Time

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

Well, actually, no it’s not….  The start of another school year makes me (and everyone around me crazy).  I feel edgy, edgy, edgy.  As a matter of fact,  I feel guilty about being a grouch.  My poor husband and kids!

After a significant about of reflection, it seems that all of my bad vibes go back to one thing. Time. There is never enough time.  There never has been enough time and there never will be, so I need to just get over it…  The end of summer is a slap-in-the-face reminder that at least 3 months of what should have been productive at work and magical for my beautiful family are gone.  Forever gone.  Never to be returned – gone!

Now, I am scrambling for ways to get creative in an attempt to find those precious minutes that are just too fast for me to catch.  If reading about my futile attempts at serenely floating through the start of a new school year makes you feel better, that’s great!  Go ahead, feel better about yourself.  Here is a list of some recent things that have put the pressure on our time-strapped schedule.

School Supplies

Sometime this summer, I ordered school supplies from some website that linked in with Rachel’s school.  This is an every-other-year thing that I do.  When I am focused enough to place the order in time and I have surrendered to the fact that shopping for school supplies is torture, I place the order.  Basically, parents are expected to supply hand-sanitizer, wipes, paper-towels and other stuff like that in addition to what seems like a zillion different types of note books, folders, rulers, pencil boxes, markers, etc – way too much stuff.  Let’s just say that if it wasn’t for trainer Lauren forcing me to do strength training, I would have to use a wheelbarrow to get that box into the school.  Don’t get me wrong, I want to be supportive of teachers, the school, and education in general but wow!  Anyway, I estimate that the genius move of ordering the supplies on-line saved me and Bryan at least 5 hours.  Seriously.  Never underestimate how hard it is to find the stuff on those lists.

 

Clothes Shopping

I only allowed one trip to the mall to get back-to-school clothes.  I can’t believe that we went to 3 stores and bought about 4 outfits.  That’s not even enough new clothes to go the first week!  Oh mercy – that should tell you how much of a slacker I have become.  Ok, I am being sarcastic, but I really didn’t go all out to make sure Rachel looked perfect.  It’s a waste of time (and money).  More clothes just creates too many options anyway.  For her first day of school, Rachel wore an outfit from Nanna, a horse-pendant necklace from Girl Scout camp, glittery/light-up boots, and a hair bow.  My only input was an offer to straighten her hair with a straight iron and leave in conditioner. BAM – DONE – 5 minutes of my time  🙂:

 

Exercise – why is it so hard to do something so good for yourself??

I am trying (marginally at least) to get all of my workouts done in the morning before the kids wake up.  When I was pregnant with Sarah Amelia, I switched my workouts with my trainer to 5 am.  I have kept with that but now I am aiming for morning runs on the in-between days.  So far, mixed results…..

 

Last-Minute Sleepovers (I made a promise, and I must keep it!)

I squeezed in one “last hurrah for the summer” for Rachel, aka – sleepover.  I kept putting this off  until Rachel reminded me that it was only “2 weeks until school started”.  Time – again, not my friend!  I had to let go and just do it!  Rachel was so excited that she decorated the place up. Rachel and her friends had a lot of fun – apparently they tried to set a world record to see who could stay up the longest.

Rachel decorated the baby gate!

Rachel decorated the baby gate!

 

Gym-time

Gymnastics – this might be the biggest time vacuum that Bryan and I deal with.  UGH.  I think that we are kind of to blame for this one.  We encourage, encourage, and encourage (or push, push, push????).  Gymnastics seems to be something that she is pretty good at, albeit, she is not the most focused gymnast in the history of the sport.  That’s putting it mildly, but that’s how Rachel is and no matter what she is doing we have to keep that in mind.  Bryan and I decided that the best lesson for Rachel would be one of persistence.  So, we are “all the way in”.  Although we are “all the way in” we have been trying to be supportive without being pushy.  We simply ask how practice went and give a pat on the head.  That is not as easy as it sounds, especially for a pushy mom like myself that wants her time and money investment to be taken seriously….

To put our time commitment for this into perspective….  I leave work at 1:50 in order to get in the “car rider” line by 2:30.  I (or Bryan if he is available) then wait in my hot car until 3:15 (which is actually more like 3:20). I usually try to do paperwork type of stuff or catch up on the literature, but it’s still really tough.   After rushing through traffic, I drop off Rachel.  Despite my efforts with the car rider line, she is always 15-20 minutes late.  If I am lucky, I can swing back into work for another hour.  If not, I rush back to my neighborhood and pick up Sarah, then rush back to the gym to pick up Rachel, and then rush back home.  One day, I was exhausted and told Rachel how much of a commitment it is for me and Bryan and that not very many working moms and dads make such big commitments, and she seemed, for the moment, sincerely grateful.

Again, if we lived near family and friends, maybe we could get more “help”.  I have rounded up a little help, but still 99.9% of this is on me and Bryan.  Well, in the end, no matter how much help I have, it’s on me to make sure that she makes it to practice…

Music Appreciation Time

Violin.  When Rachel was 6 months old, I took her to “kindermusik”.  I love music, and I wanted her to get an early appreciation for it.  Call me a tiger mom, I don’t care.  As you can imagine, I was thrilled when Rachel said that she wanted to play the violin until I realized how involved the parents are supposed to be.  Basically, I am supposed to sit in on the one hour practice with my video camera and film the practice while I get lectured by a teacher about everything my kid is or isn’t doing.  Torture.  I hesitate to complain about this on a public blog, but I think that all honest parents of violin students would agree how irritating this is.  On top of that, I am supposed to teach my kid the violin everyday.  All I can say is “thank God” for the public music education/band that I had back in Leslie County!  Really!

Rachel wanted a picture for her notebook cover.  She looks happy enough?

Rachel wanted a picture for her notebook cover. She looks happy enough?

I basically gave up.  I was getting so unnerved by the teacher’s criticisms and Rachel’s unwillingness to practice in a way that really got it done, that Bryan has to take her to practice.  That is time for my other, somewhat neglected, child Sarah Amelia.  Sarah Amelia and I hang out and do stuff that normal moms do with their babies – take walks, go to the park, pick up toys and throw them back on the floor again….  As far as practice at home goes, I told Rachel that she has to practice to get better and I supervise in a general way – “watch your tempo, that sounded like a sad cow, bow grip, bow grip, stand-up straight”…  I insist that she plays at least 3 songs better than the day before.  That’s it.  No standing over the shoulder and fussing about every detail that the teacher complained about.  Self driven desire – it doesn’t come from tiger moms.

 

So, there you have it.  The start of our school year.  For those of you reading this blog, good luck to you and your families.  We will make it, only 7 more months (roughly)….

 

One week down!

One week down!

end of the first day and post practice!

end of the first day and post practice!

4 thoughts on “Time

    • thanks Mom! In both pictures, Sarah is wearing a Rachel hand-me-down. The navy blue dress was a present to Rachel from Aunt Nadine 🙂

    • there’s no other option – LOL! sometimes being a go-getter sucks. I try to not care, but in the end, I don’t want to be the failure….

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