Things I can't control, home improvement, nicknames
Three Weeks Later

Just one of the reasons I should be in therapy

I continue to be Unimpressed with myself. 

Your comments on my birth story post were incredibly helpful for me to read. I feel like I have a broader perspective on my experience and at some point I want to tell you what clicked in my brain. I'm so glad I wrote it out here and you told me what you were thinking. 

But now I am Unimpressed with other things and I am wondering if this is just going to be a new state of being. 

In case you are new around here, I like to do things right. I'm not so much a perfectionist as I am a Rule Following, People Pleasing, On Top Of Things, Knows What To Do Before You Tell Me-ist. I hate - hate -to look stupid. Or foolish or out of touch or confused or lost or anything even REMOTELY close to stupid. I've even become rather skilled in faking already-knowing-everything, so much is my need to be perceived in this way. 

I am really fun to be around!

But I failed at preschool this year. I mean, I FAILED. I think your average un-neurotic person would just swear a little, take a deep breath, put it behind her and soldier on, either deciding to suck it up and deal or create a new plan. I waver back and forth between both of those options, but most of the time I am berating myself for being so dumb in the first place. I should have known! What was I thinking?! 

I am embarrassed to find myself in this predicament. I'm embarrassed to tell other people where I went wrong. Everyone must think I'm such an idiot. Everyone must have known this was a hugely bad idea and just didn't tell me because they knew I wouldn't listen! Because not only do I need to do things right, if you tell me I'm not doing something right I will keep doing it my way just to prove you wrong! DON'T YOU WANT TO BE FRIENDS WITH ME?!

Anyway, all the solutions to my preschool problem - which amounts to Two Different Schools With Two Different Schedules Is A Giant Pain In The Butt - involve 1) asking for special treatment and/or 2) admitting I was wrong. Two things I am REALLY BAD AT. 

Admitting I was wrong - that's sort of a standard thing to be bad at. I might be worse at it than most people, but still, it's pretty common and you know what it entails. 

But the special treatment stuff... basically I have asked three people now to bend the rules for me. This is painful. Every time I've done it I've had to take many deep breaths, pray, write a bunch of drafts, and then remind myself that I'm a parent now and I've got to do what's right for my family, even if it makes me redfaced, even if people might make tsk tsking sounds. 

So first I asked Jack's school if they would consider letting a three-year-old into the four- and five-year-old class. Even though I was pretty sure the teacher would not like it. I was also pretty sure they wouldn't allow it. And my email to the principal bent over backwards to acknowledge that this was Unorthodox. Because God forbid they roll their eyes at me when I can't see them! 

Request denied. 

Then I asked Molly's school to take Jack! But they're full. And the look I got from the preschool director was somewhere between Pity and I Told You So and What An Idiot, possibly because when I was enrolling Molly she tried extra hard to get me to enroll Jack as well. Quoth me, "Oh, I really don't want to have them in the same class!" OH STUPID ME!

After heaps of Internet Research I finally emailed the principal of my parish school to see if THEY had openings. Because, unbeknownst to me, their school has the perfect schedule. Why hadn't I considered them in the first place? Because they weren't in my neighborhood. And I was all about Being Part Of My Community. OH I WAS SO STUPID. I no longer care about community, I care about how many times I have to haul the stupid baby car seat in and out of the van. THERE. I SAID IT. 

Aaaand, request denied! Well, we are waitlisted. Then several people told me to email the priest, to see what he could do, and I just felt like... EW! I mean, it'd be one thing if my kids weren't doing well and I was desperate to remove them. But this is all about ME screwing up. I'd be asking him for special treatment because I messed up. Oh, the shame! DOES NOT COMPUTE!!!

But I did anyway. Because I do think this would be the best scenario. But you better believe I stressed over that email. How to beg without sounding like I was begging? Or even asking for anything more than information? I believe in fairness and inclusivity and taking your lumps, I DO! But I am asking anyway and he'll see right through me and then he will probably do his best to help me, because he knows us and he's all about getting parish families into the school. 

