Call it lack of sleep, or a bruised ego, or raging hormones, or a moon thing, or a girl thing, or a teacher thing, or a mom thing. Doesn’t really matter…I’m feeling deflated. But I’m also still here, so that alone has to say something.
I haven’t been able to write for a while because I started teaching for the summer (two classes, each completed in 3 hrs. each morning for three weeks in back-to-back three-week sessions), and it has been a wee bit hectic. It has also been unnecessarily stressful thanks in large part to some huge disrespect from some students taking my first class. I won’t go into details. I will instead redirect you, and myself, to my newest and most favoritest of all timest Shakespeare quotes: “Although she be little, she is fierce.” In other words – don’t eff with me because I’m a girl or I’m small or whatever. I will not have it.
All that being said, the stress is still there. The turn-around on a class like this is brutal, even if I don’t have as many students in the class as I do during a normal semester session. I have very little time for planning or grading before the next class, and once I’m home for the afternoon/evening, it is hard to find time for school stuff. People talk about mommy guilt a lot, but I think that working parents probably feel a bit of ______ guilt too (in this case, teacher guilt), because it seems that nothing and no one ever quite gets your full attention and best. Of course I feel worse about the mommy guilt, especially because of some of the yahoos I’ve been dealing with for the last two-and-a-half weeks; they aren’t worth any of my concern.
Actually, when I look at how things have been in my classroom lately, it strikes me as being shockingly familiar to what I deal with at home on a daily basis. Not listening. Talking out of turn. Acting out negatively just to get attention. All of this is toddler crap, not college student crap. Except, now, I’m learning that there might not be big differences between the two. At least at home I can expect it and tell myself, “He is only two. She is just a baby.” In other words, they are still learning and it is developmentally appropriate for them to push boundaries and explore and basically get on my nerves; they aren’t intentionally trying to irritate me, no matter how much it may feel like the exact opposite of that some days.
The reason I’m so deflated tonight is that I’m honestly just spent. Ben is gone for a conference for a couple and a half days (yes, I know – not a proper phrase) and it is wearing on me. Fortunately I’ve had wonderful friends to help out with the kiddos while I’m gone to campus in the mornings, but then I come home and it’s all me, all afternoon, evening, and night. (insert extreme awe and respect for single parents HERE)
Yesterday was a comedy of errors in terms of the children ping-ponging on sleep during the day, and even though Harrison did an amazing job of sleeping through the night, Raegan still had me hopping enough times to leave me tired before today even began. Add that on top of the shenanigans at school and you can see why Visine is my first makeup step each morning; my eyes, like the rest of me, are just kind of done.
With my nerves so frayed, it is no wonder that Harrison and I butted heads for most of this afternoon. I know kids feed off a parent’s energy, but that knowledge really doesn’t help me feel better. In fact, it makes me feel worse because it is basically telling me that when my kids are acting like poop, it is (perhaps in part or perhaps entirely) because my own vibe and attitude are pretty stinky. Doesn’t really make a girl feel better about herself, ya know?
But, when you’re the only one around, you have to just keep going and so, today, we went. We got through it, unpretty as it may have been. And, amazingly, both children are currently sleeping. For how long? No one ever knows, but my glass of wine and I are enjoying the peace and quiet, no matter how fleeting they may be.
Ultimately, I guess my point here about respect is that it is a hot button issue for me and I need to learn how to deal with that. Whether I am in the classroom with students or at the dinner table with my family, I expect respect, which I really don’t think is a bad thing. I don’t know if this stems from my own nature or the way I was raised or what, but disrespect just pisses me off. I guess the only thing I can really do about it, though, besides attempting to check my own anger at it, is to continue conducting myself and my classroom and my house with as much respect as possible. I do believe that you get what you give in this life (which means the whole kids/parents attitude mirror is true – blech!). So, eventually, if I just continue to to put out more good than bad, good I shall get in return.
Let’s just hope that in 10 years, my son remembers more Zen Mama moments than Mean Mama ones, eh?