Friday, August 3, 2007

Dudes, I'm Freakin'


It started with the big, fat packet that came in the mail from Baxter's school this week. I dutifully began filling in the family calendar - Ice Cream Social? check! Curriculum Night? check! Family Reading Night? check! 2,013 days off from school? check! 361 half days? yep, got that, too. It's all on there. And it's wicked nice to be able to see that there are already conflicts scheduled as far ahead as November! As in, "Oh, look! Baxter's teacher conference will be the day I'm at that workshop!"

It continued when I went to my first council meeting at church on Wednesday night after work. Loved the people there, will like being part of this leadership group that helps to direct youth and adult educational programs at my church. But, Lord, was it a long day. Left home at 8:30 AM, got home at 10 PM. And I won't even describe the driving that was requried - shuttling Baxter from Rogers Park down to camp in Lakeview and back - in between.

It was exacerbated by the continued plights of Mom Searching for Nanny, Business Owner Searching for Accountant, and Newly Moved Lady Selling Large Green Rug. Each plight required an ad on craigslist, which yielded about 60 responses all at once for three different things. I almost went into cardiac arrest trying to handle it all. When the new accountant was just as flummoxed by the dreaded Quickbooks as I was, things got even worse.

But it was all topped off by finding out that not only was I behind on the paperwork required for Lyle's co-op nursery school (fingerprinting, TB test, MMR test, forms for the state, forms about my child, emergency forms...) but I was late on it. I thought it was due at the end of August and was already berating myself for not being far enough along when I got the email this morning reminding us that it was due TWO DAYS AGO.

I don't think my breathing was normal all day. I kid you not.

You've never seen someone race to the fingerprinting place as fast as I did after work, just barely making it in the door before they closed for the day. I'm so mortified, but it's going to be another week before we can get everything in because our doctor appointments are next week; after all, I thought we had all month!

And so it begins: FALL.

I am trying not to be an anxious mess, but I have every reason to be scared.

This life I am leading was challenging enough last year, really it was. And now I'm adding responsibilities at Lyle's school, this new church council position (which is a fairly big one), and the role of Treasurer of our condo association.

Can I do it without cracking? I mean, really, what else can I let go of? I fear the answer is going to be "sleep". And that's not an acceptable answer.

I just had a couple spaces open on my caseload - but, please, if you're on my waiting list, STOP READING RIGHT NOW!!! - because I am hoping to leave that time available. We are going to spend some time this weekend figuring out just how much less we can afford to have me work this year because I already feel the fear growing in the pit of my stomach; but I know that the answer is going to be "more than I'm hoping for".

I've started telling myself, "Buckle up, Buttercup - this is going to be a wild one."

3 comments:

Susan said...

Oh Jordan, I think it's the paperwork. That always sends me running for the hills. Take a deep breath...it'll be ok....it's these little perfect storms of STUFF that get in the way.

Shan said...

This description is EXACTLY what gives me a total anxiety attack whenever I try to envision going back to work "once the kids are in school" (isn't that always the line?). Ack! And if I were to do that, WHO exactly would be taking care of all of this kind of thing??? Yeah, I get anxious enough about all there is to do without having other work on the side too. I'll never forget the relief I felt--mixed though it was--when I closed my practice last summer and no longer had to juggle client sessions, paperwork, emergency consults, patient phone calls, ETC.!, along with the demands of home and parenting. And that was with only one kid (and another imminent)! It stresses me out to imagine adding more to my plate, even down the road a little. I have a feeling life only gets more, not less, busy "once the kids are in school"! Your post confirms it!

Jordan said...

It's absolutely true that life gets busier once the kids are in school, especially because they become involved in outside-of-school activities, homework, etc. It's tough.

If you were a SAHM or were working part-time from home (like with freelance work, you'd have time during the school day with no kids around to do much of what needs to be done. But if you're in an office or clinic part- or full-time, it would be very, very difficult to handle without a lot of help. Of course, millions of moms do it; they lower their expectations at work and home and manage it all. Or go crazy. Whichever.

What I'm learning is that every time we add another organization to our lives (Lyle's nursery school, church, even a soccer team), it brings with it a whole new set of responsibilities that reach far beyond the time actually *spent* there.

Honestly, I can barely remember the simplicity of working part-time and having one small child at home.