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Posts Tagged ‘stay at home momming’

There seem to be two kinds of people when it comes to work-from-home clothing: The kind who get up, shower, put on makeup, and dress as though they were going to the office (even a very casual jeans-every-day office)… and the kind who enrobe themselves in pajamas and activewear and who may or may not shower and probably don’t put on a stitch of makeup. You KNOW that I am the latter. I have been putting on mascara only to go the grocery store every couple of weeks, and it feels as though I am really dolling myself up and I get a little shock of WHOA THERE FANCY FACE every time I catch a glimpse of my reflection.

My wardrobe already reflects my work-from-home sartorial philosophy. And man, after having worked from home for 11 out of 15 years, I really thought I had mastered the art of Comfy Clothing. I have my three categories of leggings (workout, lounging, pajama) and a drawer full of sports bras. But I have discovered that there is a surprising difference between my previous routine of wearing leggings while at home, but then changing into jeans when I went out into the world… and wearing comfy clothes all day every day (except for the maybe 30-60 minutes a week when I squeeze myself into jeans to go to the grocery store or to pick up takeout). Clothing oneself in Comfywear 24/7 is just different.

One surprising discovery is that I hate bras with a passion. Why have I been subjecting my body to such discomfort and restriction for so many years????? I have been wearing traditional bras to go to the grocery store; if I go anywhere else, I am wearing a sports bra. But I wanted something in-between – less confining than a sports bra, but more comfortable than a regular bra. I have found two options that I LOVE and bought two of each:

ae sports bra

Photo from ae.com 

Aerie Real Me Twist Back Sports Bra

I now own this bra in white and black. It is very stretchy and comfortable.

Honeydew bra

Photo from nordstrom.com

Honeydew Intimates Keagan Crop Seamless Camilette

I thought I wanted something called a “bralette,” but upon examination, that category seems to be a little more fancy/frou-frou than what I’m looking for. This camilette is exactly the ticket. I bought one in white and one in darkish blue. Very soft and stretchy. There is a textured pattern on  it though — it’s subtle, but I think it might show up under a white or light-colored shirt; I haven’t tried it yet.

Another surprising discovery is that I find that I want some differentiation in my clothing. Workout clothes are fine for working out… but then I want to shower and put on different clothes. Lately, I have been choosing a pair of leggings with a dark bralette underneath this mesh hoodie I got at Loft a million years ago. It feels “cute” in a way that pajamas/activewear doesn’t. Not that my husband cares or has noticed. But I notice, and that’s enough. However, there’s only so many times I can wear the exact same outfit before I begin craving variety.

I have been swapping out the mesh hoodie with a leopard print Grayson Threads shirts I got at Target last fall.

Grayson Threads Leopard

Photo from bonanza.com

I bought this at Target but can no longer find it on their website.

Or with a flowy pink long-sleeved T-shirt from the Gap. I got it so long ago I can’t find anything remotely like it on the Gap website.

To have even more Options, I recently bought a “transitional” sweatshirt.

Caslon sweatshirt

Photo from nordstrom.com

Caslon Cozy Print Top

This top is lighter than a traditional sweatshirt and it’s very, very soft. I got the star print, but I really like the camouflage print as well.

Now that I have FOUR long-sleeved shirts, I am beginning to think about short-sleeved options. I have plenty of form fitting tank-tops and loose T-shirts, but I would like some flowy tank-tops. Maybe along the lines of this:

Madewell Slub tank

Photo from nordstromrack.com

Madewell V-Neck Knit Tank Top

Or this:

All in Favor Tank

Photo from nordstromrack.com

All in Favor Knotted Tunic Tank

I like the drapey detail and the fact that this isn’t too fitted. I think I may prefer it in black… but I already have so many black tops.

In addition to leggings, I have been branching out to soft shorts. I have two pairs of pajama shorts from Target – but they don’t seem to have a tag, so I don’t know what brand they are, and I can’t find anything similar on the Target website. I have been LIVING in these shorts now that it is getting warmer and I’d like to find a couple more pairs. Perhaps something like this?

