There is an image, tossed about by some, of a job whereby you need to keep a series of corks underwater. As you push some further down, others escape your hands and pop up to the water's surface.
At the moment, there are just too many corks in the tub.
Z, our oldest, has been homeschooling for a year and a half. We are always trying to find new and different ways to eke some productivity out of his day. He has nearly as many ways of evading work as getting it done. I could make a full-time job of homeschooling just this one child. I have to satisfy myself with the fact that he is learning (a lot), and even though his work output is small - he has academic gains. But, he could always use more playdates, more directed activities, and more of my time.
B, our middle child, is going through a difficult time. It seems like B is always going through a tough time. He operates from one crisis to another, close-lipped about each of them. I so hope that he will grow into a responsible man someday, but I worry so. He has everything going for him... he is bright, athletic, tall, rugged, and capable. But, he can also be impulsive, irresponsible, dishonest, and rude. He can be amazingly charming and he needs love and cuddles and understanding (and, he needs them most when he is the most horrid).
T is suddenly not the amiable and easy-going kid he's always been. He was telling me that another kindergartner has been calling him stupid. He isn't always honest, so I don't know how much of his agony is truly caused by this other child and how much is his trying to diffuse attention to his own actions.
Then, we live in this house that keeps getting dirtier. With laundry that I keep folding, washing, folding, and washing - and it just keeps coming. And, things break and things need attention, and I need to call people and make arrangements and feed the dog and vacuum and all kinds of things.
And, there is this job... I need to do things for my job. I need to write, and plan a course, and keep up with my materials and my colleagues. I need to read the right academic texts and prepare pedagogical talks and research talks, and collaborate with other scientists.
Then, I have this husband. And, I love him dearly and want to spend some time with him. But, by the time the kids are settled, I am tuckered out.
And, I was hoping to stay committed to getting in better physical condition this year. I have more time, but I am always feeling like I am in the throes of not finishing something else that is crucial. And, with a homeschooling kid and a full-time job - I never feel like I can quite get the right stuff done to meet this obligation.
This is where I am at the moment.
Words to myself: The dirty house will someday get cleaned. And, I have to be satisfied with not really doing things the way I think that they should be done. Because, T won't always be six - and, it is now that he needs to be reminded that he is not stupid - regardless of what some other little six-year-old says. B won't always (please, oh please, be true) need so much constant intervention. And, Z is going to grow up on us and some day figure out how (please) to get himself through school or work on his own. And, my job will still be there - even though I wish I could feel like I was really doing it the way I'd like. And, J loves me and me him - even if I can't always stay awake to tell him so.