Monday, November 23, 2009

Overwhelmed and Unorganized

I did not know when E started grade one just how much more was going to be on my plate. Not only does she have homework every day but her planner needs to be read, initialed and put back into her backpack, newsletters and notes need to be read and somehow filed away, and dates need to be written down and remembered. While I am teaching E to be responsible and she's learning that her job is to empty her backpack every day and replace the stuff in the morning, I am still that one that's behind her making sure that it gets done. After all, she is only 6 and has a long way to go before I can completely rely on her remembering to do it herself.

While it's not the true kind of homework that you get marked everyday by the teacher, she still needs to learn and practice her letters and numbers everyday. That means that the hour between 3 and 4 has now turned into the witching hour. I work 3 of her school nights so I have to have dinner ready to go before I pick her up from school so I can supervise her homework time, keep the other two from bothering us, and get supper cooking. Add to that the frustration of dealing with a child learning.

This reminds me of why I did not homeschool. I so do not have the patience and my child would surely have ended up scarred for life. Why is it that she can go through her entire work book from school sounding out f sounds and reading knows that fish starts with f but when you ask her to sound out a similar word in a book, she suddenly asks you what the letter is? WTH? okay minor stuff but add to that all the other stresses and you're just trying to get it done so she can go play with her sibs. I have to catch myself numerous times to keep the frustration out of my voice and inject some cheerfulness into it as I try to make it seem fun. I have to admit, some days I don't succeed and those are the days I pack up the books and put them away because I know I just don't have "it" that day to keep things light and it's better not to do it at all than to have her feel like she's stupid.

I wish I was that mom who doesn't let her frustration show, who doesn't take things personally or let the days frustrations get the better of her. All I can I say is that I am a work in progress and I pray that I will eventually get to be that mom.

So what with all the juggling and the endless papers piling up on my counter that I am trying to keep control and a looming parent/teacher conference coming up and a timeline homework project I knew we had to do this weekend, I was feeling somewhat overwhelmed. I had found out upon dropping E off that I had not only forgotten to get her book order in, but also a busing fee that was due for her trips to a local garden. So I went home and tackled the papers which I thought I had all organized. After all they were in a school folder, weren't they?

They were but not all had made it in and were mixed with J's preschool stuff. It took me at least an hour to sort through all the papers, decide what needs keeping, what can go, write cheques for the stuff that needed paying. I discovered that I had missed submitting the sign up form and payment for E to participate in an after school fun day. It was too late. Crap. I missed popcorn day because although I did write that on my calendar I forgot to give her the money. I'm not in the habit of referring to the calendar every day. Thank goodness the hot lunch day is prepaid so I don't have to worry about that.

So while I tidied all that up I realized I needed to keep a better track of due dates for things. It occurred to me to write the dates on the front of the folder. Now having been a secretary for 13 years, I couldn't do something so messy as write and had to sit down and create a quick form with headers and once printed I glued it to the front of my folder. It looks great and works great. I keep the file folder tucked at the end of the counter for quick reference and I can glance at it every day to see what's coming up and cross off what's done. Now I have my missed things paid up and was able to drop it off with the teacher when I picked up E after school AND I am all ready with her hot lunch order for next week and it's in her planner being delivered to her teacher as I write.

It's amazing but that hour of sorting really gave me a lift and prompted me to sort out one of my junk drawers. Of course, you can't really tell what I spent all my time on but it's nice to open the drawer and see it's not a total mess.

I find myself reflecting though while I'm sorting all the junk that so much comes into the house and I am the one left to sort through it. It would occur to hubby to sort out the junk drawer. He just gripes all the time at what a mess it is when he's hunting for something and yet he's the biggest contributor to it.

Part of our problem is that we're trying to sell and move and so much is put away and we are short on space so what we do have left out there is no more room for it to go anywhere. Thus our drawers get stuffed. And it's always the minute after you toss something out because you have no idea what that little plastic thing is for and it's been sitting in your drawer for a year when someone comes along and tells you that if you had that little plastic thing they could fix whatever with it. ARGGH!

Anyways the point of all this was that if you're feeling overwhelmed this week, tackle an organization project. It doesn't have to be a big one, a little one will do but you will be amazed at how much better it makes you feel.

4 comments:

  1. It's interesting that you're focusing on organization because I feel like my house is a wreck! I get one thing cleaned, but it never seems like enough to make a significant difference. Put away toys, little ones drag them out. Mop the floor and ten minutes later it's covered in sticky cereal. I feel overwhelmed by everything to do, so maybe I'll take your advice and focus on one thing to organize at a time!

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  2. "I wish I was that mom"

    I suffer from this too. But it seems to me that your heart is there... and that is one of the most important things..

    Many blessings to you!
    Amanda

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  3. I have found the same to be true - developing one easy to follow system can make a big difference...

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  4. Welcome to my organizational nightmare where things keep falling through the cracks, like book orders, class pictures (luckily a mom pirated me a copy, Shhh), and hey, is that a pink bill. I'm so bound and determined to get my act togother because Hell I'm an adult. So thanks for the post. It's helpful to know other people are getting organized too. Even if they aren't as bad as me.

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