One of my unofficial New Year’s resolutions is to be less of a martyr this year. Martyrdom is a sneaky thing, because if you’re like me, you don’t THINK you’re being a martyr, it just creeps up on you. And then before you know it you’re the person stuck on the sidelines or finishing your kid’s science project at midnight or washing everybody’s dirty dishes from the night before just so you can clear a path to the coffeemaker in the morning. I hear stories about other people’s kids cleaning up after dinner and husbands bringing their wives coffee in bed (my own dad does this!) and think, “Clearly I’m doing something wrong.”
But since “stop being so hard on myself” is also on my unofficial list of resolutions, I’m not going to waste much time worrying about what *I* coulda/shoulda/woulda been doing differently. I’m too busy worrying about other stuff. For instance:
1. My 7yo’s lunch money. We decided to let him buy lunch now and then instead of packing it every day. You can set up an account online this year, which is awesome, but this requires filling out a form and choosing a password and a PIN number and 17 other steps. So much easier than packing a lunch??
2. My website. I’m in the process of renewing my domain names and switching hosting services and this has required more emails, customer numbers, passwords, and confirmation codes than were probably involved in the Target security breach. (Did you sign up for the 1 year of free identity theft protection yet? I did.)
3. The fundraisers. I thought I was out of the woods after the fall giftwrap fundraiser? No chance. Right now we’ve got collections going for heart disease, kids with cancer, and boots for homeless people. All with minimum donation amounts required for a class prize, all due at different times and with different forms to fill out. Nothing to make you feel like a horrible slacker parent more than letting down KIDS WITH CANCER. Not to mention an entire class of kids who needed 100% participation to win a pizza party.
4. The freelancing. The great part about freelancing is being your own boss. The bad part about freelancing is being your own collections department.
5. The online shopping. One kid needed new goggles for swim lessons, the other needed a neck warmer for the cold weather. I needed new ink cartridges for my printer. You would think this could all be accomplished in a jiffy with a quick visit to Amazon and everyone’s happy. YOU’D BE WRONG.
6. The thank-you notes from Christmas. Another 17-step process that includes getting the kids to write them, addressing them, realizing you have no stamps and the grocery store’s out of them, going to the post office, getting to the front of line and having your 4yo decide he HAS TO PEE RIGHT THAT SECOND, going back to the post office days later without that kid in tow. Annnd, I’m still carrying them around in my purse.
7. The daily emergencies. You know your kid’s a handful when you get a call from his preschool saying he’s locked himself in a bathroom and can’t get out and YOU’RE NOT EVEN SURPRISED.
8. The constant, nonnegotiable cleaning. The day I decided, “Screw it, I’m sick of being the maid” is the day my son (yes, THAT one) stepped on a Lego and cut his toe and my doctor told me all the horrible viruses going around are probably lurking on every door handle and toilet seat.
I will not be a martyr. I will stop being so hard on myself. I will not be a martyr. I will stop being so hard on myself. I will not be a martyr. I will stop being so hard on myself. So, how do I start?