April 14, 2012

Report Card

The odd thing about blogging is, that once I press publish, I am really pushing off from what I just wrote. I put it out there, and now I'm done with it.

But for readers who come along, they can think I'm still in that same moment- and sometimes I am, but I'm usually not. Writing my way out, typing to meet or even locate myself, it's a method I use to figure out what in the world I am really feeling. And, being human, I am a harsh critic. Especially when it comes to motherhood because it's kind of a big thing. It's pretty much my world.

And honestly, my morning routine totally gets a C-. But at least I stop to grade myself, and can plan for improvements. Sometimes I need to confess and give it a shake so that I can move on. Maybe it will propel me forward, no looking back, or maybe I'll just hang out and keep treading for a while. It's really hit or miss. I know the pep talks are well-meaning, but my heart is waiting on the I can so relates. That's what keeps me public, and my comments from being closed.

Tonight I sat through Carter's baseball practice -- I've arrived at a whole new parenting milestone. You go from never having a chance to sit still to an entire chunk of time to do nothing while you taxi and wait. I am reading books again! And staring out the window. As an aside, I love that even though the field is far away from where I park, I know which boy is mine. 

But anyway, as soon as we walk in the door from practice I boil a pot of water and successfully scrounge up dinner. Usually I get an A in groceries but it all depends on my hormones. This week was one of the D weeks = bare cupboards. But I made pasta and even put a batch of brownies in the oven. Laundry was spinning and the dishes got done. Total extra credit.

I excel in plenty of other areas, too - I expose my kids to good music, engage them in thoughtful conversation, foster their creativity- whether it involves paint, chalk, rocks, or Legos. They feel safe and confident even in my poor progress months and most of all, they are loved and they know it, without a doubt. Even though I'll never stop doubting. But I already know these things, and don't really need to write about it often if at all.

I do sometimes wonder if I love them too much, but I won't be making any changes about that.

23 comments:

  1. I know unequivocally you are an incredibly creative, inspired and loving mother.

    I know it from meeting Ivy once upon a time, but moreso from the words and photos here. You are INCREDIBLE.

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  2. Steph no matter what you write about you always make me smile and feel not so alone in this thing called Motherhood!

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  3. Why is it that we grade ourselves in motherhood? I do it too. More often than not, it doesn't help me. I suppose at times it can show improvement or progress or just a shining "good" day. But for me I'm often doing the mental grading on days/seasons where I'm "failing". (So not helpful.) I guess the fact that you/we do self-evaluate shows that we care and desire the best. So there's that. :) I'm happy to say that I'm getting an A+ in loving my kids too. Like you, I won't be abandoning my over-achieving ways in that subject anytime soon. :)

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  4. I wanted to commment on your C- post to tell you that I so can relate but I thought that maybe you were sick of hearing that, because when I comment it is usually to say thank you for voicing what I feel so often about parenting. But I didn't and now I wish I had. thank you so much for writing from wherever you are so that those of us that are still in the moment can feel less alone.

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  5. Yes, yes, yes about how you write and move on and then sometimes are surprised when a reader thinks you're still there. I've had that experience. It's eye-opening. I'm someone different than I think to the people around me.

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  6. I didn't comment on your C- post, but I most definitely can relate. I have found my son waking me before preschool, because those last few precious moments of sleep are just too sweet. And because I've always been a night owl, and although parenting has changed me in that regard, it's still hard to force myself to bed at a decent hour.

    Most mornings I find myself rushing around, making lunch 20 minutes too late, searching for my keys while I'm cursing myself for not having them ready the night before, and swearing that I'm going to be more motivated the next day. Sometimes I am, and sometimes I'm not.

    In all honesty, our children probably don't notice/care, or they might be just as bothered if the situation were different. I think those are adult stressors and standards that we hold ourselves to, but that are very insignificant to them.

    My mom was perpetually early to everything, and I resented her for that. Lose/lose.

    All of this to say, again, I can relate. Kudos for recognizing your strengths.