I imagine a lot of you cannot believe I managed to crank out a post about my crippling SHAME over my failure to set up the ideal preschool scenario before the baby was born. I can see you composing your, "OMG GET OVER IT" and "You SHOULD be ashamed of yourself you WACKADOO" and "UR BLOG SUX" comments right now! But maybe some of you know exactly what I'm talking about and are ALSO the sorts of people who would rather die than expose your failure to succeed. And who also know very well that equating "ideal preschool scenario" with "personal success" is all kinds of messed up, but who are too busy beating themselves up about it to change. 

 

 

Comments

Meghan

You crack me up. On the other hand, I can't tell you how many times someone ends up saying "WHY DIDN'T YOU ASK???"
You know? You asked. The very worst they can do is say no. And then you will deal. If you weren't so bent on success, one of them would have "dropped" preschool, and I am kind of surprised it hasn't come to that. Hang in there, a solution is forthcoming. [on the third hand, there is no point in killing yourself over preschool Maggie. Really, you JUST HAD A BABY forcefully eject herself from your netherest of regions! Cut.yourself.some.slack. {aka 'love yourself'}] With love from Meghan

Meghan

[And of course you will automatically know that I am not judging you. I empathize, quite tragically, with all you have said. Particularly not wanting to ask for "special" treatment. I am coming from a place of love and understanding. And cracking up, cause I would TOTALLY have done the same thing, with the same results, and be in the same not-wanting-to-ask place you are in. I am praying a solution to you as we are speaking.] Love, Meghan

Sarah

My need to not be wrong is amazing. In fact, your third paragraph could have been about me. We're negotiating moving/buying a house stuff right now, and it's really been forcing me out of my comfort zone as I tell numerous people daily that I do not like/approve of/agree to/etc. the fees they want me to pay (I mean who really thinks it costs $35 to click a few buttons on the computer). Like you, I'm doing it for my family, but I hate it.

maggie too!

I know you didn't ask for advice, but have you considered just taking Molly out of preschool for this year, or for the semester? Until you find out if you get into the parish school? She's only 3, right? She'll be fine if she doesn't do preschool until next year, and it would give you a little more breathing room in terms of commutes and hauling babyseats.

Julia

I am so much like you in the not wanting to look stupid department. I feel like such a freak and that everyone else is better at everything and I am just faking it. So at least we aren't alone.

Allison

You should go easier on yourself (better said than done, right?)! Your priorities have changed, because your life has majorly changed. That doesn't make your original strategy wrong, it just makes it not right, right now. Also, keep in mind that this is very, very important to YOU, and so you are agonizing over it. But the people you are approaching with your requests? They're not thinking horrible things about you. They're considering your request, likely with sympathy, giving you an answer, and then moving on. I'm sure they are not sitting around thinking about what a poor planner you are (which you aren't! Just changed priorities!).

Which is easy for me to say because this is about YOU, but doesn't stop me from completely mentally cringing every time I relive what I perceive to be situations that make me look less than... well, just less than something, and fretting about all the opinions that others must hold of me.

Bottom line is, do what you need to do to get the life you want, and don't worry about asking for the occasional favor. No one will think less of you. Hope you can find a workable solution!

katie

I agree whole-heartedly with Meghan.

And I realize you are not asking for advice, but since Jack's school is so close, it likely would be no big deal for a classmate's parent to swing by your house to pick-up/drop-off Jack once a week.
Just an idea.

HereWeGoAJen

I would have done exactly the same things. And don't think of it as failing at first, think of it as reevaluating now that your situation has changed.

And I agree with exactly what you said in the last paragraph. Well, not the stuff about UR BLOG SUX because I think you are awesome. But that other stuff is totally me.

Christina

My kids' schooling has not gone very much like I thought it would. We have moved (and made the older kids change schools) three times. I pulled one out to homeschool for 3/4 of a year because the local school was so bad. I had one repeat a year because I made a mistake in not holding him back from kindergarten (and because there was no affordable pre-5 option). And we're talking about moving AGAIN. Sometimes I feel like a fool and a failure. But really, we're only human, and we can only do the best we can at the time, right? This is what I tell myself.

All that to say, so you changed your mind about pre-school this year. It's OKAY. Life changes. Stuff happens. And pre-school? Is not so necessary as the world would have you think. (Although, I'm sure, having the two olders of the house and having quiet time with the baby maybe IS necessary?). Hey... what if the kids have "pre-school" at Grandma and Grandpa's house once or twice a week? Just a thought...

