It seems like all I do lately is use my blog to vent about things that annoy me. I am very cranky and stressed right now and I have little to no adult interaction for most of the week including on Sundays as I teach the 5 & 6 year olds at church for 2 hours. Please understand, I use this blog as a sort of interactive journal. I'm sorry I'm not in a very uplifting mood these days, but if you read blogs to be uplifted, perhaps you shouldn't read mine for a while. If you read to find out how I'm doing, well, I'm fine and very happy and I know that I am very, very blessed, but even so, life isn't always cherries and roses, ya know? Plus, I vent here (and with Ben) so that I can be patient with the kids.
Most of you know that my life consists of running an in-home preschool from 7:15-5:30Monday through Friday. This doesn't just mean I am with kids all day. It also means my evenings and weekends are spent doing lesson plans and cutting out arts and crafts and advertising my business and dealing with parents and planning special events like 100 Day activities and Valentine's Parties. Its not like I have a room mom or an aide to do those things for me or a planning period to do it in. Yeah right, my planning period would be naptime from 1:00-3:00, but by the time I get the kitchen cleaned up from the disaster that is lunch and get care sheets typed up, that is usually about the time Jackson decides to wake up and then I get the oh-so-easy task of keeping him quiet for another hour so the other kids can sleep.
I have 4 4-year-olds including one child with special care needs due to neuroblastoma, a type of cancer that affects the nervous system.
I have 3 3-year-olds, including one who, until last week, was not potty trained.
Then I have my 16-month-old, Jackson.
I am also 20 weeks pregnant.
I love my job. I love the kids. I love my son. I am excited to be pregnant. I planned this pregnancy. I am not sorry for taking on any of these responsibilities, nor do I plan to shirk or delegate any of them, but they wear me out. I reach maximum exhaustion level by the end of the day and it is all I can do to to stay awake, much less get up, walk around and also get household obligations taken care of as well. After catching up over the weekend, I am usually balancing things quite well until Wednesday, when I really, really, start to get worn out. Because of all the things I am juggling, if any additional balls get thrown in, I pretty much lose it.
Here's the ball that is currently making things difficult: Jackson is sick. FOr about 3-4 weeks now, he has not been sleeping regularly, he has had horrible diarrhea, and his normally cheerful temperament is, off and on, not so cheerful. We took him to the doctor. The doctor said to put him on a liquid diet for 24 hours, if he has diarrhea, continue for another 24 hours. If not, start the B.R.A.T. diet. Well, yeah right, my 27 lb kid is an eater. Poor guy, all the other kids are eating yummy lunches and snacks in front of him and I'm like, "Here's your yummy chicken broth," and he throws it at me, like what the heck is this nasty juice? Well, that was a couple of days ago and he is still having diarrhea, so our next step is to take a stool sample in and see if he has a parasite.
To all of you who are full-time working mothers: Have you ever thought about what it would be like to take your sick, starving, and cranky toddler with you to work all day? Let me tell you - it's a little challenging, especially if you work with kids.
Normally, this works really well. Jack wakes up about 7:00, I'm finishing getting myself ready, I get him breakfast, get him ready for the day and Z. gets here. Z. is here alone for about 45 min while I do the dishes, process the laundry, etc. Then the kids start getting here at 8:00, we have 4-year-old small groups while the other kids are in free play. Then we have group time at 9:00. Jackson sits in his seat at the back of the group, then we all go have snack. We go outside, come back in and go to centers, then it is lunch and naptime. Jackson usually goes down for a nap about 30 minutes before the others, and they sleep from 1-3. At 3, we all get up, watch 20 min of Sesame Street (which Jackson loves) and eat snack. Then we go outside again, come back in and have small groups with the 3-year-olds and everyone starts going home. All day, Jackson just floats around playing independently or with the kids or he'll actaully sit down and participate. He is used to our schedule and it works very smoothly. Not hard whatsoever, but of course, it is tiring.
Well, try doing all that with a kid who feels horrible, who is hungry and wants to be held, is whining for juice or crackers or bites. Can I teach with a clingy child in my lap? No. Do I have the patience for this after several weeks of interrupted sleep? hahaha, nope Does it work when the kid's sleep schedule is completely off and he doesn't want to sleep at naptime, but at other times? uh-uh.
My general attitude in life is that we do what we have to do in life and we find a way to make it work, and find a way to be happy about it. There are ups and downs, rough and smooth patches, and I have certainly experienced much worse, but I find myself praying that this particular rough patch will hurry up and get finished. It has been almost a month!