Tuesday, May 27, 2014

180 Days: Achieved (along with some grey hair)

I've sat down to write a post a thousand times since my last one, only to be distracted by a voice, a spill, a crash, a text, a phone, a project, a need to feed someone.

Such is happening as I write. BRB.

To continue....a load of laundry to be switched or folded or put away, dinner to make, an errand to run, a child that needs to get to an activity.

I'm exhausted. I'm aggravated. I'm annoyed. I'm frightened.

This year was wonderful. It was completely wonderful. We've had many days where we laugh and dance and do cool projects. Where we get our work done early and then watch a movie. Where I've seen the kids pulling together and getting along better. Where I've seen better manners appear and the kids mature.

In some ways it was harder than I anticipated - scheduling and maintaining so many different activities was ridiculous. But it was not as overwhelming in the beginning as I expected. Not that it wasn't overwhelming, because it was, just not  "WHAT AM I DOING EVERY DAY IS A FAIL" that I was anticipating. Oh, I've had days like that, but not every day, not every week.

So, I'm caught off guard as this past month has unfolded and reared it's ugliness in the form of all I worried about when we decided to home school.

There have been tears, yelling, begging, bribing, stomping, icy silences, aggressive ignoring, rudeness, nastiness and yes, swearing.

And that's from me.

John is having horrible temper tantrum's that are sending us to therapy. They are epic. They push me over the edge. He kicked me on Friday and I slapped him.

That's when I picked up the phone and called a dear friend and sobbed. Then I cancelled the sleepover all three kids had planned. As I sobbed -again- to another friend when I told her I was cancelling John's sleepover with her son, she told me that those things happened to her. The frustration, the anger. That her kids had lashed out and hit her at times as well. She let me know that I was not alone, these frustrations happen to home school moms. Hearing her tell me that she, too, has gone through these emotions and days was so incredibly reassuring, because I always see her as the ultimate in calmness. As I cried to yet another friend when I called off Violet's sleepover my friend offered to take Violet for the night, reducing the number of children pecking at me. (If you're keeping count, that's 3 friends called and cried to. Plus another 1 who I spoke with later in the day. Thank you God for loving friends.)

As I get overwhelmed I start to seriously worry on two different levels. One, worrying that I'm not doing a good job if I'm this stressed out. Two, scared that my depression is going to swallow me up, because feeling overwhelmed and angry was a big part of my daily emotions when I was so sick with it. Which meant that on Friday I was overwhelmed, and then overwhelmed because I was feeling overwhelmed. That was productive.

I spent a lot of time thinking this weekend. I realized that I've been so hell bent on proving that I can do this, that I'm successful at this, that I can do fantastic projects with the kids, that I'm able to keep our schedule and cook, clean, maintain friendships for both me and the kids, to work at my Internet job, that I've lost the ability to just be. To just sit back at home, have a glass of wine and read a book without making lists in my head about what I didn't do, what I need to do and what I know is not going to get done.  I remembered that in September, October and November I took an hour every afternoon to sit down, eat lunch and read a book. In December I became worried that we were behind and started using my lunch hour to do laundry and surf Pinterest for activities.  Any 'me' time was replaced with looking at lesson plans, cleaning and re -cleaning the school room, and obsessively reading posts about home school tricks in Facebook groups. All of this has not led to a clean home or home school room. It has not lead to laundry being done or dinners cooked. In fact, I haven't cooked a good, balanced dinner in about a month.

This has to stop. I need to take a deep breath. I need to just be. I need to close up the lesson plans, clean the school room one last time, grab an iced coffee, my swim suit and sit by the pool while the kids swim.

 Sarah is done school today. Violet and John will be done on Friday. Our binder review is next Thursday and then The School of Kuhl is officially closed. We will reopen in August.