PJ Salvage Lounge Shorts

Photo from nordstrom.com

PJ Salvage Peached Lounge Shorts

I don’t know what “peached” means but these are cute.

I’d really rather not spend $46 on shorts, though. The $10-$20 range seems more reasonable. Perhaps these?

Honeydew shorts

Photo from nordstrom.com

Honeydew Intimates Sneak Peek Sleep Shorts

These are still rather pricy and I balk at wearing something named “sneak peek.”

Nordstrom Rack has some cute options, including these:

Natori shorts

Photo from nordstromrack.com

Natori Feathers Essential Pajama Shorts

And these ones look like they have a sturdier fabric:

Socialite shorts

Photo from nordstromrack.com

Socialite Waffle Knit Shorts

Maybe I could even wear them out-of-doors. Ha! Like I ever leave my house.

These leopard print shorts from Target are cute, and more in my price range:

Target leopard shorts

Photo from target.com

Women’s Leopard Print Lounge Shorts – Colsie Gray

I also like these shorts from Loft:

Loft Lou & Grey Shorts

Photo from loft.com

Lou & Grey Signature Softblend Drawstring Shorts

I get a kick out of Loft’s idea of “work from home” outfits, which include a $100 polka dot smocked jumpsuit and linen blend wide leg pants. I mean, I GUESS there are people with office jobs who are expected to don actual work clothing for zoom meetings and news broadcasts and such, but it kind of makes me giggle. Well, and then I drop deeply into despair because I would LOVE to be shopping for cute sundresses and things… but I have literally nowhere to wear them. (And no inclination of dressing up For Myself.)

Although maybe I am talking myself into this dress – which looks cute AND comfy:

Loft ruffle swing dress

Photo from loft.com

Loft Ruffle Tiered Swing Dress

 

What are you wearing these days? Any pandemic purchases that have turned out to be top notch?

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When it comes to a big, multi-room tidy, I have a strategy, which I will pass on to you in hopes that it works just as well on your children (I have not tried it on my spouse, so no promises there). My strategy is setting up a Cleaning Challenge. Carla LOVES a challenge, especially if there’s the potential of besting me. And it makes cleaning into a game, and games are fun.

What I do is I get out a big colorful sheet of construction paper. At the top I write Cleaning Challenge! in big cheerful letters. Beneath, on one side, I write out a list of things I need Carla to do (make her bed, pick up stuffed animals, tidy the living room, put her socks and underpants away, etc.) and put little boxes for checkmarks next to them… and on the other side, I write out a list of things I need to do (unload dishwasher, clean toilets, vacuum stairs, etc.) and put boxes with checkmarks next to them. I have found that it helps if my list is longer than Carla’s, because she likes to have an obvious advantage. (To her, it is not obvious that “washing the floor” is much, much more time consuming than “picking up the crayons scattered all over the counter.”) Then I masking tape the Challenge to the kitchen wall, masking tape a marker to the wall as well, and set a one-hour timer. Then we RACE to complete as many of our tasks as possible in the allotted time, checking off each task as we complete it. This is Carla’s favorite part, I think – making a checkmark on the page, while loudly proclaiming, “Checking off another one!” – and taping the marker to the wall makes it extra fun for her for some reason.

Anyway, I haven’t tried a Cleaning Challenge! lately, but I will do so today because it desperately needs doing. (It’s my normal Day Before the Cleaner Arrives technique, and it’s worked well for many months.) (By the way, being surrounded by mess has been making me feel incredibly extra wistful and thankful for our housecleaner, and I am writing her “paid leave” checks with gratitude and hope that one day she will be able to clean for us again because I miss her SO VERY MUCH OMG.)

