Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Today being a mom feels like conducting a band

Julianne had a band concert today.  All those kids, all those different instruments, and yet as the conductor started the count all the kids' toes started tapping and they sounded great.  As I would watch each of the different musical instruments play and then rest and then play again I could see how this is the perfect analogy for my life right now.  Each individual instrument's part is not overwhelmingly difficult.  They have a few challenging sections, but they also have a lot of resting time.  It's the conductor who doesn't get a break.  He was always directing 4 or more instruments at a time.

That is just exactly how my life is.  Not any one of my kids has so much going on.  They each have a few activities.  They each have a few challenges.  They have time to rest and time to play.

But me???  Not so much.  I schedule out my afternoons like a well written musical score.  From the time the first bus arrives home at 3:10 until the last kid is asleep (usually around 10 p.m.) we are on a finely tuned schedule.  I use my iphone calendar like a metronome-- keeping me in time.

I really do enjoy it though.  The kids are each growing smarter and more talented.  Their skills continue to improve.  It was tough for me to realize that Julianne can swim faster now than I ever could.  Catherine is not too far behind.  I love watching them play and race and swim.

I've had to accept some new roles-- I am no longer an "expert" on anything in my kids eyes.  Everything I say or suggest is treated with deep suspicion.  Julianne asks for Algebra help, tells me how I'm doing it all wrong, and then can't believe that I repeatedly get the correct answer.  But I remember saying the same things to my Dad when we'd do math.  (sorry, dad!)

Adam informed me the other day that he would have to teach me some new basketball games.  I asked what they were and he assured me that I wouldn't know any of them.  I asked again and he finally said, "Well the first one has a couple of names -- it depends how long you want to play -- some people call it HORSE but it could be CAT or PIG"    Seriously????  He thought I wouldn't know THAT game.  I've even tried to play it with him before, but he tells me my games are stupid.  I told him I've probably played THAT game 1000 times and he just rolled his eyes like there goes my silly mom.

I had to show Madelyn a youtube video on how to throw a softball before she was convinced that what I was trying to show her was correct.  Because clearly I DON'T KNOW ANYTHING about softball.

I just got my official license in the mail for USA Swimming.  Do you think that means the girls will trust anything I say about swimming???  No, those 7 years coaching a swim team probably mean nothing.

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And I also keep realizing that I'm not really a mom to any babies anymore.  Owen is 3 1/2.  He talks to me like he's an adult.  At least he still lets me makes me lay by him to go to bed.

And while 3:00 - 10:00 are crazy busy, 8 am - 3:00 pm is not too bad.  I make it to the gym 3-4 times a week.  I cook with my friend on Mondays (all of our meals for the week, plus a treat, and now we've added changing all the sheets in whoever's home we are cooking at that day)  So in a couple of hours every Monday I get all the cooking and the dreaded bed linens all done.

I've started to re-evaluate some fitness goals.  For 12 years I was either pregnant, about to be pregnant, or nursing a baby and while I loved that whole phase it provided plenty of excuses and reasons to just maintain the status quo.  I ran a mile the other day in 7:49.  That's a big improvement for me.

I've been trying to play the piano some more and have even been working on a new classical piece.  And I've been reading Harry Potter in spanish -- SLOWLY.

I've been a terrible blogger.  But I'm often still driving kids around until 9 and then I get to double check Algebra homework.

I read another persons blog lamenting the lack of blogs written by parent's of older kids and I could really relate.  For one, the kids read this blog now.  They want to approve of every picture.  It was funny to post pictures of a cute baby covered in baby food, but my kids would not be happy if I posted pictures of their less than beautiful moments.  It's funny to write about your 2 year olds tantrums.  It is NOT funny to write about your 12 year olds tantrums.

I had a friend with older kids while mine were all babies and she would always listen to me and then say, "Little kids, little problems; Big kids, big problems."  And she's right.  I can't solve their social dilemmas for them.  I certainly can't blog about them.  I can't make someone enjoy math homework.  I can't write about the less than stellar grade because someone insisted on doing things his or her way.   I have so much to say and nowhere public I can or want to say it.

Don't get me wrong, I'm having a great time. We all are.  It's just that things are different.  Here are the girls on a daddy/daughter date with Trent.  I look at these 2 girls all the time (Julianne is taller than me.  Catherine is getting close) and wonder how I ever got such grown up kids????

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And I am re-writing my own musical score.  Tonight after running a throwing skills clinic for Madelyn's team, serving dinner, getting Catherine out the door for mutual, racing to the band concert with Owen in tow, I realized I had a full hour before I HAD to do anything so I wrote in my own rests and went and got a pedicure.  I brought Owen with me because he is an angel and sat in my lap and we sang songs and counted to 20, and played "mindcrap" on my iphone together.  Oh sure it meant Madelyn and Adam got to watch an extra hour of Disney channel drivel but I enjoyed the conductor's break immensely.

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