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  7. I have some things that I am C- in my parenting, too. (Not mornings, because I am a morning person, but there are other things.) It helps me to hear your fears and concerns. And I totally agree that "motherhood is kind of a big thing. And it's pretty much my world," too.

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  8. I want to say, first of all, thank goodness our grades are a rainbow of light and dark all over the place. Do YOU want to be the kid who grew up under a straight A mother? Do you know what kind of pressure, how much expectation that places on a person? Our weaknesses create a safe place for our kids to know it is OKAY not to be perfect. Here's to the Cs, mama!

    (But what really caught my eye is this: "The odd thing about blogging is, that once I press publish, I am really pushing off from what I just wrote. I put it out there, and now I'm done with it." This is why I have the HARDEST time talking face-to-face with people about something I've blogged. I feel like once I've hit Publish on something, I am done with it, just like you said. I don't want to TALK about it, I've already talked it out, on the screen. Do you find this to be true, too? Is it hard for you to talk to people IRL about what you've written or about the blog in general? Just curious.)

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    1. Yes. I can't decide if I find it embarrassing or just uncomfortable, because either way I don't feel qualified to talk about it anymore once it's been "said." I usually change the subject fast!

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    2. i want megan to come to the summer park days, too.

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  9. i always thought i would be a better mother than i am.
    i didn't know i would love them this much, though. because how could i possibly understand that before it happened?
    but i do know that i feel like i'm one homework assignment away from failing most days.
    and other days i am full of extra word problems being solved, in ink.
    i get it, sister. i do.

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  10. I change the subject all the time too, for so many of the same reasons. Life just changes, I change, my mood changes...etc.

    and I'll always scrutinize myself too closely, I just know it...I just hope I start treating myself more like that favorite student who might not do the best work but gets a good grade for effort and her good intentions. ;)

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  11. I relate, I relate, I relate. And I miss you and can't wait to see you in less than a month.

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  12. My mornings are ok, it's the evenings when I bomb. I'm currently eating rice krispies for dinner while my kids ate a cantaloupe and cheetos. Mom of the year...right here!

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  13. This is so very relate-able. All of it. Thank you!

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  14. So it takes juggling, but with sports I do sometimes manage to be alone while a kid is practicing. And it is heaven. And worth the juggling and the schedule craziness. I sit in my chair and play games on my phone or read a book or visit with the other parents w/o having to keep track of my other kids.

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  15. uh huh.

    is it summer park time yet?

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  16. No, never enough love. Not ever. xo

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  17. This is fantastic. Love the idea of "report-carding" oneself and love that you're reading again. Grade on, my friend ;)

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  18. Mornings by far are my worst. If only I could convince myself to wake up even 15 minutes earlier I would probably improve them, but sleep sounds so much better lol.

    I have my C- moments as well but overall I think I (and most moms) are doing an A+ job. Whenever I have a day or moment that's off, I don't really consider it as failures but instead as a way for me to improve my parenting.

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  19. I can so relate (your C- post described me to a T too!). In fact, over the weekend I wrote a similar post about how writing helps me release whatever it is, and then I can move on (best free therapy ever!!) ;)
    And you can never have too much love (or fun for that matter!) :)

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  20. what an amazing post. I thinking right now I feel more like a D, as I have to take care of me a little more. I can't wait to be a better parent again, I know though seeking help and treatment is the best thing I could have done.

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  21. Yes! My blog is definitely my place to make it all make sense, although I admit that am guilty of carrying it with me after I hit "publish." If I'm being honest, I think I care too much about people's reactions. I know this is something I need to work on. Hence, my lack of posts lately.

    I have been told many times that I am too critical of myself, but really, isn't that just part of being a mom? We can never do enough for our kids. I think a C- is pretty accurate most days -- although I know in my mind I have the ability to Ace the day. That's the frustrating part, knowing that we could do better and yet always falling short. But I guess that's always the way...with everything. Thank God there is always (always) tomorrow.

    And loving this comment... "Our weaknesses create a safe place for our kids to know it is OKAY not to be perfect." I am totally holding onto that one!

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