The Cleaning Challenge! is a good strategy for the type of clutter that accumulates over time, between housecleaning appointments for instance. But I am struggling more, lately, with the HUGE VOLUME of day-to-day messiness. Everything is so much more messy than it was prior to self-isolation. Don’t get me wrong — the tendency of a child to start one project, abandon it, and begin another project while the first is strewn about a different room is, shall we say, a familiar concept. As is the concept of piles gradually accruing on every possible surface. But it turns out that my little whirlwind can make SO MANY MORE messes when she is at home for an additional 35 hours a week. Plus, I am guessing I do a lot more of-the-moment tidying when I am not staring despondently at the news 400 hours a day.

I think the utter relentlessness of the mess is what has begun wearing on me. It was simple enough at the beginning, to breezily say things along the lines of, “Of course it’s going to be messier than usual around here! You have double the people at home all day and one of them is a tornado, so mess is inevitable! But you can live with a little mess!” And this is true. I never claimed to be The World’s Tidiest Person, not by a long shot. But it turns out that a little messiness, while endurable for the short term, over time begins to feel like NOTHING IS EVER CLEAN. And, after a few days of enduing “a little mess,” the mess balloons into a LOT of messiness and then it begins feeling like I am living in squalor and there is no point in anything anymore because we are drowning in a sea of clutter. I am already walking around in a constant state of irritation/distress/anxiety and the added mess is NOT HELPING.

So I am starting to lose it, messwise. I need a new system. Otherwise I may as well lie down on the living room floor and be layered over with magnatiles and board games and construction paper and stuffed animals and remnants of pillow forts and Barbie shoes.

I had to have The Talk with my husband last night that I need more help with the housework… But man, I feel guilty about that. He is working all day, and putting his health at risk to help other people, and he is exhausted and anxious all the time, so I WANT to be able to take the pressure off at home. But also I am here ALL DAY EVERY DAY, doing nearly all the childcare and housework and meal planning/preparation, with maybe five minutes to myself at a time and… it sucks.

For those of you who have multiple children in your care all day every day… for those of you who have multiple children AND spouses who are now ALL at home with you nonstop… for those of you who are working from home WHILE your children and/or spouses are at home with you… well, you have my deepest, most sincere sympathy and compassion. My one cheering thought is that we are ALL dealing with this right now, with our own varying levels of tolerance and manageability. Additional people in our spaces, additional maneuvering required, new levels of irritation and stress, new strategizing and planning and letting things go.

I asked a fellow parent what she was doing to keep the mess down, and she said she was trying to clean a bit every day. Well. Yes. As am I. This is a tried-and-true strategy. Every single day, I do the dishes and wipe the counters and straighten and try to get Carla to move things off Obvious Surfaces. Every single day, I try to do at least one Other Thing — a load of laundry, moving all the collected water glasses from my husband’s bedside table to the sink, moving a bundle of precious artwork from the overcrowded craft cupboard to the trash. But it’s NOT ENOUGH. The mess is a rising tide and our house is a leaky boat.

If you, too, are just trying to clean a bit every day, what does that MEAN? Do you have a checklist? Do you have a rotation of Big Items? How are you enlisting the other members of your household? If you have young children, how are you helping them get into the habit of cleaning up after themselves? I am TRYING, believe me, but a) I don’t have the energy/patience to supervise all the cleaning that needs to be done and b) it feels like just one more source of potential tension between me and Carla when we are already getting on each other’s nerves and c) sometimes the ONLY WAY I can get a few minutes to myself is to ignore what is certainly a HUGE mess in the making.

So. What are YOU doing to Keep the Clutter at Bay?

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I am having a really rough time. A really rough time. The highs are there, sure, but everything is shadowed with despair. And the lows are… Well. They are low. (Not yet low enough for me to break into my Emergency Ice Cream, though. Let’s not think about how low that threshold is.)

Here are some good things:

Carla and I went for a neighborhood scavenger hunt. I “laminated” the list with packing tape, so that we can do it over and over. (I am imagining venturing into different areas of our neighborhood, rather than marking off the same across-the-street red door over and over.) (I also took notes on our walk of other items for another list, so that we don’t get bored.)

