Career Crisis

Okay, so the post from earlier today detailed my complete breakdown of parenting. Of course, the girls DID have a good time at dance camp. And I had a miserable day, beating myself up for not having more patience, or kindness or just basic parenting skills. So, I wrote Ana a note:

Dear Ana,

I am sorry for saying I thought you were lazy. I know you aren't. I was just frustrated because it seemed like you didn't appreciate what a fun opportunity going to camp is. I know you were just afraid of something new.

I always see so much potential in you. You are the brightest and most beautiful nine-year-old I've ever known. I want so much for you to take on new challenges fearlessly because I WILL BE THERE if you fall. But you won't fall.


and then I baked some brownies (ostensibly to celebrate this little fellow's birthday.


Then, I went shopping, at TWO (count 'em: TWO) stores to find a Polly Pocket car for Ana (because Jane has about three of them from her last birthday party and she refuses to share with Ana, given that Ana never wants to share anything with her.) I also got Jane some more iron bead forms and iron beads and I got Ana a kit to help her decorate her dollhouse and a tiny $2 Polly for Jane.

All the while, I'm thinking, you know, that this is all about something I must be doing wrong. That surely other mothers don't have such a hard time just getting their kids to go to a camp that's supposed to be -- hello-- FUN!

I pick the girls up and it turns out they've had a lovely day, gosh, thanks mom! I mean, if they think about it hard enough, they could come up with something to complain about but all-in-all, a good time was had.

They get home and are VERY excited about their brownies and over the top about the presents. Jane asks if she can use Ana's Polly car some time. Ana says she will "think" about it. Jane gets so excited about her new iron beads that she heads off for a little friend down the road and takes a bunch of them with her to share. She finally comes back as it is time to leave for piano lessons. "But I don't want to go to piano!" she wails.

I say, having learned so much from my morning, "Well, tough, because you are going." Ana, who has paid lip service to practicing her piano all week, tells me she doesn't NEED to learn to read music--she doesn't want to be a pianist, she wants to be a ROCK STAR.

I start to think, this is exactly the problem with Ana and maybe a whole generation of ROCK STARS. She doesn't want anything that might take some work or discipline to achieve. Jane just wants to have every single freaking thing on her own terms. Did I mention the girls have been BEGGING to take piano lessons???

I drop the girls off and come home and it suddenly hits me.

This is CRAZY. I am both killing and bankrupting myself to give these girls a fun, enriched summer and they could not be LESS happy about it. We're all freaking MISERABLE and I don't even know to whom I can tender my resignation.

I don't get it, what am I doing wrong? How do the rest of you do it? I don't remember being so hard to please as a kid --I mean, *I* went to MARIONETTE CAMP, for the love of God. And LIKED IT.

Clearly, I am having a career crisis --and this right after I quit my job so I would have more time to devote to my kids. But if that time is spent breaking up arguments and dragging my kids to things that they don't even want to go to, exactly how enriched are they? And how am *I* supposed to get through it? I can't stay drunk ALL the time (theoretically.)


Stefanie said…
Barb, I think you're beating yourself up for one day gone a little off track. Don't booze it up yet. Life's only getting interesting for you.