-born to school because I was committed to help run the Dragon Parade rehearsal.

This is the same school in which my middle child did his Pre-K and began Kindergarten.  His former teachers were all asking me how he was doing.  And I just wanted to tell them to go fuck themselves because he is no longer any of their business.  I did not actually say that — I think it was the right call!

The teacher was sort of stressed out and horrible and yelling at the kids.  The little kids didn’t know what they were doing, she was making them cry and saying that if they weren’t going to do what they were supposed to (which they never knew what that was), then they should just go back to class.  It was awful.  I so identified with those kids who were timid and shy and would raise their hands and get ignored.  Ridiculous.

But I was able to finish up before 10 and got to do some work in the uniform exchange and found a sweater for my girl to wear.  And then I realized I could actually exercise and write before my afternoon commitment!

And then the phone rang.  My mom.

Bless her heart.

She is just so… tone deaf.  And we don’t communicate well.  I told her what I was doing and she said, “You are one busy lady!”  And I’m sure she didn’t mean anything by it.  But I’m equally sure that she is being critical.  That she thinks I have my hands full because my kids are crazy and she thinks I do too much because why bother?  Why bother with the volunteering and the baking cupcakes and the birthday parties?  It’s too much!!!  I can remember her mother asking her why she bothered to go to such extents of decorating for the holidays and now the generational criticism has shifted.  And I’m once again reminding myself to stop the cycle.

But, as it is, she just talked about her bath mats and her teeth being removed and her travel plans and my brother’s driveway and my extended family and everything else.  And she says every few minutes, “OK, I’ll let you go so you can get back to your day,” and promptly launches into the next tangent.

I know she won’t be here forever.  She’s 75 after all.  I know I should treasure our interactions because you just never know how many more lie ahead.

It’s difficult to do that when you feel pulled in so many directions, and the one you keep telling yourself to focus on and value and treasure is bombarding you with negative feedback.

And then I think to my kids trying to “help” me do yoga this morning.  How I could’ve just sucked it up and kept doing it, and even if I would not have gotten the value I was looking for, I would still have gotten the value of interacting with them and they’d have been happier.  They would have known that I value their time and input.  Instead, I made them feel like they weren’t important and I didn’t get the physical or spiritual exercise I was looking for anyway.

So now I go to my interview with a principal at a K-5 school and I will put all of this aside so I can be open and neutral, and hopefully help gather information that will improve public schools in the future, because those folks have their work cut out for them.  They don’t have the resources they need and they go above and beyond, big time.  I mean, the science teacher is running the dragon parade.  Why wouldn’t she be stressed out, man?  There’s only so much person to go around!

  • Yoga: 20 minutes
  • Words written: 1000+
  • Weight: 145
  • Job I Don’t Want: Elementary School Teacher
  • Deck Check: Labyrinth Soundtrack, David Bowie.

2 Responses »

  1. I don’t know that your mom is that critical of you. She always makes comments about what a great mom you are. If anything I think she just wants you to be happy, and worries that you get too locked to commitments to others, rather than worry about yourself. Not that helping others is bad, but just that she wants you to watch out for yourself FIRST and make sure YOU are happy, and then go from there. I could be wrong though.

    I also think that you immediately assume people are being critical of you whether it’s your mom, me, the kids, a pediatrician, etc. You can be a very defensive person sometimes.

  2. I think that if things don’t go the way you think they are supposed to go then you think you have failed, instead of seeing the value in the detour. This isn’t me being critical – I think confidence is a tricky, elusive quality. If I had one wish for you Karen it’s that I wish you could see what everyone else sees – people aren’t looking at you like you don’t have your shit together or how you’re juggling too much and aren’t succeeding. You’re ambitious and caring and WANT to change the world, even if its just your own little world within you. It’s admirable. I think for 1 week, whenever that worried thought comes in where you think people are being critical – just say (or think loudly!!) ‘Fuck you, I’m awesome’. Because you are.

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