Scavenger Hunt

We did not find a single squirrel OR a baby in a stroller.

Target delivered my Oreos and I promptly ate six of them with a glass of milk.

Oreos + milk

One of nature’s perfect food combinations.

The lettuce we planted last week is ALREADY SPROUTING! Sprouts are a long way from nice fluffy edible lettuce leaves, but it’s a good start.

 

What’s making your day brighter today?

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Changing gears from yesterday: let’s talk about food and the practical concerns of getting meals on the table.

One thing that has become quite the quandary is how to feed my child now that she has more after-school activities.

She’s always done activities, but they were mostly right after school or on the weekend. Now, she has practices and lessons that don’t even START until after five. These are no longer after-school activities, they are now EVENING activities and I don’t like it. (I don’t dislike it enough to remove her from the activities, apparently.) Carla is a child who absolutely NEEDS eleven to twelve of sleep a night, so my husband and I are trying really hard to make sure she is in bed with the lights out no later than 7:30 pm. But when an activity ends at 6:30… how am I supposed to squeeze nourishment into the tiny space between “traveling home from activity” to “bedtime preparations”? It seems impossible.

(Perhaps you are thinking “McDonalds”! I have zero qualms about buying my child a happy meal. I ate fast food probably twice a week as a kid before gymnastics and piano lessons. But Carla does not eat fast food. Or, if she does, it is so rarely I cannot count on it as a reliable food source. Her palate baffles me.)

Options I have explored so far, with varying but mostly discouraging results:

  1. I made a big pile of sun butter and jelly sandwiches that I could freeze and defrost whenever we needed a quick meal. Carla ate one and pronounced it was terrible. Another night, she ate a few bites of a sandwich and refused to eat anymore. And then we lost power for many days and the rest of the sandwiches perished.
  2. Lunchables, accompanied by fruit.
  3. Snack dinner: some combination of pepperoni, cheese, crackers, olives, roasted chickpeas, sugar snap peas, and fruit. This is, I think, the most successful option. But it’s also challenging, because Carla prefers the same things over and over but then grows tired of them and then we are SCREWED.
  4. Bagel with cream cheese, accompanied by some combination of pepperoni, sugar snap peas, cheese, and fruit.

I have also been trying to bulk up Carla’s after-school snacking game. So on a day she has an activity at 5:00, I give her the usual banana right after I pick her up from school and then make her a yogurt and fruit smoothie to eat on the drive to the activity. Hopefully this is providing her with some extra protein and fat and vitamins, in case it’s a night where she only eats a Lunchable.

Over the summer, we were able to eat dinner as a family a lot more frequently than we ever have. But family dinners have gone right out the window since school started, what with Carla’s earlier bedtime and my husband’s work schedule. So that’s a bummer. But I am prioritizing my child’s sleep over everything else right now and I feel good about that. Carla is so busy and learning so much, I really want her to be well-rested so that she can get the most out of everything she’s doing.

The other Kid Activity-Related Issue that’s derailing my meal plans is that I am so flustered by what Carla is going to eat that I keep throwing up my hands and scrapping my own adult dinner plans in favor of Panera or takeout or prepared foods from the grocery store. Which are all fine options, but tend to be less healthy and more expensive than the food I’ve already planned to make. It’s just that I am TIRED by the time Carla is in bed. I am still doing my own thing during the day — a day in which I never seem to have enough hours — but on top of that, I feel like remembering which outfit she needs for that day’s activity or washing outfits for the next day’s activity or making sure we are stocked up on banana and frozen mangoes or rushing to pick her up from school or rushing to get her into her soccer uniform or rushing to get her to swimming on time is taking a lot out of me. And sure, it’s nice that she can come home after school to play for a while before ballet, but then I am driving to and from school and then to and from ballet when it would be much easier to go directly from school to the activity. The chunks of time between school and activity are too short to do anything of substance. I am constantly watching the clock or gathering necessary equipment or preparing snacks or driving or waiting in traffic or urging Carla to don her appropriate gear or prodding her to eat eat eat or brush your teeth or get your jammies on. It’s nonstop until she’s asleep, is what I’m saying. (HOW do you people with multiple children NOT COLLAPSE FROM EXHAUSTION?) This is what it is like to be Mariah Carey’s personal assistant, right? THEN, if I wait until 7:30 to start making dinner, well, we won’t be eating until 8:30 or 9:00 and that’s… later than I like to eat. More relevant is that I am TIRED. I don’t want to be chopping and sauteeing at 7:30. I want dinner to be ready to go. I can accomplish this, of course; it just means more meal prepping on shopping day, which I can totally do if I grit my teeth and just do it.

