Thursday, February 5, 2009

I Could Be Cleaning My Bathroom Right Now...

or ironing the pile of shirts that is hanging over the railing of my upstairs hallway. Or vacuuming or paying bills or any number of useful things. But instead I am going to blog. And feel guilty about it the whole time.

The past week I have been working obsessively on the choir for which I am assistant director. I am really excited about the music we are singing and the group of singers we have, but I'm getting to the point where I need to force my borderline obsessive/compulsive personality to cut back. This is turning into a 30-hour-a-week job.... A lot of the time I love everything about it and I can hardly contain my excitement for it. But then I have moments where I think, "What have I done? What on earth could I possibly have been thinking?" Kind of like being a mom....

Which brings me back to my point. As tempting as it may be to linger on the musical possibilities of "Dirait-on", "Prayer of the Middle Ages" or the AWESOME vocal jazz piece we are doing, I realized yesterday that it had been several days since I had even really attempted to do laundry or dishes and the piles were growing. Rapidly. This doesn't even begin to describe the neglect of my bathrooms. Meanwhile, there are choir administrative details that need to be worked out, music to be practiced, music students to be taught, errands to be done, bills to be paid, a 14-month-old who decided to quit sleeping through the night and host a part every morning at 3:00 am (Maybe Matchbox 20 had him in mind with their song: "It's 3 am and I'm lone-ly!), food to be made and cleaned up (always!) and countless other chores in varying states of un-done-ness.

I sometimes wonder if it is just my personality or an inherent part of being a mom, but so often I feel pulled in a million different directions, almost like I'm being ripped apart. There are way too many things that you care about (and want to care about but don't have enough energy left over to actually care) and not enough energy to tend properly to any of them. It's like this comic play of impossibility: if you do a good job at one thing it's impossible to simultaneously do a good job at the other. The result is that I feel fragmented, sloppy and half-baked -- and probably look that way most of the time too, to be honest. So I manage by juggling: tend to choir until housekeeping is about to fall off the cliff, then chuck the choir ball in the air and tend to housekeeping until the kids ball is about to drop with a thud, grab that ball while hurling the housekeeping ball in the air and hope it stays up long enough for you to tend to the other things before someone calls the health department and reports you.

OK, now I'm rambling, so I might as well ramble about something else. I am way too self-critical. I obsess over whether I doing a good enough job as a conductor, as a piano teacher, as a mother, as a housekeeper (OK, well probably not that one. That's pretty obvious). While I am on the topic of self-criticism, why do I feel a need to ramble about my insecurities in a completely public forum? I guess it's like Crocodile Dundee when she tells Mick about a guy seeing a therapist. He says, "Don't you have mates? If we have problems, we tell Wally. Then Wally tells everyone else. Then it isn't a problem any more." Maybe I should rename my blog "Wally."

4 comments:

Lara said...

I want to sing in a choir like that! Sounds great! The one I'm in (and also assistant direct) is okay, but I live in a small town.

And a big hearty AMEN! to everything else you said. It's tough.

Kathy Rump said...

Oh Karen, you describe most stay-at-home moms perfectly! I know that I feel your pain and relate to all that you described. Hang in there- you are NOT alone.I know that I count on my friends to keep me sane. I call them and so I can rant and rave over LOTS of things my husband would commit me for!

Rebecca said...

You are a GREAT CONDUCTOR, bytheway, but I can refer you to a great little gal who cleans my bathrooms (and kitchen floor) for quite a reasonable price! It really saves my sanity!! (She lives in Sherwood too!)

Ranell said...

Ditto to all you said (except the conductor stuff ... but I have my own areas of interest that often take over).

At least we have friends who understand, and offer unconditional support and love, right?