Friday, September 13, 2013

What a ______ week.

Someone please tell me that it's normal for kids to act CRAZY during the first full week of school and that unicorns will fly over the house while we're sleeping this weekend and magically transform my children back to sweet girls.  Not that they're not sweet when they're crazy - the crazy is just front and center and all up in my face.  I'm pretty sure I earned a Mother of the Year Award this week and I'd like to avoid a repeat performance next week.  I'm hoping/assuming that they're just overtired and that being overtired is causing the silliness, crying over everything and grumpy, uncooperative attitudes.

So far, Allie is the only one who has been assigned homework.  She has a reading/math log that needs to be completed Monday through Thursday and then turned in Friday with a parent's signature.  She needs to enjoy a book (or books) for at least 15 minutes a day.  This means that an adult can read to her or she can read to an adult.  I (when I'm home in time from work) normally read to the girls for at least 15 minutes each night so this really isn't a big deal except for remembering to write it all on the log.  I've been patiently trying to work with her on her reading this week.  (And I've been trying to work on my patience.)

She also needs to practice her math facts for at least 5 minutes a day Monday through Thursday.  Apparently, at the end of the school year, the first graders will be given a 3 minute timed test in which they have to correctly answer 70 math questions (sums to 10.)  So the questions will be 2+2=X or 9-7=X.

Monday night, Grammy and the girls had to pick me up from the train station because Rich had a meeting at the church.  He has volunteered to teach CCD this year, which means he needs to attend some training, etc.  We arrived home at 7:00.  The girls were already bathed and in their pajamas.  Grammy offered to cath Anna while I went upstairs to change clothes.  I thought it would be a good time to practice math with Allie.  Well, Allie and Emily thought it would be a good time to bounce off the walls, and perform gymnastics stunts on my bed.

After a few minutes of Allie listening to Emily and not me, I said, "Emily, go clean your room or something."  I didn't yell at her but there was clearly frustration in my voice.  (I did yell at her Tuesday night after she whacked Anna in the back with a doll causing Anna to cry hysterically for 10 minutes.)  She went to her room to presumably pick up some of the stuff that always seems to accumulate on her floor.  I had been watching the clock to time 5 minutes of math questions, thinking that if I was able to pull 5 minutes from Allie, I would be satisfied giving how things were going.  After 3 minutes, I happened to notice that the light was off in Em's bedroom.  I walked in to find her standing in her closet nook, crying.  Seriously?

I hugged her, we talked for a minute and then I realized that (duh!) although Emily doesn't have a math log, she still needs to practice too.  So we spent another 5 minutes with them alternating answering the questions.  It wasn't easy or fun but we finished.  And then there was more crying at bedtime.  I'm not going to give a play by play of each night's events but we ended last night with Emily whacking her forehead against the corner of Rich's bureau.  She is now sporting a blue bump there.  Oh, and Anna stayed awake until after 9:00 Wednesday night because Grammy and I went out to run errands, which is an extreme rarity on a weeknight, and she didn't want to go to sleep until I was home.

We have a huge 9/15 tax filing deadline at work so this week has been busy.  When is it not busy? (And yes, there are tax emergencies, just like there are unicorns.)  Before marriage and kids, I had romantic notions of what life will be like.  This isn't it.  And my kids are only in the first grade.  I can't even imagine doing this when they are in the fourth grade and have time consuming homework. Changes and adjustments will have to be made to our lives.  Rich and I have already discussed some goals and timelines.  But things of this nature never happen overnight.  Change is often slow.  (And I need to work on my patience.)

Mentally, I was in a bad place this week.  I sometimes feel that no matter what I do at work, it's not good enough because I can't work 50, 60, 70 hours a week on a regular basis and then I come home and everyone's mad and frustrated over the overtime that I did work.  It turns into a lose/lose situation.  Ugh...

Here's to hoping that next week is a better one....

13 comments:

Siné said...

Hang in there! The girls are probably just exhausted by the new full day school schedule. Would it be worth finding/making some math facts worksheets for particularly crazy days? I hope next week goes better for you.

Ashlee said...

Blah sending unicorns your way!

We don't have kids but tax deadlines mean the house is a PIT and we're lucky if we have food to eat and the air conditioner quit last night, who has time for that?