If you are a parent, you have my fist bump of empathy. If you are a parent of multiple children with (or honestly without) activities, you have my abiding awe and respect. If you’ve figured out the Kid Activity/Dinnertime solution, please let me know.

In the meantime, here’s what I’m planning to make and eat this week:

Dinners for the Week of October 15-21

 Note: I loved this the last time I made it, and, once again, I will make the peanut dressing from Damn Delicious for my husband and the teriyaki dressing from Le Crème de la Crumb for me.

Note: This is an old standby. It’s super easy to make, so my plan is to marinate the salmon and chop/wash the broccoli in advance and then make this on one of the late activity nights – I can shove everything in the oven and let it broil while my husband is reading to Carla.

Note: I plan to make this on another late activity night. It’s a slow cooker option – and, honestly, I need to expand the number of meals I can make in the slow cooker. This way, dinner will be ready to eat as soon as Carla is in bed.

Note: To make this easy, I need to make the yogurt sauce in advance and chop the bell peppers in advance. I can do it.

  • Pizza

Note: I haven’t decided yet if we’ll have traditional pizza or if we’ll do a taco pizza. I am leaning toward the latter, especially considering we are skipping taco night this week. But I will make a game time grocery store time decision on this one.

Note: I’ll probably save this for the weekend, because it’s a new recipe and because it seems somehow “special.” Probably because of the novelty. Also, I like to shop for fish on Saturdays. There is no reason, it’s just how I am.

  • Out

 

 

What’s on your menu for this week, Internet?

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Let’s just put it out there: I am not adjusting well to Carla being in preschool.

This is not, as everyone assumes, because I miss her horribly and it’s hard to spend time without her. Don’t get me wrong, I DO miss her horribly and it IS hard to spend time without her, but those things aren’t any worse than they used to be – in fact, they are much BETTER. After all, she was in daycare from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm pretty much every day from four months old on. She spends LESS time at preschool which means we get much more time together.

What I am adjusting to, in descending order of Level of Stressiness, are 1) Dealing with Teachers, 2) Dealing with the School Schedule (otherwise known as Trying to Find Time to Get Anything Done During the Day), and 3) Helping Carla Adjust to Preschool.

Let’s take them in reverse order, shall we?

3) Helping Carla Adjust to Preschool

Carla is an adaptable, easy-going kiddo. But that doesn’t mean that change is EASY for her. Like, she happily goes to this new school with its new schedule and its whole new set of rules and dozens of brand-new people… but it’s not like her being HAPPY and ENJOYING HERSELF erase the stress that accompanies adjusting to all those things, you know? And, even though we are eight weeks in or so, I think she IS still adjusting. There were more obvious (to me) stress signs in the first few weeks, and those have largely lessened or disappeared. But I still think she’s in a transition period, rather than having fully settled into the new environment and routine.

Aside from the energy is takes to fret about whether your child is stressed, just the normal practice of preschool is new and exhausting. It takes a surprising amount of energy to preview the school day each night before bed and each morning before school, to keep track of whether she’s having gym or music on which day, to remind her to bring her library book back to school and to help her keep her excitement and energy under control when she’s at school, which is – wonderfully – exciting and stimulating and fun.

