Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Ups and downs and Expectations

Last week was so full of tears and stress. I think I hit my lowest point so far this year. But I struggled through it and was well rewarded this week. Getting my marks back for the last of my midterms reminded me that this is worth fighting for!
I will never be able to do ALL of the things I want to be doing, but I'm getting there. 
Today I had tears again but they were more from a sense of accomplishment and pride. 

It's hard, so hard, so heartbreaking sometimes.  I have to  fulfill some roles whether I want to or not. Like cooking, cleaning, and laundry. Somehow I have to get these things done. I have help at home. But it's not always helpful... It just doesn't balance out.

I'm forced to choose all the time. And the choices are more difficult than any I've faced in my life. I may have made some similar decisions in the past, when I was working. Torn between kindergarten field trips and work, for example.

But this feels different. For one, I made the choice to go back to school. This is totally voluntary! And second, not only am I not bringing income in for my hours of work, I am actually driving us deeper in debt. The results of these two factors can torture me some days and it is very hard to focus on the big picture.

The choices I have now are based on making the most of my time in school. I don't want to simply pass my courses, I want to do it well. I have to study hard and do hours of work to master the topics I study. 

But I also still need to make sure the kids are okay. Deal with school, maintain self esteem, determine weaknesses and build strengths. Even more than that, though, I need to be present. I need to be an active part of my family. I need to listen to the rest of the family. I need to snuggle and hug and PLAY. I don't want to divide the family but I still have to do my schoolwork!

Fridays are sometimes hard, I want to be with the Trucker while he is at his Friday night job. But I want to be with the kids. But I want to study. Friday tends to be family focused until eight or so.  Once the Angel goes to bed, the Trucker is off to work and the boys are settled, I get the most focused and quiet study time of the whole week. I want to be somewhere else during that time but I monopolize on the quality of the time for me instead.

This weekend, I had to choose between a family movie night or studying. That is a heart wrenching position to be in. The movie wasn't anything special, but the time is. The kids won't all stay sitting and relax if we are not all doing the same thing. If Mom doesn't watch the movie and I would rather do something else, I can go do it. So more than just removing myself from the moment, I risk that moment for all of them. If only 2 or 3 sit down, it is no longer family movie night. 

I did choose the movie. But I folded laundry while I was watching it. I get spread too thin, quite easily. 

The last two weeks have been full of midterms. I got back my last grade today. I tanked on one of the exams but I can see why when I look at the big picture. All of my marks have been 80 or higher, except that one. I earned a wimpy 68%. Being me, and therefore super-perfectionist-overachiever, I was devastated by this. I cried and stewed and got really unpleasant for a few days. Even though I know the rational side of everything and how to fix it, I was emotionally broken. I figured I'd made the single greatest mistake ever. I'm giving up so much of what I want to be doing right now and then it doesn't even show in my grade?

I shifted. I analyzed everything to pieces. I changed my strategy and hit the last midterm with a totally different approach and came out with 102%. And I cried again.

I cried because I can do this. I cried because even when it's hard, I am managing okay. My kids still know I'm here for them, I can still have time for my marriage. I can still study and attend classes. I'm not doing as much of all the things I want to be doing, but I can still do a little of all of it. And in a few more weeks I will get a break.

There is nothing about this that is easy, but I'm getting there!