Friday, May 18, 2018

Being a Manager Sucks

I got so - SO SO SO SO - angry this morning.

And I think I was entitled to be angry. Maybe you'll agree with me.

Since the very first day P. started school and the multi-day school project became a part of our lives, I have been on top of that shit. And homework, too. Every day, you can find me saying, "Don't forget about your homework!" in a stupid singsong voice that I hope will make the very fact that homework exists less likely to result in huffing and eye rolling. Not that it ever does.

Let's say my kid has to... decorate a turkey in a non-Thanksgivingish way so it can avoid becoming Thanksgiving dinner. Create, rehearse, and give a presentation about three special objects. Play 15 minutes of math games on the computer. Fill in and decorate a poster. Whatever.

It's my job to make sure it happens. Do you know how I know it's my job? Because the letter outlining the assignment that comes home in her folder is addressed not to my child but to her parent. And since I am the parent at home (like most moms), anything that reads 'Dear Parents' actually means 'Dear Moms,' which here means 'Dear Christa.'

So back to today, which is the day my kid has to hand in one of these multi-day school projects. Late because we were abroad, but hey, I handled that aspect of it, too.

To my adult eyes, the project looked complete but last night just before it was time to go to bed P. informed us that there were ten spots she still wanted to color right then and there. Nicht gut, I said, but you can do it in the morning if you get up a bit earlier.

Guess who got her up a bit earlier?

And guess who remembered that she wanted to color those ten spots right after she put on her sneakers, right before it was time to walk out the door?

And then guess whose fault it was that the 99.99999% completed project wasn't 100% complete?

That's right, mine. I got an earful because I guess she wanted to make sure damn sure I knew how shitty a parent she thinks I am.

Because it's not like I'm busy managing, oh, almost every other facet of this family's schedule, obligations, deliverables, household maintenance, etc. while also having a career or anything.

If I could get back the time I've spent reminding P. that she needs to do her homework, cajoling her into practicing that stupid cello, making her practice the dances she will get up on stage and perform, poking her about the multi-day projects, and keeping up with doctor, dentist, ortho, and optho appointments... well, I'd probably be much more relaxed, for starters.

This is why I don't take a hard line on making my kids clean their rooms, by the way. I like a tidy house but I'll be damned if I'm going to make their rooms another line item on the invisible to-do list that household managers have running through their heads at all times.

It's never light and breezy in my brain. Never. Right this minute I am carrying around the burden of how we'll make it to Bo's pre-K graduation when I have to teach dance, remembering to put out the old TV for pick up by tonight, the makeup swim class I must have agreed to while we were in Berlin, Bo's upcoming dentist appointment, his end of year school celebration, everything associated with the dress rehearsal and end of season recital (practices, costumes, etc.), trying to get an estimate for finishing the unfinished room in our house, remembering to mow the lawn before the rain, and we can't forget to finally put down that mulch (something I'll do during some lunch break next week because that is called having it all).

Being a manager sucks, y'all.

But the thing is I signed up for this by having kids in the first place and by wanting to be the at-home parent (aka Dear Parent). So I have to deal with it for X more years, where X represents some unknown period of drudgery that I will have to endure. Unless the husband gets a work-from-home job, in which case he can join me as co-manager and experience all of the suck for himself.



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