So trying to help her deal with new expectations and rules and schedules is occupying a big chunk of time, and I spend many hours feeling the normal fears that I am a horrible parent for putting her in this new situation and wondering if this is the RIGHT place for her, and did we make a mistake by moving her out of the previous school, and would she have done better if we’d held off until kindergarten blah blah yada yada second guessing blech.

We have Carla enrolled in a great school. My husband and I really believe that this will be a good learning environment for Carla. (Although we are open to changing that mindset if it turns out that it is NOT a good fit.) Nonetheless, it has been A Whole New Experience and we are all still a bit unsettled.

I think that PART of what feeds this lengthy adjustment period is that we still haven’t developed a RHYTHM. And part of the reason for that is the school schedule. Which brings me right to…

2) Dealing with the School Schedule (otherwise known as Trying to Find Time to Get Anything Done During the Day)

In particular, I am having a hard time adjusting to our new schedule. It feels like School Related Stuff takes up ENORMOUS amounts of time.

I imagine every seasoned mom who is reading this right now is wearing that head-tilted expression of bemused sympathy. Because one of my (our?) biggest struggles is the school schedule. We’ve already had three days off from school just this month… and next week the school is closed for a day and a half. She’s OFF for 20% of the school month! Okay, so it doesn’t sound like THAT much time not in class, but it FEELS like it.And it’s very hard to feel settled in a routine when you might have only three or four days of school in a week, you know?

On top of the no-school days, we are all adjusting to the overall new schedule – which is very different from her five-days-a-week, seven-to-eight-hours-a-day daycare schedule. Now, Carla goes to school “full-time” (about six hours a day) four days a week, and for two hours one day a week.

There are also optional but important (I think?) things that eat up time, like meetings with Carla’s teachers (obviously important) or phone calls from her teachers with various updates (head bonk, sad morning, proud words, etc.) and parent association events and coffees with other parents. I really and truly want to make some new friends and to build a nice network of people who have kids Carla’s age in Carla’s school… but it takes TIME.

Side note: I know that it no longer applies, and that I’m very FORTUNATE that it no longer applies, and I’m GRATEFUL, but man: how would I be managing this if I still worked full time?

When I left my job this past spring, my husband and I were very clear that I was going to make WRITING my full-time occupation. Which went swimmingly for many months, enough so that I developed a schedule and wrote a big chunk of a novel and then discovered it wasn’t working and then began (and now have a bigger chunk of!) another completely separate novel. This has been my literal lifelong dream, and we are in a rare pocket of time wherein it is feasible for me to undertake this don’t-get-me-wrong-I-know-it’s-the-height-of-self-indulgence-and-luxury project, and so I am damned if I am going to squander this opportunity.

But now that Carla is in preschool, I am now trying to squeeze what once fit neatly into about 37 hours into 26 hours. I constantly feel rushed and frantic, is what I’m saying.

Part of the stress, I think, is related to my transition from Working Mom to Stay at Home Mom. Which is really like switching careers, you know? It’s a whole different set of tasks and priorities and concerns. It requires a whole different mindset and skill set. I now have the wonderful luxury of handling those things that I couldn’t easily handle while working: having the plumber over to look at a leaky faucet, or running my husband’s new watch back to the store to exchange it, or taking Carla to the doctor for a flu shot, or running to the store mid-week to pick up more bananas. I am at home, and so doing laundry is more convenient; cleaning the oven; scrubbing the grout. But all of those things also take time. And yes, while it’s great to be able to do them, it still feels like I’m stealing from the time I should be devoting to writing. This career shift has not been simple, is what I’m saying. And the accompanying new expectations and challenges result in stress.

But all of it pales, I think, in comparison to my number one major school stress, which is Dealing with Teachers.

Let me be VERY CLEAR that Carla’s teachers are amazing and I adore them. They are kind and relaxed and friendly and accommodating. They are EXCELLENT at communicating. They clearly love Carla and see her for all of her wonderful unique assets. If they weren’t my child’s teachers, I would totally want to be friends with them.

