Friday, September 5, 2008

Ode to August: one small step for mom, one giant leap for momkind

Today I want to send a shout out to all you mom's.

Moms ROCK! (But it sure ain't an easy gig, especially for workin' moms.)

I always tell people I feel like a stay-at-home-mom that works, but this morning I realized it's just a catchy phrase that downplays the reality of my job as a teacher. Yes, I'm only in the classroom 5 hours a week, which is an ideal mom-job, but when I awoke this morning, looked around at the clothes I'd left on the floor, the dinner dishes in the sink, and the stacks of mounting papers on the kitchen counter, I thought, I guess I'm more of a work-at-home-mom that works.

This happens every fall when I start teaching again. I only notice it because August is so pricelessly dull. I get to clean the bathrooms in August. In August I get to water the plants and send out the belated Christmas cards and look for my grail. But the thing I love most about August is that I get to be consistant with my kids. It's an aggravating, monotonous, repetitive process, but someone's got to do it (at least once a year).

Today, as I feel my grasp on domestic order slipping steadily away and I mourn it's passing, I am trying to stay on the sunny side of life. I am looking back longingly to when I was seriously so bored, and I am looking forward reluctantly to being frantically so stressed, and I am holding on tight--like water in a net--to all my little mom-victories of August.

Small steps . . . like teaching the kids how to bargain rather than bully for what they want. For instance, yesterday one son asked the other son to make him a sandwich . . . and he did. Why don't you let him make his own sandwhich, I told him. Because, he said, if I make him a sandwich he'll let me play his Halo III for 2 days.

Now that's progress.

And so is this:

  • 3/4 kids are making their beds regularly every morning, without being asked, and have been for the past 4 weeks.
  • 2/4 kids are applying sunscreen every morning before school, without being asked.
  • 4/4 leave for school on time, without being asked.
  • 2/4 are putting their back packs away after they finish their homework, without being asked.
  • 3/4 are reading for at least 20 mintues at night, without being asked.
  • 4 /4 are doing their homework after school, without me badgering them to death.
  • 4/4 are badgering me to death after school about their homework. (They could just ask!)

Can't wait until next August!

Maybe by then I'll be making sandwiches for my son too.

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