Monday, May 04, 2009

To Do

I have a file open on my computer with a lovely little list on it, it looks something like this:

Study chapters 18-20
Work on index cards for Pathology final


Study chapters 21-23
Work on assignment
Complete index cards for final
Shop for new shoes

KayTar's neurology appointment
Assignment due
Study cards for final
Shop for new pants

Pack for DC
Pack for the kids
Write instruction sheets for my mom and Josh

Take pathology exam
Fly to DC


Speaking engagement in DC
Fly home

Study for pathology final
Review math concepts

Study for final
Review math concepts

Study for final
Review math concepts

BubTar's well-check
Pathology final

Turn in financial aid paperwork
Take math placement exam


Register for summer/fall courses

Hospital volunteer orientation

The list had to be written because every time I would think of exam prep and speech prep my brain would start making this high pitched buzzing noise that made it impossible to concentrate. Lists are the cure for that high pitched buzzing sound (I think the Island on LOST finally got its hands on a cosmic notepad and was able to write down the infinite storylines it was attempting to follow and TA DA! No more buzzing!) and once it was all written down, it was instantly manageable again. Of course, there are a million little things not on the list, things that keep the house running and the children cared for that are more akin to breathing than they are Things to be Done.

This weekend I spent roughly eight hours each day reviewing pathology, which was interspersed between the oh-so-frequent cries of, "MooooooOOOOOoooooom!" and I thought, "Welcome to the next 8 years of your life, Kyla." Massive amounts of studying in the neediness trenches that is motherhood. Dad gets a lot of good press around here, as KayTar likes to say, "Daddy is my favorite! He's the prettiest!" but when push comes to shove, it is, of course, Mommy who is most needed. Daddy is better left for Plan B if Mommy denies a request, like if Mommy was to be unreasonable and tell a vomiting child that she CANNOT have some bacon RIGHT NOW, then Daddy is called in for an alternate verdict.

Earlier this week, Mommy went out for dinner and drinks with friends and within 5 minutes of being seated at the table, her cell phone rang and there was a hysterically sobbing four year old on the line, saying "I--(gasp)--WIWWY--(gag)--MISS--(gasp)--YOU!--(sobsobsob)" Mommy may not be the prettiest, but she is well-loved all the same. The phone call only made me feel only marginally guilty about going out for the evening, but exponentially more guilty about the decision to spend nearly every evening in the next year out of pocket. Guilt, the native language of motherhood. We'll all get through it fine, I know, but sometimes you can't sidestep the guilt entirely.

This list and the time frame it represents are a microcosm of my life, obviously; sick kids, lots of studying, a healthy helping of maternal guilt, doctor's appointments, exams, college, and various other time commitments. The good news is that by Sunday night, everything that should have been was neatly checked off and tucked away appropriately; children snug in their beds, notebooks and index cards filled with appropriate information and filed away for later review, assignments turned into professors, and I still had time to watch a bit of television with my husband. As I curled up under my covers last night, exhausted and content, I thought, "Yeah, we can do this."


Jaden Paige said...

Good for you, Kyla. That is awesome, amazing... incredible.

Even if the guilt goblins hunt you down for a bit, I know you KNOW that you are making a choice that will benefit your whole family in the end. And, if all else fails... Just try to remember that in two years, you're going to be the only one who remembers that heartbreaking phone call. ;)

Mimi said...

Guilt is the language of motherhood!

At least you're going into this with a clear head: you know what's coming, and you're going for it. I'm so proud of you! And kick some ass in DC, okay?

Becca said...

Whew! You are busy!! But I know you can do it.

Christina said...

Mimi is so right. Doesn't matter how much time you spend with your kids or what you do during that time - mommy guilt is universal and rather impossible to avoid.

I applaud your ambitions and will be cheering you every step of the way. Lists are great ways to get your hands around it all. I use them too :-)

sheree said...

damn right you can do this...if anyone can, YOU can my dear ;)

RazzberryMomma said...

You are the only person I know that could pull this off as gracefully as you are! I continue to be impressed and inspired by your commitment to your goals and your children/family. You amaze me! I couldn't be prouder of you!!

moplans said...

Seriously. You are doing it and that is incredible.

Cold Spaghetti said...

The night before day 1 of my 2 day comprehensive exams for my PhD, my then 2-year old son was terribly sick. Vomiting all night long, we were up from midnight until almost 5am. I was also pregnant at the time.

My husband wanted to help and tried so very hard to help -- but the baby wanted me.

And I realized that no matter what "tomorrow" is... whether it's the day you fly to the moon or perform brain surgery or take a big test... when you're Mom, You're MOM.

You are doing great and I'm so impressed at your ability to keep on schedule!

~aj~ said...

You amaze me. Seriously.

Even if there was a slight chance I could do all of that, I think I'd have a complete mental breakdown somewhere along the way.

You have a gift, Kyla. It's not just that you are a fantastic mother, loving wife and a stellar student...but you're able to balance it all so well.

Good luck with everything! And I'm glad to hear you're going to make the trip to DC.

Cori said...

You are just awesome.
You give to so many and work so hard.
I wish you where going to be in the medical feild in my area!

painted maypole said...

of course you can do it!

(do you realize you have kaytars name in this post?)

tierd said...

You really are incredible, my friend! And very organized, too, but then I guess you absolutely have to be to keep up with everything you are juggling!

nylonthread said...

Lists are necessary and helpful for busy people!! And you, you are oh so very busy. And, I caught your tweet—yes, you did totally leave out Mother's Day on Sunday. Whoops.

If you do want to meet for a drink in DC, I would love to hear from you (DM)!

motherbumper said...

You can do this, you can do it all, and kick butt in DC please.

Leigh said...

I don't remember how I found your blog, but I am so impressed with your strength and wanted to encourage you to hang in there.

I'm married, have two daughters, work full time and have been going to school part-time for the past two years, and can attest that the only way to do it is ONE DAY AT A TIME. Jesus said, "don't worry about tomorrow, because today has enough trouble of its own," and that has been my mantra.

When the guilt gets its claws into you, remind yourself that you're doing this for your family as well as yourself, and soldier on!

natalie said...

Yes! Yes, you can do this!!!

I'm so proud of you for having so many of your "to dos" checked off. So often my list bleeds into the next day...and the next... and even the next that I feel perpetually behind.