Earlier in the week, I was getting a quick mani and a close friend happened to be getting her roots fixed in the chair next to me. We were taking advantage of a quick escape to the salon and also catching up while being sequestered in our chairs of beauty. We were happily discussing a few recent fashion purchases and of course, lamenting a bit on how busy we are (what would a conversation be without the word busy?).
I found myself recounting all the
shit activities my boys are enrolled in like drums, lacrosse, Bar Mitzvah lessons, reading for ‘pleasure’ and school, and of course – the ever-present basketball this and that in our lives. I was dissecting my weekend and all the changes I had to make in order to accommodate all the stuff in addition to regular homework and shhh, I may take a long run for myself. My friend who is starting a new job is in the throes of making it all happen and redistributing activities and schedules and responsibilities among the proverbial village.
The funny thing is this – I always feel like I am not doing enough no matter how B-U-S-Y I am. I am not helping enough with homework, I am not watching practices, or I am not volunteering at school. No matter how much I switch schedules and enroll my kids in enough enlightening, well-rounded experiences, my sense is this: it will never be enough…..and, then I reflect to my youth, when I had fun. I had a lot of fun just trying stuff out and gabbing on the phone and studying with friends and making my own plans and not everything was negotiated by my mom.
What is with this? So, I make an ongoing deal with myself. One that I have made before: Let the kids participate in what they like, what they love, allow them time to hang with friends and family, and for god’s sake – encourage them to make their own plans (via texting, of course).
I have asked this behavior from myself before. They love basketball and music so keep those activities, softly supervise homework which is mandatory, allow them to
fuck mess up on deadlines so they learn how to eventually do it, be kind, and eat their vegetables. I don’t know what else to do. The Bar Mitzvah requires a service project, hopefully, this will instill a natural sense of helping others. The boys have witnessed their dad caring for both of his parents before they passed. I can only pray the lesson stayed with them.
Yet, it not being enough lurks right around the corner waiting for me to have a weak moment. And, can you believe, what I thought was dry skin was an infection and I left it unattended for a few weeks because we were sooo B-U-S-Y?? Truly, I am not enough….and, what is it all for?
Dare I say what you are thinking, am I prepping for college already? Do I have Tiger Mom complex? Or, Tiger Mom envy? Or, even worse, do I want to be the anti-Tiger Mom?
Maybe I am doing just enough according to one sarcastic and deathly funny high school senior featured in the WSJ and the Today Show? Could just enough be OK because doing any more really doesn’t make a big diff?
Am I a kitten mom? Too Soft?