Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Ranty McRanty Pants

At the moment, it feels like they're always wearing headphones.  With their backs to me.  

I received an email from a blog I subscribe to.  It's a planning organisation blog so I shouldn't be so surprised.  But I deleted this one.  It was titled "How to make your own pickled beetroot".

I just don't feel up to pickling beetroot right now.  I love beetroot, especially in a salad with goats cheese.  But pickled? Really? And can't you just buy it?

I just may have alienated all the pickled beetroot lovers who read my blog.  Sorry to see you all go. 

And just because this particular blog wrote about a topic I am not interested in, I won't unsubscribe, because the blog in question, Planning With Kids is truly fabulous, and has some excellent ideas on planning and home organisation and a lot of wow moments because the lady who writes it has 5 kids and still manages to run a successful blog and get out for a run most days.

She really practices what she preaches.  She's really organised.  And that's what really interests me about her and her blog, because I just can't seem to crack it.

I am struggling to please my family at the moment. There's a lot of talking back and much eye rolling.  And at the same time, they are not particularly pleasing me.  And as for organised, well, we're getting by, but at what cost of shouting, crankiness and privilege withdrawal?

I displease my kids by demanding that they pick up their stuff, put their lunchboxes in their bags (in the morning) and in the kitchen (in the afternoon).  I remind them to do homework, music practice, read their readers (Issy) or do their 15 minutes (Josh).  I remind them to do their hair, put on their shoes and put on their fleeces.  On hot days like today, I remind them to take their fleeces off.

They have jobs, emptying the dishwasher, recycling, setting the table, making beds.  NO-ONE in my memory has EVER done their jobs without being chivvied into it.  Except Sarah who makes her bed every morning without fail.

Do you know, they may have done their jobs without reminding, but in my current mental state, I can't remember.  I can only remember the times they've ignored me.  Because they hurt.

At meals I remind them about table manners and I go nuts if they get up and wander around when they should be eating.  But they do, all the time.  They don't care if I go nuts.  

I really feel like I'm going nuts.

A large (enormous) whiteboard reminds them about homework, library days and news.  I remind Josh to practice his speech.  I remind them who they are to go with in the afternoon.

My phone beeps reminders at me several times a day.  I'm like a parachute over the top of the family, like the Mum in that movie The Incredibles.  Yes, I'm a bit slow to that metaphor.  Sorry.  Every mum in the world is like a parachute, holding their family together and trying to give them a soft landing.


I am always, always striving and questing.  My goal?  To keep those "oh fuck" moments when I realise I have forgotten a major task (Sarah's excursion last year?) to an absolute minimum.  I am continually trying to have everyone in the right place at the right time with the right equipment.

But sometimes it feels like I'm the only one trying to do this.  No one else in the family really gives a shit whether they're at school on time with their hair done and their homework and their news prepared.  

And if our timetable isn't exactly calibrated, or something householdy isn't done, I'm the one who's made to feel like the failure.

Sarah cares a bit.  Issy is focussed on doing exactly the opposite of what she should be doing.  Josh is somewhere in the middle.

Meanwhile I rush around like a chook, screeching at people, and breathing the most enormous sigh of relief when they all go off to where they should with the right people and the right stuff.

Then they come home and it starts again.  I vow I will leave them alone, and just let them get on with it, and maybe even fail.  But I can't.  Not so far.  Not intentionally anyway.  So I'm definitely part of the problem.

My latest plan is to set the timer to minutes to school and let it count down, so they know how many minutes they have left to stuff around.

I am totally sick of it.  Beyond sick of it.  I am almost ready to give up.  Which of course, I cannot do.

It doesn't help that we're all together upstairs and with about three weeks left up here in our top floor situation, we are getting antsy.  Very, very antsy.  And I'm sure they would like me better if I wasn't so grumpy.  But I'm grumpy because I do all this stuff which goes largely unappreciated, and no one seems to notice what I do unless I don't do it.

And then they blame me for being forgetful/hopeless/not focussed on what's important (ie their stuff).

Forget the duck who looks serene on the top while paddling like crazy underneath, I'm just crazy all over.

I feel like I'm disappearing.    

And that sucks.