Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Weepy, No Sleepy

Where to begin? I could tell you my computer is dying, which it is, and that is why I haven't been blogging or reading or commenting.

But that would be only part of the truth.

You see, while I would like to write about my piece of crap computer, tell you my feet are so rough they could cut glass, or maybe just slap up a picture of how stinkin' cute my kids looked on the first day of school, that would be a cop out.

Because that's not all that's been going on.

Here's the thing. I've been crying. A lot. Ugly, snot-squirting, heaving crying. In public it's more of a "Please don't ask me how I'm doing or I'll start crying," kind of sniffle accompanied by bloodshot eyes.

I have cried at home, in front of customers, in the seltzer aisle at Giant Foods, at my kids' school open house, in the car, and today, during a all-staff meeting at work. Yep.

Lest you think someone has passed away, I need to admit I've been crying over where to send my daughter to school this year. Yes, I'm sure it seems like we solved that issue a couple of weeks ago, right? Wrong.

Is today September EIGHTH? Oh yes it is. Has school already started? Oh yes it has.

I know this sounds a bit crazy, because, well, it is. I am a 40 year old woman who has experienced traumatic life events and as far as I can tell, this should NOT count as one of them.

So why have I been thrown so off-kilter? Why can't I sleep at night? I don't know. If you were acting the way I'm acting I'd want to give you a hug then a bitch-slap across the face, "Get a hold of yourself, Woman!" I know. I know.

I think my weeping, like a lot of things in my life, is rooted in fear:

Fear of making the wrong choice.
Fear of failing as a mother.
Fear of not challenging my daughter enough.
Fear of challenging my daughter too much.
Fear of too little structure.
Fear of legalism.
Fear of not having the faith to send my daughter to a Christian school.
Fear of not having the faith to send my daughter to a public school.
Fear of my daughter joining an oral sex ring in middle school because her mother chose public school.
Fear of my daughter joining an oral sex ring in middle school because her mother chose private school.
Fear that my daughter will find my blog and ask me what an oral sex ring is.
Fear of MY not belonging in either school community.
Fear of being a crazy flip-flopping mother who moves her kids around every year, or perhaps every day.
Fear of doing lasting damage.

Do you get the picture?

Mental health has always been my strong suit. I am practical. I am great in a crisis. I am steady.

So now picture me, snuffling in the bathroom, summoning the courage to tell my daughter I've changed my mind yet again and she's going back to public school this very morning when a little hand knocks at the door. There she is, in her stinkin' cute prepped-out uniform ready to go to private school, lunch bag in hand. What could I do? I put on my sunglasses, snapped some pics, and took her to school.

I think the root issue here is responsibility.

Throughout my temporary (I hope!) insanity, my deepest despair, and my deepest cry has been, "This is just too much for me!"

The responsibility of being a mother just seems like too, too much sometimes.

As a Christian, I am supposed to realize I am not in control. When I "get" this, I am free. But I so seldom get it. And lately I've been too tired and too weepy to even believe it.

I have so much that I want. I want a husband who will make the decision, so I don't feel like it's all on my head-- but only if it's a decision I agree with. I want a mom who will hold me close and tell me I'm doing a good job. I want a God to whisper in my ear that what is too much for me is not too much for Him.

Is this too much to ask?

And a good night's sleep, too.

22 comments:

Kristina P. said...

Is an oral sex ring really all that bad? I mean, it's not actual sex, right?

Headless Mom said...

Oh sweetie! God just wants you to hand it all over. He'll take care of it!

And, fwiw, you need to have faith in the fact that you've raised her well, with God at the center. No matter where she's in school, she'll shine. You have to give her to God because everything you've done up to this point will be enough if she has Him. I remember these feelings though when my girl was this age...remember, she's now in Bible college!

((hugs))

Karina said...

Hi Anna,
We've never met, but I've enjoyed reading your blog, and I appreciate how candid you are. I can empathize with the experience of going back and forth on a decision because of fear. I've witnessed many parents going through your decision because I taught at a private school for four years. Ultimately, every student is different because God has them all on different paths.

I wanted to share some encouragement from Isaiah. (It comes with love and not judgment! I don't want to sound preachy.) Isaiah wrote, "He tends His flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart; He gently leads those that have young." (Isa 40:11) God is gently leading you. He has your daughter in a particular school right now, and that was His will. If He shows you to move her, that will be His will as well. He says His word is a lamp to our feet and a light for our paths (Psalm 119:105), so I have gone to His word over and over to hear what He has to say. It isn't always an answer to my most pressing question, but He always give enough light for the day. He doesn't promise to reveal the life plans He has for us (or our children) in one sitting. Maybe it's so we keep going back to Him!

Anyway, keep up the good fight to believe in God's sovereignty and goodness. You are a loving mom to think so much about where your daughter should go to school. And, from what I've experienced, what's most important is the relationship you have with your daughter at home. That will affect her more than her school.

mosey said...

I agonize in a very similar fashion much too often. Is there a remote possibility that you, like me, are having some raging hormonal issues to do with - ahem - our 40-something age?

It's just a thought. And my daughter wants to START a blog. At six. Good lord. I told her she can after she gets her first tattoo when she's 30.

Hang in there. You're a good mama and those prayers are going to find the way for you.

x

Jill said...

I was just thinking about you at the very same time! I'm a sympathetic cryer - so your tears are getting to me!

Ugh, I don't think that you could possibly make a mistake with whatever school you ultimately decide to send her to ... regardless of how many times you change your mind.

Go with your gut. And if your gut decides to have diarrhea that day, nobody is going to fault you.

