Wednesday, February 25, 2009

More Delusions of Grandeur...

Last weekend it all came to a head in the Allen household. It seemed like the straw finally broke the camel's back--(where the heck does that stupid saying come from anyway? I'll have to look on Wikipedia...but I digress...)and it came crashing down--hard! It all started when I told the girls to get ready to go to a softball clinic that they were having at Red Mountain High School, and Erin promptly informed me that she would rather die than have to go to that "stupid, boring, retarded clinic, where all they do is make you stand around and talk about stuff like how to pitch, throw, catch, etc..." (okay, so that isn't an exact quote-- but you get the point). Todd was in on this conversation, and says, I don't know why we pay for all of these things, when the kids don't even want to do them, and don't appreciate it anyway. We pay for piano lessons, dance lessons, softball/baseball, swim team, etc., etc., etc.. We do this, and all we get is grief. The kids complain, whine, and even cry when we try to get them from place to place, and try to make them practice. Not only that, but when they are doing it against their will--they sometimes don't even try. I went to a few of Emie's intramural volleyball games this season (which are stupid anyway--I don't know why Mesa Public Schools doesn't have it all together enough to have actual competitive sports in Junior high--it's ridiculous...but I digress again...) and saw her and most of her friends totally goofing off, and dinking around instead of trying to actually win a game. Being as competitive as I am, it drove me completely nuts! Erin is totally talented in sports, but feels like she knows everything--no one could possibly teach her anything--not even her coach. Abby, bless her heart, has been in piano lessons for over 3 years, and you ask her where middle C is on the piano, and she pauses for 10 seconds--and I lose it every time! IT'S RIGHT THERE--ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? I think sometimes that if I didn't require them to do anything, my children would be happy to spend their lives sitting on the couch, eating munchies, watching TV, and never leaving the house. But if I allow them to do that--I will never be rid of them! Don't get me wrong, I love my children, and I would do anything for them, but sometimes they drive me CRAZY!
That being said, what is it about being a Mormon mother that makes me feel like my kids must be multi-talented, sing in the choir, play the piano and violin, play many different sports, give amazing talks in church, (that are completely memorized), belong to different clubs at school, be proficient at cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, get all A's in school, etc. etc. etc., in order for me to say that I have been a good mother? That is above and beyond all of the expectations that I have for myself. I have to have my year's supply, (hidden inconspicuously in places throughout my home), keep my home sparkling clean, have well groomed, kind, loving, respectful children, do my church callings faithfully, exercise regularly, prepare nutritious meals for my family, teach my children the gospel, unteach them the things that are crap that they learn at school, do service for people, share the gospel with my friends and neighbors, do my visiting teaching, make treats so my husband can do his home teaching, hold regular scripture study, family home evenings, family prayers, teach my children to read, write, and do general math, not to mention driving the little ingrates (I say that most affectionately) to all of the lessons and teams that I signed them up for (against their will), fighting daily with them over piano practicing, chores, stopping constant fighting and bickering, etc. etc. etc., so that I can say that I have done my job as a mother. This doesn't even include all of the things that I need to do to say that I'm a good wife--that would be a whole other post...and I'm not willing to go into that at this moment!

So how do you all juggle it? I know you are out there--you know who you are, those perfect mothers that I look at and think, "why can't I have it all together like so and so does??". I know they tell women we shouldn't compare ourselves to each other, but how can you not? I also know there are women out there who just finally lose it, because we simply put to much pressure on ourselves and our children to be something that we can never be. Somewhere there has to be a balance between Super Mormon Mother, and Looney Bin Housewife, I just can't find it. So what's your solution? How do we have happy, motivated children without pushing them over the edge? How do I find a medium between total chaos, and an organized home? Do you have ideas for me--(that don't include Zoloft...)?


Kathy P said...

Hey if you don't like Zoloft, there is always Prozac ;) Just kidding!

I always compare myself to the seemingly perfect moms. Because I am SO NOT THAT. My house is always -- ALWAYS -- a mess! I am always stressed out. I am unorganized, chaotic and so not what I think a good mormon wife should be.

And here I sit, blogging instead of getting dinner ready because my dishes aren't done and I don't want to go in the kitchen.

As far as the activity stuff... we were getting the same feedback from the kids you are getting. It just wasn't worth it to complicate our life if they didn't LOVE what they were doing. So, we told them one music, one sport and THATS IT. Then we keep everything as close as it can get (piano and karate are within walking distance)

I don't know how to juggle it all. I just can't think about it because it just eats me up.

Hang in there -- if you ever just want to get away for lunch -- let me know! :)

Melissa said...

I am with Kathy...we are all in this together and many going through the exact same things, we either hide it really well or are in denial! Kids need time to be kids and I am finally ok with that...we have tried to stick with one activity per kid too, and so far, that is ok, the girls are old enough to walk to and from the clubs they are involved in at school and piano lessons are in the morning before school (Thursdays are my craziest day!) and the boys only do sports right now (and today is the last t-ball game, yay!), my house needs major work all the time, and except for the cooking part (and not always nutritious, mind you) I have your same complaints about the ways I am seemingly falling short on my perfect mamma duties on any given day! I am still learning, but the best thing we can do is to be there to support each other and use the strengths of others as merely inspiration, not a measuring stick! Just a thought!

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