The Long Silence

I’ve been quiet lately.

Well, not verbally so much. Lord knows that the sound of my melodious voice continues to float the halls of my workplace. Oh, yeah, I can be heard from a mile away. By everyone except my children, but that’s a story for another day.

The last few weeks have been trying. Monk started a new school, and the rigor is…intense. I looked at her homework the first week of school, and I sort of freaked out. I mean, I had specifically asked, “What do I need to work on with her over the summer?”

The program director replied, “Oh, nothing. We’ll do that when she gets here.”

Now, bear in mind, she’s in third grade. She was introduced to multiplication in second, maybe a little division and area. We reviewed some math facts, but I didn’t teach her division because, well, it’s not a second grade standard. And, of course, the “Oh, nothing. We’ll do that when she gets here.”

She came home with homework that had to do with area of irregular shapes. For a kid who doesn’t even know division, it was tough.

But Monk has rallied, and the tears of the first few weeks of school have started to dissipate. We’re still having crying jags and panic over tests, but again, this is what she signed up for. I would have been content to keep her with me until 6th grade; she wanted the harder program.

But that’s beside the point. I guess I should just say that we have invested a considerable amount of time in her homework, and leave it at that.

Then there’s work. Work has been, well, work. Some years start off easier than others. This year has started off pretty darn hard. And Lord, for a full week, I didn’t go longer than a day without flashing someone. Sometimes it was the result of unfortunate fashion choices (super cute snap up dress, I’m talking about you), but most of it was about small hands finding collars and pulling. Or, pulling on the elastic waist skirt. That’s a fun one, too.

And it’s been busy.

I get up, make lunches and snacks for the kids, make sure everyone is packed for the day, do a load of dishes, and try to straighten up in the morning before 8AM. I’ll make myself a cup of coffee, but I won’t sit down to drink it. That happens in the car.

Then I work all day long.

After work, there are various kid activities to attend to: Scouting and piano and swimming for now; add in baseball and softball in the spring, and two kids who want to move from swimming lessons to team sometimes this winter. There’s PTA at two different schools. I’ve got a private pay client that I see once a week, and that takes a good two hours out of my after school routine (since I don’t leave school until 4:15 and they’re half an hour away, it makes for a long night). We are rarely home before 5:30. On Wednesdays, we don’t get home until 7:15.  Oh, and did I mention that I’m doing some editing, too?

By the time I come home, there’s dinner to cook, dishes to put away, a table to set, and homework to supervise. If I’m good, I’ll do the dishes at night. More often than not, they wait until morning.

I’m tired.

Tonight is laundry night, which means that I’ll be up until midnight trying to do two loads. Because I’m so disorganized that I sort of didn’t start a load until almost 10:00.


Anyway, something had to give. Eating out is too hard for us–with all the food allergies (and the general pickiness of my small people), it’s just easier to eat at home. That, and it’s expensive. I could cook all day on the weekends, but I’m not really organized enough to do that. So instead, I find myself pulling meat out of the freezer in the morning and hoping it defrosts well enough by the time I get home. If I’ve been really good, I have something ready to go into the crock pot in the morning.

I’m not giving up the editing and the critiquing, because I enjoy that way more than I like a clean house.

I can’t cut out helping with homework, because, well, I at least want to try to be responsible.

And I can’t flake on work until I hit the lottery or make my fortune writing books. Sadly, I think both of those things are equally likely to happen.

So, in the end, the blog was ignored.

Not because I don’t love it, because I do, but because I have other things to do with my time. I want to have a clean, organized house, because maybe then I won’t feel guilty about the chaos, but I hate to clean, and there’s so many other things that occupy my time. Writing. Editing. Work. Kids. Husband. And occasionally, I want to sleep.

I’ll never be the mom who throws Pinterest-worthy parties. Mine are slapped together at the last minute for the kids. If I’m having guests, I really only invite the people who I am pretty sure won’t judge me for my dirty house.

I’ve always maintained that I’m not trying for perfection. That I’m just trying to get to “good enough.”

Right now, I’m struggling with even “good enough.” I feel like I get stuff done, but it’s by the skin of my teeth. And my house… oh, ye gods, it is a disaster. I want to hire Stanley Steamer to come in and clean my carpets, but that means that I actually have to get the (not usually literal) crap off the floor.

“Good enough” is looking harder and harder.

I might wind up settling for mediocre.







5 thoughts on “The Long Silence”

  1. Don’t feel bad! Life happens!! And, really, on the scale of cosmic importance, who’s going to remember that you didn’t blog regularly? Thanks for the reminder, that there are truly more important things in life – like living it!

    1. Yeah. Sometimes when I think in drowning, I have to remind myself it’s okay to not be perfect. Which is actually hard for me, given my Type A personality.

      Keeping all the balls in the air is tough!!!

  2. Hang in there! Isn’t it amazing at our capacity to add – just – one – more – thing to our day? It sounds like you’re actually juggling very graciously. You’re paying attention to all the important bits! Besides, a clean floor is overrated, and Stanley Cleaner’s calendar is probably full. LOL Loved your blog, ~Viola

  3. Hang in there with the start of the year. Ultimately you will get a juggling routine down and things will smooth out. We understand the messy house as Donald pulled everything out of his office to rearrange so we could work on our books together. Being up against the deadline now getting things back in has taken a lower priority than the finish edit of the book. You did give us a laugh this morning so things are good.

  4. You’re doing a great job with your kiddos. The rest of it? Meh. You won’t remember it (and neither will they) in a few months.

    (That said, I miss having a cleaning lady, except when I remember how much work it was to get ready for her.)

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