Shannon

Maggie you have done awesome with everything, preschool and all. Really! And there is nothing wrong with asking. I'm also the type that hates looking stupid too, so I know how hard asking was for you. :)

Also, I have something that might help make life easier just a tiny, tiny bit- Target sent me a huge packet of coupons for baby stuff, really good coupons too. I won't use them any of them (the baby is 3 you know!), so do you want them? I will mail them to you so please let me know!

Jaida

Mmmm, I hear you. I have waffled and failed to ask necessary questions and made last minute changes and all the while refused to admit any of it is my fault.

Don't you think one of the hardest jobs as a parent is sucking it up to advocate for YOUR best situation? I have a son with special needs and he, well, he requires and is entitled to special circumstances and I STILL have a hard time asking for exactly what I want if I think it goes against what other people think we should want.

Meanwhile, my husband will ask for the moon with a cheeky smile and 99 times out of 100 he gets exactly what he asks for. Oh to have a thicker skin.

Emily

I think part of this is that when you're pregnant, you kind of... forget what it's like to have a newborn. So you figured it would be okay to have a newborn and you'd manage to figure out how to get J and M places, and then the baby was born and AHA! You remember that it is a total time suck to have a newborn and now the schedule that seemed acceptable just doesn't work anymore. That's not something to blame yourself for.

JUST REMEMBER: Emma is so little. She is going to change SO MUCH in the next few months. It will get easier to get her out of the house with you, it will start to feel more routine taking the kids to school. It might suck, yes. But that means you'll know exactly what kind of decision will be perfect for next year, right? This year you were all, BUT WHAT IF? for every situation and NOW YOU KNOW. Next year, Maggie, you are going to ACE THIS SHIT.

Sorry for the profanity. I'm feeling profane today, for some reason.

Also, I love you and I think about you all the time and hope you're doing okay. I am going to miss you so freaking much next weekend. XOXO

Colleen

Oh my! We are so similar! Or maybe it's a woman thing. The need to seem like we have it all figured out. Sometimes things just turn out to be harder than we anticipated. You couldn't have imagined what it was going to be like when you signed them up. But hang in there with the parish school. People move and change schools so an opening may pop up. Right now I'm running my 10 year to our parish school and then racing to get my 4 year old to Pre-K at the Lutheran preschool he attends. Does our parish school have a pre-k? yes, but we love the current pre-school and the days and fee work better for us. Getting out the door is sometimes rough (and I'm not getting a newborn ready) but we get there and I feel like I've done a day's work by 9:15. You're doing ok Maggie, don't be so hard on yourself.

Lisa

HUGS! Being an adult/parent kinda sucks sometimes

craftyashley

After my whole two weeks of our preschool schedule, I could not imagine doing that with a baby. My solution would to be take one or both our of school and try again next year. Mommies with brand new babies should get some extra slack. It's hard to know just how crazy and impossible something will be with a wee baby.

Tara

Ur blog totally doesn't suck. (I really wanted to type "sux" but can't figure out how to make the verb agree, alas.)

Fingers crossed that something works out soon! And I can attest (at least for my two) that being in the same class has been fine. In fact, I'm not even sure if they acknowledge each others' existence at preschool.

Kanuck

Firstly, I am also a Rule-Follower, and don't like to Make A Fuss, so I totally get it (and it's nice to know I'm not the only "Freak" - it seems many of the comments are others who get it!).
Secondly, you have a newborn! I know people with newborns who are just barely getting by, without having 2 pre-school kids and work trips and 2 schools, etc on top of it all!! It's ok to cut yourself some slack, really!

Erica

I totally do want to be friends with you!

The Sojourner

The SHAME. Absolutely. Once in college I was writing a program and couldn't figure out how to do it. So I got my professor to look at it and it turns out changing one number from a 22 to a 21 fixed everything. Asking the professor for assistance was shameful enough. The next day, my flash drive up and died. I lost the entire program. The day before it was due. So I spent that entire day in the lab completely redoing it from scratch because I could not handle the idea of going to my professor and asking for an extension because my flash drive died. Even though he probably would have given it to me, because I was a good student and had turned in every other assignment on time and gotten straight 100s.

That was meant to be illustrative of: I will go to great and exhausting lengths to avoid the horrible shame of not doing stuff the right way and following the rules.

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