I think just ask math questions as you think of it at night, not for 5 consecutive minutes (or Grammy on the car ride home?) do it on the weekend and carry it over through the week? OR make a worksheet and on super busy nights have all the girls work on them alone? (hope you don't mind the unsolicited advice!)

BreezieGirl said...

Awww :(

Next week will be a better one. New routines are hard.

Try to cut yourself some "patience" slack. You're a great mom.

Rebecca said...

My twin girls have had all sorts of nervous, change of schedule whatever you want to call it energy. After the second day of school I hid in the bathroom while they both were flapping their jaw outside of the door. Good thing back to school comes with an early bed time ;) Good luck.

Momma Z said...

My son is on his 3rd week of Kindergarten, full day. I picked up a chocolate cupcake at his favorite bakery for afternoon snack. So instead of being excited he started crying when I told him.

It takes the kids 4-6 weeks to adjust to longer days. But it seems like 3-4 weeks. Hang in there, they will get better.

Kathryn said...

this is absolutely none of my business, but what about the possibility of a less stressful job that's closer to home, even if the pay is lower? Would the trade-off be worth it?

Anonymous said...

My first grader has been a complete mess for two weeks now! I was told by a mom with older kids that it takes about a month for them to settle in and start acting like themselves again. I thought I was going to lose my mind! Good luck.

Sarah said...

I've done math worksheets for them in the past - I don't know why I didn't think of it for this. Thanks for the idea.

Kathryn - There are many, many reasons why I can't right now. Benefits, etc. There's also the fact that there really aren't that many jobs that fit what I do close to home. There's a large company nearby with a fairly large tax group for the suburbs but I know folks that work there and they work 60-80 hours/week all the time.

Sarah said...

I have been tutoring a set of triplets since they were in kindergarten. They are now in 3rd grade. I work with them 3 days a week in the summer. During the school year their mom has a high school student who helps (gets community / school service hours) two nights a week. Hannah comes over and each of the triplets spend 15 to 20 minutes reading to her. During that time mom, Michele, is able to help another with math or spelling....and then rotate. I am just sharing in case it gives you any ideas to make evenings/homework easier. I have one child and struggle to get his homework help with him! Another thought is 5 minute rotations for math - 1 is doing a math worksheet, 1 is practicing facts with you, and 1 is practicing on something like a Math Shark. Doing that would give each girl a total of 15 minutes per night of math practice. As for the emotions....yep.....my 13 year old is grumpy, snappy, moody (not just b/c he is a teenager). These first few weeks of school are overwhelming and exhausting. It WILL get better. Hope my thoughts don't offend you.....I am only trying to offer suggestions from my time with the triplets I work with. I realize that is totally NOT the same as being the parent!

Molly said...

Sarah,
I really appreciate how real your blog is. I have two daughters (2 years and 4 months) and I am a med student married to a med student, living with my mom. Our life isn't perfect, but we keep trying. I often worry about what the future will hold for us and balancing our careers with family life. My situation is a little different because I am choosing to work, but I can relate to a lot of what you write (and I don't have triplets!). Anyway, I just wanted to thank you for being honest and say that from the little glimpses we see into your family, you are doing a great job. You have smart, happy, beautiful girls. One day they will understand how hard you worked for them and how much you truly love them, and they will be proud.
-Molly

Tammy Moss said...

,,someday you will look back on this and laugh,,, possibly in 20 years or more. LOL As someone old enough to be Grammy, I want you to know those days will not be the ones you remember. You are doing a great job.

Sarah said...

Thanks everyone for the positive comments.

Tammy - you're right. I will look back and laugh. Just like I look back to when they were infants.

Liesel Nobles said...

I am a new reader to your blog. I am enjoying it very much. I am also a CPA, so I get the crazy busy schedule. I was in real estate accounting and was seeing my 3 kids 2 hours a day and fortunately was laid off at the end of 2009. I say fortunately because I was a loyal employee and loved what I did and never would have quit on my own. Even though I hated never seeing my kids and hated the circus that our lives had become. I took a HUGE cut in pay when I took my current job (I make less than 1/2 of what I used to)but my current job is 7 minutes from the house (not in real estate accounting) and I'm spending alot more time with my kids and am seeing them grow up. You can't get that window of time back- they're only kids for a short time. Praying that you can get your work/life balance figured out. It is very hard to do, but you'll never regret the time you spend with your kids. Thanks for being so real. Your daughters are precious!