Wednesday, May 16, 2007



I'm in a mess. My house is in a mess. My head is in a mess. The latter probably explains the former. Or the former the latter, I don't know. Which came first - the chicken or the egg?

When I set foot in the girls' bedrooms just now, to empty their wastepaper bins, and to strip the beds, my head went into a spin and I felt like crying. Diabolical mess. Dirty clothes, clean clothes. All in heaps, mixed up with toys and books. I keep promising myself I am going to have a blitz, but it is such a task, I keep putting it off. Partly because I know it will just get trashed again pretty soon. Plus me cleaning it up once in a blue moon doesn't change anything - they take mess over the edge, and I can't seem to rein them in. I know that they are bad because I am no role model in the tidy house stakes, but really... I don't leave my wet towel on the bedroom floor, and I don't leave my dirty clothes all over my bedroom floor either!! So what the hell is it with them?

Part of the problem is that two of them are sharing, and there is not enough wardrobe space or shelving. Enter the 'extension' plans, which have come to a grinding halt since before Christmas. I know that I am the one that needs to get them on the agenda again, but getting him to focus on that of an evening or weekend amongst all the other madness will not be easy.

My head can't decide how to prioritise things - on a daily level, and on a bigger picture level.

I am doing a blog because I want to practise writing, but even I can see that I am incapable of precise, clear prose. Brevity? What's that? Rather, the mess just pours from my brain, into long, scrambled essays of inane drivel. Every time I blog I feel guilty because I am not doing something more worthy of my time, yet I am driven to write.

I was reminded last night that there is another netball committee meeting on next Monday night, which means I need to do the minutes. Already? Sheesh. There's more time to be spent on the computer, when I actually could be doing something else more important, or worthy... you know, like cleaning.. or exercising... or doing something about the house plans... (or blogging of course.)

Yesterday I didn't get out on the bike or do anything active. So I felt bad. Yet when I do, particularly during the day, I feel guilty for swanning around. "What have you got on today?" he asked this morning. "Oh, my weights training class this afternoon." Nice for some, huh. Tomorrow I play tennis all day (and thus can't make it to watch my daughter play recorder in a concert for Education Week. Cue the SAHM *guilt*). Our team would be short if I didn't go, so you have to do what you have to do.

Today I feel sad and anxious for someone I don't even 'know'... but have actually just recently exchanged a couple of emails with about cervical 'issues'. Now I find that Schmutzie ... (she who hosts the Collection of Spectacles)... has been diagnosed with cervical cancer, which is always unfair, but particularly so when she is ten years younger than me, and yeah.. it just sucks. Be strong, Schmutzie.

One of the reasons we would be short for tennis tomorrow is that one of our team (who I haven't met yet) has just had a call back re possible skin cancer, and has to have more dug out from where a mole was removed 2 weeks ago. It always makes you feel vulnerable yourself when you hear the dreaded C word... and I am just a teeny bit anxious as I await the results of tests from my visit to the gyno; while the tests were not because of an abnormal smear or the like, there is something not quite right, which could be anything from something that can be fixed by taking progesterone, to.. well, you just don't effing know do you... My next appointment was to be for 2-3 weeks, but when I got home I realised the receptionist had made it for one month's time. I think I might go crazy if I don't hear anything in that period because the 'imagination' in my already messy head is running amok.

Last night we went to parent teacher night at the high school. As we suspected, in all subjects bar Maths, the teachers wax lyrical about her. Doing all the work (even if we don't see it), and doing it well. Organised. (huh?). Lovely girl. (*snorts*) Meticulous (what?) Helpful. (HUH?) Well, so long as she is like that at school, that's half the battle.

Hmmm, but as we feared, not so for Maths, because, as we already knew, she has an Attitude about Maths. Not handing homework in!! Scraping through tests.. Half yearly test on Thursday next week = one week for Dad to home tutor her, and to try to get her over the brick wall she has erected for herself; it would be just stupid to throw away opportunities just because she doesn't want to understand Maths. (I am thinking 'now why isn't the teacher taking some responsibility here?' but anyway...) We had an 'interesting' session with her when we got home, and laughed and shook our heads as she tried to find any way she could to blame someone or something else for being one of only a couple in the class who weren't signing off on homework. The kid is smart enough that the other subjects are not a strain at all.. and so we do worry that she won't actually know how to apply herself when she hits Year 11 and 12. Or uni if she chooses to go down that path. We *think* we have got through to her that actually working her brain for one subject - Maths- is still an easier path than most kids have who struggle with everything.

However, the home tutoring (by Dad because he is better at it) will be a nightly struggle. He is more patient than me, but by god, last night, he was getting frustrated with her, which he started taking out on me till I pointed out what was happening. He doesn't really need the brain strain on top of his long hours at work, but I'm just bloody glad he is here and not scheduled to be away for weeks.

The only thing I am top of today is dinner. I know what we are having, and have what I need in the cupboard and fridge. Given my M.O. in recent weeks, that is an achievement. One less bit of mess in my head. Till tomorrow.

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God that mess.
When I go into my son's room to read to him at bedtime, or to put clean clothes in his drawers, I generally have to kick my way through the detritus.
When he (eventually) tidies up, he just shoves it all to the side of the room and carries on as before.
And I was such a tidy child...
You know, maybe for one day you should just go, "BUGGER THE MESS". Have a mental health day. Just 'cause you're a SAHM, doesn't mean that you aren't entitled. Doesn't mean you don't stress.

It will be difficult to do so, but I bet you'll feel better the next day. Maybe even feel up to tackling ONE room.

Take my suggestion on board or not, it is up to you. Meanwhile, *hugs* and *a cuppa* for you. Thoughts are with you.
May is always Hell Month for moms with kids still in school- every club, group and cohort wants time, all in the same weekend, usually.
You are amazing for keeping it all straight, persevering at odds of 4:1 for messers:cleaner, and knowing which way is up! Go, Trace!!
Your writing is clear and precise, by the way. :)
As a "professional tutor", may I suggest bartering with a local tutor or asking about having a Study Buddy assigned to Miss-Maths? I know it coordinating it would add even more to your heavy plate of responsibilities, but sometimes stepping away from "family" as tutors cuts the edge off the teen's mental blocks... Just a thought for next week!
MB, my problem is I go 'bugger the mess' every day! That's why it gets so bad!!! And I get to a point where I seize up and don't know where to start.

JC - actually it's 5 messers to 1 cleaner!! I'm one of the messers too, I confess. Actually the other night the husband got jack of the mess on the kitchen benches, cracked up and did a tidy up. For once I decided not to feel bad for 'failing in my duty' and I just let him do it, I'd reached my catatonic state with it all, and was unable to get started. Once he'd got it to a reasonable state, I was able to take it from there. Sometimes I just need help.

The tutor is a good idea, only right now there would be absolutely no time to schedule it as we are in a bit of an 'alpha' phase with the after school and weekend sports. Total madness this term. The Dad tutoring was needed (and worked) 2 years ago...when she had a really crappy teacher (true story - I suddenly understood once I met the teacher at the parent teacher evening. Talk about vague!) It is not dire straits.. this is just to keep her in the top Maths class so that she doesn't slide into the lower classes with the disruptive students. Sad but true. Also sad, but true, is that this situation is a reflection on the calibre of the teacher. (And whether she *clicks* with them). While this year's teacher isn't anything like the one two years ago, last year she was fine. Says it all really.

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