When all else fails, write an angsty blog post
The story I shared with friends this weekend, the Story of my Year, was basically a litany of failures. Maybe that's being a bit dramatic. Let's call it A Series Of Places Where I Did Not Meet My Own Admittedly High Expectations, Which Still Sucks No Matter How You Look At It.
I kicked things off with Emma's birth ("I didn't do natural birth right!") then last year's preschool situation ("I picked the wrong schools!") then a baby who never slept ("I didn't know what to do!") and anxiety ("What did I do wrong?!") and beating myself up about baby weight ("I'm ") and marriage ("I don't want anyone else to need me!") and oh gosh, a whole bunch of other things.
It's not REALLY that I think I FAILED at all these things... more like I really wanted to do and handle all of it so much better than I did, and I couldn't, I could only the do the best I could do, and I was hugely unimpressed with myself. I think the baby weight stuff is the best example. It wasn't until I gave myself permission to totally quit exercising in May that I realized how HARD I'd been on myself about my stupid PANTS SIZE.
But I can't exactly give myself permission to stop, say, figuring out the schedule. I am sitting here feeling slightly panicky because next week I drop Jack at 8:40, Molly at 9:30, then pick up Molly at 12:30 and pick up Jack at 3. When is my third kid supposed to nap? I have no idea. None. I've been thinking about this all day long, since 4am when I woke up, put a pacifier back in a baby mouth, and couldn't go back to sleep because of the slight panic. I still don't have any good ideas, I don't know what it will be like, and telling myself, "Things will just work out" (WHICH IS THE TRUTH) is not really helping. I feel like I have to figure it out! Now!
THIS IS REALLY DUMB, I KNOW.
I would like this year to... NOT be like this. You know?
My dad used to have this little pin on his bulletin board in his office that said "When all else fails, lower your standards." This is, I think, good advice for me. Also, it helps to remind myself that even though I am not curing cancer or building rocketships, my job IS hard. Sometimes success means everyone stayed alive until dinnertime.
I think I did well today. I wasn't ENTIRELY sure how to do the kindergarten thing, but I followed directions and went to welcome meetings and introduced myself and even sort of made a friend. I don't feel nervous about the Okay, This Is The Real Thing drop off situation tomorrow. And maybe that's a silly thing to note, but that is TOTALLY the sort of thing I nag myself about. I think I turned in the forms eariler than the teacher wanted or expected (no one else turned in these forms, that I saw anyway) but I am not feeling stupid about this either. Again, a silly thing, but TOTALLY the sort of thing I feel stupid about.
And I've already sort of told myself that THIS YEAR is going to be THE HARDEST YEAR. (Is this true? WHO KNOWS! But it's working right now.) This is the only year I have one kid in elementary school, one kid in preschool, and one baby at home. Next year I will, most likely, have two kids in elementary school and a toddler at home - MUCH EASIER. Even if I end up holding Molly, I will still have a first grader, a preschooler, and a toddler who only naps once a day. So knowing this is helping. I can say to myself, "Self? THIS IS HARD."
Right now I'm thinking I need to save all my beating-myself-up energy for dealing with a post-kindergarten day super tired, way cranky, brat-and-a-half JACKSON OMG. ("I don't KNOW what I did in kindergarten today MOMMY, can I have a SNACK NOW?"