Things were fine before I went to sleep. Perfect really. Thursday was one of the best days I've had in a long time. I was ON all day in my motherhood duties. I took my son to sports class, put my phone away in my purse so t hat I was fully present and available for my kids, spent lots of time outside, cooked a really great meal, had alone time with each of my kids, made french toast for breakfast, and ended the day with some rather JOYFUL jumping on the trampoline with my family. In my opinion, the day couldn't have gone much better.
So, why is it that I am up at this time of the morning with a list of things running through my head? Why did I get up to use the bathroom and then return to bed thinking of things I can't control??? Not sure but here I am. A mother, up at 2 a.m eating cheese and crackers and stressing over all the things I AM and AM NOT doing for my kids. Yes, cheese and crackers. Isn't that what most people eat when they wake up a 2 in the morning worrying??
Okay, a few things:
1. I do not make a regular habit of this. You know, losing sleep because I am worrying and feeling guilty over not doing enough. So don't you worry. I sleep well. And think I'm doing a fine job.
2. I think what this worry really comes down to is the fact that I'm a competitive person. I expect the best from myself and this carries over to my kids and how I am as a mother.
3. My neighborhood can be kind of annoying. Only annoying because I make it that way. Because the 25 parents who are in the classroom volunteering for their kids' party make me think A. Gee, there are a lot of parents who volunteer. Yikes! I need to step it up a notch. and B. This would annoy the heck out of me to be the teacher here. I liked my school that I taught at. It was the perfect mix of parent support/involvement and "Gee, give the teacher some space and get a life moms!".
4. Back to annoying. I'm pretty sure that the main reason these hovering moms are annoying to me is because I see them and put pressure on myself and tell myself that I'm not doing enough. This is ridiculous. I know. And I know that nobody can MAKE us feeling anything. We have control over our feelings.
5. I'm pretty sure that I'm one of those annoying parents to some out there. There are different levels. Just as I see some of those "Always at school and in the teachers' space kissing ass" parents as perhaps one of the most annoying things on the planet, I'm sure some moms see me and think: "How annoying! Does she have to workout every single day? And I can't believe she is wearing those tight black pants to school again. She's so selfish to spend so much time running and traveling for running." Ha! I might even be seen to some as that mom that is annoying for the same reasons that I'm annoyed. The things I do might remind them of all the things they aren't getting to. This is the nature of motherhood. We compare. We judge ourselves. We feel guilt. At least many of us do. Such worthless feelings. They do no good!
6. I think kids need to be kids. I also think they need to be challenged and given structure. They will rise to the expectations we have for them. Most of the time. As long as our expectations are within reason.
Somewhere between the time I started this post and right now, I think my brain has returned to sleep mode. Now my mind is a bucket of mush and I forgot where I was going with this post. Perhaps I just needed to let my ramble of worry out so that I could sleep with a clear head. So, rather than end this with some pretty little bow of a wrap-up paragraph, I'll close with the list of CRAP that I was worrying about. In RANDOM order. And then I'll go to sleep and wake up fresh and ready to rock my A-GAME as a mom.
Worry that WOKE me up:
- Oh my, I could die any time. I really need to make the most of my time with my kids. (Why would I be thinking of how I could die at this time of the morning/night???! What??!)
- If I died, would they know how much I love them??
- Did I not start early enough with E when it came to reading?? Would that have made the difference between the high reading group and the middle one?
- Does it really start as young as first grade?? The super competitiveness with academics? Or is it more the parents than the kids?
- I wonder what teacher my kids will get next year. Sucks that I don't have any control over that. Maybe that's why there are so many parents volunteering all freaking day...so they can have more control over where their kid gets placed every year and what they do.
- I don't even know the teachers in second grade.
- There are some crappy teachers out there. I know this. I saw a few in my time as a teacher. Gosh, I hope we don't get one.
- Do I do enough for my kids?
- Am I too focused on running? And what's the point? What are we chasing anyway??
Okay, that was the gist of my worry. Feeling like I'm slipping. Wanting to be better. Wanting to be the best I can be. As always, being competitive with myself (and admittedly others). Pride. Need to truly trust in a plan other than my own.
I feel better now. Kind of how I felt when I was in college and I'd start feeling out of control but then I'd go to the library and study for hours on end and come home feeling like my ducks were a row, my 4.0 was in the bag, and I was ROCKIN' this thing called LIFE.
And since I always seem to blog the messages that I MOST need to HEAR:
Rock on Moms. Cut yourself some slack today. Bag up your guilt. Kick the worry to the curb. And write a list of all of all the things YOU ARE DOING RIGHT as a MOTHER. There's more than you think.