Today is one of those days. The world falls apart, because I am too tired to hold it on my shoulders any longer.
Even Atlas wanted a break.
For the second morning in a row, the Mad Toddler has asked for seconds at breakfast, only to announce as soon as I pour the milk over his cereal that he is all done. A total waste of food.
I went into the Young Adult's room to check on his progress in straightening up ("straightening up" is a lesser form of "cleaning", implying less work and less stress). He really hadn't done much, but it was hard to tell since his small room was littered in teen debris. What brought me to tears was his bed. It looked like a four-year-old made it. He is about to turn 13, and has had many lesson on how to make his bed, and many, many check's by me, his mom. But if I do not stand over him, he puts about the same effort into it as the Cowboy's did on their last game - almost none.
I know - why let a bed upset me?
It is part of the seamy underside of homeschooling. Everything your children do reflects you - because there is not anyone else. If they can't make their bed, it isn't because they had to run catch the bus or because they were almost late to football practice. What if they totally fail their history test? Sure, maybe they didn't study hard enough, but then it occurs to you that perhaps you never taught them HOW to study. Or why the $100 practice shoes are bunched up in the closet again - because you obviously did not make things clear enough. There really is not an excuse. So, you must be the cause, right?
I am tired of being the police in my family. I know many moms are, but there is no escape for me, nor is there anyone else to help out. You would think that if you talked to someone about a schedule, they would remember and "get it". Only you come to realize that they never will.
If I want my kids' rooms to be clean, then I have to stand over them and bark orders. No one else will police them, no one else will even poke their heads in the room to see if they cleaned when they said they did. Just me. So I get to be the bad guy every single time.(Like this past weekend, when I was working Saturday morning. I came home and asked if the boys cleaned their room. They all said yes. Did they? No. How do I know - I ACTUALLY WENT AND CHECKED. So I got to be the bad guy that grounded the boys from video games and yelled at "fun dad". Great.)
I am the one who teaches, assigns homework, grades homework, corrects and guides schoolwork, teaches manners (like table manners), oversees housework, oversees someone else overseeing housework, teaches faith and theology, practices soccer or baseball, does the laundry (oh wait - everyone helps when they are made to!), makes sure our schedule is set and on-track for the week, and I still find time to exercise and pray and try to write.
I am not bragging.
It is killing me.
Even if I get a "day off", I know that means being willing to do the laundry when I get home or clean the mess in the playroom the next morning, or put away the box of skates and kneepads that I did not get out, but which litter my entryway. Either way, I pay.
I am the boss of the family, hated and feared like many bosses. Closed out of the fun of the rest of the bunch. And all without the higher pay scale or benefits or anything.
I am hoping I get a pink slip. The economy being bad and all, surely management will be the first to go.
I did the whole working-mom thing, and it was hard. Especially since I still was the only one who cleaned (or who made others clean), did all the laundry, the shopping and so on. Even during my busy season, when I worked 90 hours a week. The difference there is that I actually got to spend some hours of every day with people who paid attention to me, who liked me, who listened to my ideas and thought they were good, who wanted to spend time with me. And I got paid for it - not much. Not nearly enough, but more than any form of payment I get out of my current job.
Today is a day I completely regret letting another job pass me by this summer. It seemed like the right call at the time.
If I had the money, I would be on a plane to somewhere. Alone.