Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Distractions and motherhood

I am always having huge battles in my head. Wether it is about marriage, friends and how to treat situations or trying to figure out the balance between all the things I want to do and being a mom that is tuned in.
There is always something to keep me up at night and distracted.
Sometimes I wish I could crawl into my own head with a huge filing cabinet....like the ones in that movie with Jennifer Aniston and that funny guy who acts like God. I don't remember what is was called but you know the one, it had the filing cabinets that had drawers that pulled out and stretched for miles it seemed.

Anyway I wish I could just climb into my head with one  of those and organize all my thoughts and file them away so I could forget about them and in a few years when I have time go back and deal with them then.
Not a reality but it is fun to dream.

Oh, there I go distracting myself again with silly daydreams rather than focusing on all the real stuff.
Yesterday while I was out I saw on my phone that people were tweeting about the Oprah show and an appearance by the famous blogger Douce
So when I got home I thought I would check it out.
I am sure a ton of you saw it so you already know it was about motherhood and all the misconceptions and expectations we put on ourselves.

I really did understand some of what the women on the show were saying and some of it blew me away.
I do struggle with this whole motherhood thing. Sure it was something I wanted really bad and I love these kids more than anything. 
But I also do expect more of myself all the time. I sometimes go days without a shower and am too tired to pay any attention to my husband. Sometimes I feel like my boobs are tired old  feeding machines and not a sexual attachment of mine. 
(This next baby is soooo going to know what a bottle is as well as the boob)
I let the kids watch TV when I want to do my own thing and I don't feel like breaking up squabbles over toys and then feel guilty for not growing their little brains instead. 
Sometimes I am just too selfish and too wiped. 

And then I have this huge vision in my head of the prefect household, completely organized and fine tuned. In this vision we thrive and live in blissful harmony as everything works like a well oiled wheel. We do crafts and play and do schoolbooks and bake and cook and clean while floating on clouds with dreamy happy glowing faces.
Why do I do this?
I am a fly by the seat of my pants, spur of the moment person. This vision really doesn't fit at all!
We have the most fun when we go with the flow and do what we want when we want rather than follow a strict schedule. This is not good on the house however and keeps me from getting a lot of things done that I wish I could.

This also really plays into my thoughts and worries about homeschooling.
After a visit with a friend yesterday I am thinking more about homeschooling. (the first year or two  anyway) This is a tough one for me. I grew up in the public system, home school system and then also the private system. 
I hated homeschooling the most.

Of course I want to keep my kids at home forever and protect them but that is what I felt that my parents were doing when I was homeschooled and therefor I felt blindsided when I went back to the public system. I hated that.
So trying to figure out what suits each child better is what I want to do. I was a social kid, a quiet one but I thrived on the competition that a classroom full of kids provided.
I want to play it year by year and reevaluate all the time.
Both of our kids are background kids.  And I wonder if they would get the attention they need in a huge classroom. 
In a small class they do fine. Still they get bored if there is little structure. They really like going from one organized activity to the next.
As a kid I wanted to be a teacher and when I had Emily and Phil here for a month and got to teach them I loved it.
Then there was the craft class I taught last fall. I loved the prep work and loved the teaching. 
I know that if we homeschooled I would go crazy with all the fun stuff. 
Of course I like the idea of not being bound to a schedule and being able to do spur of the moment trips and outings.
But then I wonder if I just want to do it for me or for them. Would we ever get to the actual schooling part?
What is best for their little personality types?

What about the selfish non mom things I want to do ALL the time?
What about showering every day without interruptions?
Would I be able to be organized enough to school at home and still do my art?
Would I get lost in it and become resentful or would I love it...does it even matter what I want?

Ack, I just want to file it all and forget it!

Maybe I will go have a bath and get the kids to dump the water on my hair to wash the bubbles out and then make silly party masks.

On with the distractions!!


Kami's Khlopchyk said...

Tough questions Anna and I certainly don't have the answers. What I do know is that for me, if I had been homeschooled I would be even more socially inept than I am. My kids are the same as me, shy, quite content to stand on the sidelines. They need the interaction of public school. If they didn't get it, we would be hermits!

