Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Stretched in Different Directions

I wrote this last week but had to get a bit of space from it before I could polish and post it:

Yesterday evening was way too stressful. 

Jared had to be at meetings from the moment he got home from work until 11pm last night and Tuesday afternoon and evening involves activities that have to fit together like a jigsaw puzzle (with pieces that don't quite fit the way they should). On top of the regular homework and reading and dinner, I often have a PTA meeting, Eliza has dance, then just as Eliza's getting home and everyone's hungry, I'm supposed to be at Scouts, then I rush home from Scouts to tuck kids in bed and work on the Power of Moms newsletter that goes out on Wednesday mornings bright and early and one night a month I've got my Learning Circle meeting at 8:30.

Last night, on top of the regular Tuesday activities, all the kids needed more help than usual with their homework.  I was trying to get a nice dinner ready and packed up for Jared so he could grab it quick and run to the church since that would be his only chance to eat all evening, the cute little neighbors who we haven't seen in like a month and who I feel like we too often have to turn away came over to ask if the kids could play, and right when everything else was happening, Isaac remembered that he was supposed to be at a birthday party 15 minutes ago (why was he given an invitation on the same day of the party? why did he forget to mention it right when he got home?). 

I tried to tell Isaac that the birthday party just couldn't happen since Jared would need our one and only car (Jared's car is not working right now) but then Jared called and said he had a borrowed car for the night so Isaac begged me to please take him to the birthday party since it was for a kid who doesn't have very many friends and Isaac was worried no one was going to show up for the party since the kid just gave out the invitations that day and Isaac had heard kids saying some not-so-nice things about this kid.  What do you say to a kid who really wants to help another kid who might be lonely on his birthday?. The invitation wasn't totally clear so I told Isaac to try calling the RSVP number to see what the actual plans were for the party so we could see if we could get him to the party even though we were late.

Isaac called and instead of just finding out information, he told the mom that he'd be right over - to this arcade place on the other side of town where the kid and his mom had gone after no one had shown up at the kid's house for the party. What to do? Leave Liza to walk home on her own from dance (it is very close but it's dark and cold) and leave dinner on the stove for Jared and hope he'll actually grab it without me being there to make sure he takes it with him (I'm really trying to be a more attentive wife) and let the twins go play with the pleading neighbors while I carve out 30 minutes to run Isaac across town to this party with no present in hand, then have to go back over there and pick him up and take another 30 minutes out of the evening right when I need to be putting kids to bed OR call the mom back and tell her that actually Isaac won't be coming. I hate it when my heart is pulled in so many directions at once!

I ended up being more frustrated with Isaac than I should have been but agreed to take him over to the arcade. I had Isaac put some money in an envelope for a present and make a card while I tried to reach Jared to tell him his dinner was ready for him to grab when he came home to get some paperwork (couldn't reach him, he ended up just going without dinner until 11pm and didn't complain a bit), sent the twins over to the neighbors', and told Ashton to watch for Liza and go get her if he didn't see her arrive home from dance right on time. 

When we got to the arcade, I was able to talk the mom of the birthday boy into bringing Isaac home when they were done playing which considerably lessened my stress (but then I was a little stressed about leaving him with people I don't really know - but they seemed nice!). And just as we arrived a couple other kids showed up as well so I think it turned out to be a nice party for Isaac's friend and everything turned out OK.

You know, it pretty much always turns out OK in the end. But I just hate those moments when I feel so so torn and stressed and I just can't be there for everyone I want to be there for! I wish I could figure out how to better handle crazy situations in the heat of the moment when everything seems so contradictory and crazy. I know I need to remind myself that it'll all work out fine in the end - it always does - but sometimes it's so HARD to remember that.


Eyrealm said...

"Mama told me there'd be days like this!" Good grief! This brought back lots of memories of days like this! Hang in there baby!

Hilary said...

I feel like this constantly. It's nice to know u am not alone!

The Katy Daileys said...

I live this way so many days right now with my 5 busy kids (ages 15-3 years old). As I read this I felt your stress! The same stress I feel when I am pulled so many directions. So glad I am not alone!

Briana LeClaire said...

A lack of planning on the other family's part does not necessarily constitute an emergency on yours. Next time, say no to the last-minute invitation. In this life we may all have different money budgets, but we all have the same amount of time. Fight for your right to control your time budget.

jessica kiehn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jessica kiehn said...

Whoops. So not computer savvy.

Anyway, YES AND AMEN to Briana's comment!!!!!
You did the best you could, and that's all we can do as Mothers, but like she said...nothing is more valuable than your time and your family's sanity. Nothing.

Julie said...

I - probably like many, many others - know how you were feeling. I feel that way ALL the time. But I'm glad Isaac wanted to be with that boy on his birthday. That really shows his, and your compassion - one of the greatest things a person can have.

emily ballard said...

What to do??? Next time, please call me! You are always so willing to help when I am in a bind, so please let me repay the favor. I can help with rides, and I always keep a supply of birthday gifts for last minute parties.

Leah said...

I don't know you :) But I felt your stess and actually was relieved by it! It made me feel am normal! Life is normal! And we are all going to be ok. Things will get done - maybe not perfectly - but it will be ok. And someday we will miss this craziness - that's what I remind myself!

Marija said...

It's very often mothers feel stretched in different directions, and I definitely feel that sometimes.
One thing that helps me is to remember I can only be response-able for my own thinking, feeling, speaking and behaving - this is what's within my power. Therefore, I can show compassion, kindness and consideration towards others (as your lovely son did), but I can't be response-able FOR someone else's thinking, feeling, speaking, and behaving. It's a simple distinction, but OH so powerful. When we take on the response-ability FOR how other's feel, it can potentially be disempowering for that person. Great article about it:

Lauren said...

I read this post the other day and I just can't stop thinking about that poor little boy and no-one initially turning up to his party. What an awful thing to have happen to him, especially if other kids aren't generally kind to him anyway. Isn't it funny how we think our problems like getting things done on time are so important and yet they are absolutely insignificant in comparison to the feelings of this young child. Let's hope his mum doesn't read this post - she would feel awful to know this too


Related Posts with Thumbnails