But man, they would never want to be friends with ME because I have somehow become this high maintenance, flaky, ridiculous mom! Okay, truth time: maybe I was all those things before, and just didn’t really notice. Now, I feel like Carla and I are ALWAYS late. And I completely forgot her “homework” assignment recently, even though her teachers are super up front about what she needs to do and when, AND they give plenty of advance notice. The other day I was late to pick up Carla from school – I just somehow FORGOT what time I was supposed to get her, despite having to pick her up At The Same Time Every Day (except that one day each week when it’s different). I mean, what the hell?

Also, and I feel kind of dumb saying this, but: Carla’s teachers are so clearly experts at dealing with kids. They have all this special positive, simple, clear language and terminology that they use to talk to their students. And it really highlights, for me, that I say, “Don’t do that” a LOT and that I’m doing way more correcting than redirecting. It’s a good lesson, but a hard one for my ego, you know?

There are also all the new uncertainties that come with new situations. For instance, for a while there, I was really unsure about what to do when a teacher and I were both interacting with Carla simultaneously. Do I defer to the teacher? I mean, we’re on her turf. I don’t want to say or do or suggest something that wouldn’t be appropriate in terms of classroom rules/style/tradition. I resolved this by asking what the protocol was (am genius), so there’s one teeny little point in my favor. But the answer was that the teacher defers to ME, and that makes me uncomfortable: all my “don’t do that” crap parenting techniques that get nary a twitch out of my child are on display for the teachers to judge or pity.

Plus, there seem to be School Expectations that I’m just not aware of, or clear on. Like, I came a few minutes early (literally FIFTEEN minutes early) to get Carla for an appointment, and the receptionist yelled at me! For not signing her out! Which I didn’t know was a thing I had to do! (Don’t get me wrong, I’m GLAD it’s a thing, and that the receptionist is so eagle-eyed.) But it’s just an example of these invisible rules that are spiderwebbed all over everything. And there’s no obvious way for me to ask for clarity. I really want a MANUAL, you know? One that spells out, this is exactly what we the teachers expect you to do and say every step of the way on every occasion. I am good at following rules! (Unless it’s about being on time to school or remembering my child’s day for show and share GAH.) I just need to know what they ARE!

It’s the old desperation to please authority figures, I guess. I just want to be the easy parent, but instead I’m frazzled and forgetful. I send them emails that I read, later, that say NOTHING REMOTELY CLOSE to what I was trying to say. And then when they misunderstand my INTENDED COMMUNICATION (read: not what I actually communicated), I have to ask for changes and they must think I am CRAZY. Or an idiot. Or a crazy idiot.

And I get so nervous and wound up when we have parent/teacher meetings – I feel like I’ve been called to the principal’s office. So when I should be advocating for Carla, I am instead worried that I’m doing the wrong thing or inconveniencing them or making a bad impression. I EVEN STARTED TO CRY ONCE, FOR PETE’S SAKE. So now I am the crazy idiot flaky hysterical mom.

UGH. It is the worst. Even though I realize it is unlikely as bad as I think – and even though Carla’s teachers remain kind and friendly and helpful as ever – I feel like I’m being evaluated and coming up short every time.

The worst thing of all, I think, is that I really REALLY don’t want my stress and discomfort to be impacting Carla or her experience at school. She is super perceptive, so I know I can’t fully hide anything from her. But I really hope I’m disguising my Issues enough that it’s not amplifying her own stresses. And I really hope that she is on the last leg of the Transitional Period, and that the new school will start to feel known and comfortable – soon.

UGH. Preschool. Who knew it would be so HARD (for me)?

What I want to have is reassurance: that I’m not the only one who stresses about these ridiculous things. That all these stresses are likely magnified by the horrific political environment. That it’s probably not as bad as I think it is. That it will get better. For me but DEFINITELY for Carla.

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