Dear Reader, I have some confessions to make:
- I serve frozen pizza to my family. Regularly. Yes, I plan my family’s meals in advance, but there are some days after my normal 10 hours at school (and two more hours of grading papers at home) when I bag the homemade meal I’d planned and throw a frozen pizza in the oven.
- My kids get B’s on their report cards sometimes. They are not stupid. In fact, one was recently named an Academic All-State recipient, but nonetheless, they are normal. Having just recently gone through parent teacher conferences (for the first time as the teacher since 2000) I am shocked at the A- moms. “Why does my child have an A-? I’m very concerned about my child’s grade,” or “What can I do to help my baby score higher next grading period? An A- is unacceptable in our household!” Wow. I’ll admit, Dear Reader, it’s all I can do to keep a straight face and not respond with, “Could my child receiving an A- on her report card be something I found worthy of complaining about? I’ll trade you problems and worries.”
- I don’t use coupons, nor do I Clicklist. For better or worse, no matter how many carts are in my way in the aisles, I slog through the grocery store myself with nary a coupon. I know I’m losing money, and I know I could do more to help my financial situation, but frankly, I’m tired, and the thought of taking time to download apps and go through coupons stresses me out even more than just going to the grocery store.
- Speaking of stress, when I am worried or stressed, I eat … mainly chocolate. I gained six pounds the first month I started teaching, and I don’t care. I’m not stupid. I realize the banana is healthier for me than the chocolate chip cookie. Ok, cookies! But let’s review, the banana tastes “meh,” and the chocolate chip cookies taste far away from “meh.”
- I get appointments mixed up sometimes. I recently thought my son had a 7:30 a.m. dental appointment. I left home in the morning to get in a solid hour of work before his appointment and told him I’d meet him at the dental office, only to arrive and discover he DIDN’T have a 7:30 appointment until the 24th of the month … a full two weeks later. He simply rolled his eyes at me and drove to school. I’m still apologizing.
- I sometimes drink pop. I see the “skinny girls” at church and I know they don’t drink pop. I know it’s sugar water and it’s terrible for me, but I’m usually awake and going during the 4 a.m. hour and sometimes to stay awake at night, say, oh, past 8 p.m., I need a little caffeine boost.
- I sometimes wish people would stop talking to me, and I try to figure out how I can get away from them. I’ll hear, “I don’t know what I’m going to do when I can’t watch my daughter play sports anymore.” And in my head I’m stating the obvious. “She’s alive. She’s healthy. This isn’t a surprise. She’s a senior. This is a normal pattern of life. Do you even stop to think how complaining about this feels to me or moms who have gone through trials much worse than me?”
- My son works on Sundays. He works in the afternoon and evening. You may feel I’m a bad mother, and I know he’s missing night church, but he’s at church in the morning, I want him to keep his job, and it’s the only time he can work during the week. There. I said it.
- My son wears shorts when it’s freezing outside. I know he should be dressed warmer, but I don’t want to be a nag, and sometimes I feel I have to choose my battles with my teenager.
- And finally, no matter what I do or how I do it, I always have this sinking feeling I’m failing as a mother. Men don’t seem to struggle with this. I once asked my husband if he ever felt guilty when one of the children had a problem, and he said he’d never really even thought about it. I told him women think about it all the time.
So I continue to try to remind myself and others that no, I will never win any awards for parenting. Yes, I often feel as if I’m failing in life. Yes, my children are at the ages where whatever it is, “it” is on them and not me. Finally and most importantly, my self-worth and identity are not bound to my children. They are bound to my Father and being His child. I have to live my own life and not a life through them. I feel that bears repeating … I have to live my own life and not live a life through my children. (And I’ve found no scripture where it says serving a frozen pizza weekly is a sin! Just sayin’).
Until the next Wednesday the Lord allows. Thank you for any recommendations you might make to friends and family about my blog.