But that is just what is best for us. Good luck figuring out what is best for you, I know you will!

Kori said...

The movie was called Bruce Almighty, by the way, and is a family fave. As for the other stuff, well, I just think that we can make ourselves sick worry about what we should be doing as opposed to what we ARE doing, and that makes it worse. I have no problem today admitting that we don't eat at the kitchen table, we do eat cake or cookies or bread or pizza for breakfast, and I let my kids climb trees without helments. trivial things, sure, but these are things that I am "supposed" to be doing differently. Have you looked into a Montessori edication for the kids for the elemntary years?

bekaboo said...

I just saw a book the other day called "Women Who Think Too Much" on amazon. It is about just this same thing, and I suffer from it too. I am able to fall asleep, but if I wake up at all at night, I can't get back to sleep for the jumble of thoughts and worries in my head. Good luck with the home school decision. I am very grateful that I wasn't home schooled, just because it gave me a much wider exposure to a variety of situations and personalities that I wouldn't have encountered with my mother. But my best friend home schooled her four children all the way through high school and was pretty successful at it. They haven't gone to college, but I think that's more lack of funds than anything else.

Hannah said...

Those questions are hard ones, and only you can decide what is best for your family. Having a child in the public school system, I have to say that I am blown away by some of the things they are learning. Things I would never have thought of teaching, things that I would never have thought they could grasp. Besides the fact that I would NOT have the patience for home schooling (but I am sure you would, you seem like a much more patient person than me!) although the idea of protecting them and sheltering them from the big bad world is one that probably appeals to most mothers. I don't like the "attitude" that Ethan has learned at school (from other kids, most of whom have older siblings). Thankfully I am managing to kurb it pretty well and he knows that it won't fly around here. There are definitely pros and cons of both sides, and as you have experienced both home schooling and public schooling I know you know that. Good luck with the decisions, and remember you can always change your mind!

ispeakbeanish said...

I also have attended public school, private school and was homeschooled for the majority of my primary education. I'm still debating what we'll end up doing with The Bean, although I do know that homeschooling isn't really a feasible option for us. We're weighing the pros and cons of public and private school. I keep thinking that at least I've got another year and a half or so to decide.

bethany actually said...

I think you have a couple of years before you really need to worry about school! Preschool is mainly playing and learning colors and counting, something that you do naturally with your kids anyway. They'll be fine without much organized "school" for a couple of years yet. :-)

mamatucci said...

I do that too and sleep is such a blessing when it comes. I dont think i could homeschool. I dont have the patience. I loved going to school maybe more for the friends. I know my daughter loves it and Matteo needs it. I dont know if I would be able to get him enough other kids for interactions. We dont live in a child filled neighbouhood.

But anyways take it easy,dont do too much and we will get together when i get back

Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog said...

Having just made the scary leap into homeschooling after using the public school system for over 5 years, I will say that it has been a breath of fresh air. There are negatives to every education choice, but there are ways to make each one work, too (for most families). Justin is a VERY social kid, but in school? He couldn't handle the constant distractions and temptations. The thought of him going to middle school and getting lost in the daily shuffle makes me want to throw up. Seriously.

Evan is a different kid. We'll see how he handles this change... I will say that we are still very social. Playing with neighborhood kids, a homeschooling club every Tuesday, soccer practice, Cub Scouts... Whew! But we are more able to handle those extra-curriculars now that I control the workload.

Also? Every choice can be changed. You can try out more than one schooling choice. If it doesn't work, the kids will adapt to a different method. It's a scary leap, but worth the effort!

Brooke said...

Hey Anna,
I don't really get to weigh in on the public vs. home school debate, because having been a public school teacher I am obviously biased : ) However, in case you do go the public route, remember that even if your "background kids" don't start starring in the kindergarten play as the main character, it doesn't mean they are being overlooked. A really good teacher is going to bring out the wonderful aspects of a student's unique personality and not try to change them into something else. You do a great job of nurturing their unique personalities yourself--and you are their first and very best teacher. Good job on all that you provide for them!!! Prayers for you as you make all of life's decisions in the night while fighting pregnancy insomnia : )