Shana said...

You know that I know this particular angst all too well. Carlie started today. At the public school. For the first time. In her life. I was traumatized. She was fine. The school is 6-12th grade, and she's in 6th. She looked like a freaking baby being tossed into a sea of giants. I could barely leave her there. And, dear Lord, I had not even THOUGHT ABOUT the oral sex ring. Now I won't be able to sleep.

Lynn from For Love or Funny said...

Oh, Anna, I can totally relate. My oldest just started high school and we had to decide where to send her. School is important; it's where our kids spend most of their time, so we parents sure feel the pressure to choose the right school. That being said, most schools have something for everyone.

Keep us posted! I'm anxious to hear how things go!!

Momastery said...

this is my favorite post of yours, ever.

i get it. i really, really get it.

love you, anna. praying.

"do not fear mistakes, there are none." - miles davis

Ellen Stewart (aka Ellie/El/e) said...

As a Christ Follower who teaches in a public school system, your angst is kind of surprising to me--especially over "the ring," 'cause that's one thing I haven't heard of in my town.

:)

I teach fourth grade. It's a great year. It's great because it's fun, they're still kids, and no huge life impact can be made except if the teacher is Cruella DeVille, and my kids are safe there...

Perhaps I'm not loyal enough to your blog, though I do enjoy it very much, to weigh in on this question. I think I've missed some of the details that brought you to this (in)decision. If your baby likes where she is for this year, can't you just keep her there and decide for next year?

In no way do I mean to belittle your fear, but really, how's it working for you? I hate that you're letting it damage you.

Prayers for your peace being offered here.

Christy said...

Oh boy, I feel for you Anna. I wish I could help you with your decision making...but I can just tell you that reading this it sounds to me like you want to put her back in public school. (?) Right? Or no? Ugh. If you ever want a shoulder to cry on over the phone, PLEASE call me anytime. I might have two little ones crying on my end, but they won't remember their crying fits, and we can't say the same thing as adults, can we. So seriously, consider me a sounding board. Miss you. Big hug. You'll make it through this, and your daughter will do great!!!

Julia said...

Anna......You're stuck on the Spin Cycle. Diagnosis: Depression. Controlling, Anxiety, Indecisive, Crying...yep, been there.

My late 30's were full of control freak episodes, anxiety attacks, crying jags, and some precious temper outbursts...in public places. Yikes.

I thought depression meant getting in a dark room and staying in the bed. Finally my doctor said the inability to make decisions, and the anger were also signs of depression. Of course, I didn't have the "no appetite" symptom. ha.

It took me a year...of friends telling me I was depressed and the doctor telling me ....and my husband looking at me like I was a freak...before I submitted to getting that tiny pill. But that tiny pill saved me.

Love your post. Been there.

xoxo, Julia

L said...

I love you. Call me.

Beverly @ The Buzz said...

Consider yourself slapped--and hugged.

Anonymous said...

Hugs for you Anna! Good advice from these other ladies to bring more thoughtful tears to us all.
My 2 cents: ... other options to think about . . . HOMESCHOOL (or valium)!! :)
Lou

Heidi said...

Being a mom is just hard sometimes. The pressure to make the right decisions not knowing what the outcome will be is tough. It's the unknowns that make us insane.

I don't have any answers for you. And, really, who am I to tell you what to do? But I can stand with you as a mom and a human and say I'm for you and that sometimes life sucks hard. (Wow, so much for lifting your spirits) But, you'll get to the other side of this. I know you will. I am that confident. :) You're one of the good ones, Anna.

Ellen Stewart (aka Ellie/El/e) said...

I just realized, I did lift you up in prayer this morning. Did you feel us all praying for you? I hope so.

Anonymous said...

Lol, Kristina P.

I too am afraid. All the time, of everything. I fear fear itself. But it sure is nice to know that I am not alone, so thank you for sharing. And I am willing to bet that you feel better now that you have voiced your concerns, so to speak.

Hang in there. You sort of have to, right? To help you, here's a helpful bitch slap--followed by a nice ~squeezy~ hug.

jbhat

Deidra said...

I'm praying that you get that good night's sleep. Sometimes that make everything else manageable.

Graceful said...

Oh Anna, I'm so sorry you are in such turmoil. I, too, have trouble with trust and control and following God and even hearing Him for crying out loud. Just know that it will be okay; He will guide you...even when it doesn't feel at all like you are being guided!

Even though your weeping and snufflng you made me laugh, BTW.

Kate Coveny Hood said...

Anna! I have been so disconnected from blogging the past few weeks that I totally missed this. Better late than never? Lets get together for that lunch now that Oliver is back in school and I can get a sitter for the twins. E-mail me with your schedule for the next few weeks.

anymommy said...

Anna, I wish you sleep and peace over this decision. My husband told me not to borrow trouble. Let's just start the school year and if they are doing great, great and if there's a problem, we'll deal with it. If she ends up needing something different in the future, it doesn't mean you made a "mistake," it just means that you had to try some things to find the perfect fit. XO.

K A B L O O E Y said...

I'm sorry you're in such pain. There may not be a "right" answer to your question, but I completely empathize with trying to make the best decision for your daughter. I was told re: making a big decision to tell myself I decided on option "A". Then live with that for a day and see what your body tells you. Next day, say "I pick option B" and same thing -- see how that feels to you. It's a way to use your instincts instead of your "head". In other words, to trust yourself. My head always works too hard and spins its wheels. Yes, my head has wheeels. That shouldn't be too surprising to someone whose supermarket has a seltzer aisle!