Started Out Strong, but Fading Fast

21 Feb

I’ve had quite a few friends ask me how I do it – work, raise Adeline, keep the house in order, and go to school full-time.  I usually skirt the issue and say, “Oh, you make it work, you know?”  But the truth is, sometimes it feels like it just doesn’t work.

It should be pointed out that I work part-time.  I have a semi-flexible schedule and a flexible boss, but I also live at my job.  People get my personal e-mail and work e-mails confused, sometimes knock on the door to ask a work-related question while I’m playing Dance Party, or gripe at me about something-or-other (that I ought to get paid for listening to) during a community dinner.  There are trade offs.  I’m taking a long weekend so Matthew can be away, but will put in a lot of extra hours for our prospective student weekend coming up.

I also have an amazing, amazing husband.  I wish I could tell you what it means to me to know that Adeline is being taken care of while I’m away as well as I would take care of her myself.  We are so like-minded in our child rearing ideals (good thing, huh?). Our schedules are such that she never has to be without one of us – poor girl!  Matthew does all that I ask of him, eventually, and usually does more than I think to ask.  He really does make this situation work.

When I started school in the fall, I had no idea what to expect.  I felt like my brain had atrophied since I was pregnant with Adeline, already didn’t have enough time to do all the things that I wanted/needed to do, and couldn’t imagine getting the grades I expect of myself while keeping my life together.

Turns out, I did fine.  I was as diligent in my studies as I was during my residential undergraduate years.  As soon as Adeline was in bed, I’d run downstairs, tidy up a bit, and hit the books.  I maintained my good GPA through the first term and in the second, the house stayed in as good of condition as it always had (read into that statement what you would like), and Adeline is as beautiful, smart, and strong as ever.

But me? I’m fading fast.

One of my classes (a 100 level, mind you) has broken my will this term.  It’s not a difficult course, but an extremely time-consuming one. I’ve struggled with time management, and certainly with desire.  When I take the time to really clean the house, I fall behind on my homework and feel like I haven’t parented Adeline as best I can.  When I spend the time I want to spend with Adeline, the house is a disaster and I struggle to finish my coursework.  You get the drift.  And, I just plain don’t feel like doing homework any more.  This is where the pity party starts.

First I stop by the Wish I Didn’t Run Out of Money in College party, then briefly drop in at the I Never Even Got to Party in College shindig, and then I spend the rest of my night at the I Just Want to be a Stay-at-Home Mom bash.  While I’m wallowing, I’m not spending time with Liners, writing about the implications of liberal views of human rights on today’s society, or scrubbing the bathtub for the first time in…I’m not saying how long.  Oh, look, another technique that doesn’t work.

This coming week, finals week, promises to be a difficult one.  I’ve procrastinated/chosen better things over my papers for too long, our prospective student weekend at work is coming up, and I’m feeling a little drained.  Your prayers are appreciated. December (my anticipated graduation date) cannot come quick enough.

So, here’s where a decent conclusion should be.  But the child is now crying out in her sleep, and she is one priority I don’t have to question.


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