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Jazzercise, Parenting

Can you hear me now?

A lot is made of mother’s guilt, especially working mother’s guilt. Been there, done that.

I’ve sobbed in the car after dropping a reluctant toddler at day care — and watching her little face pressed up against the classroom window begging me to stay. (And I’ve returned to said day care and had to convince the same toddler that it was time to finally leave.)

I’ve missed school events, had to pass on hosting kids’ play dates, driving the car pool, you name it. I’ve reheated the reheated leftovers, served spaghetti — again, occasionally convinced myself that ketchup counted as a vegetable.

Yes, like the rest of the sisterhood, I’ve had my share of Mother of the Year moments that left me feeling like crap. But none of that prepared me for Mother’s Angst.

Yes, remnants of the guilt will always haunt me, but the angst — well that’s an extra-special feeling borne of the fact that NO ONE IN THIS HOUSE LISTENS TO ME.

Are any of you out there experiencing this, too? Do you watch your plants die because no one listened to your pleas or read your notes asking for them to be watered?

Do you have a load of wet towels sitting in your washer right this very minute — 13 hours after you asked them to be put in the dryer, folded and put away?

Sink full of dishes because the dishwasher STILL isn’t emptied? Did the supposed owner of that chore also ask, “You want me to do it NOW (insert eye roll)” when you suggested that after dinner might be a good time to finally do this task? (Did you also have to point out that you now had a table full of dirty dishes and no where to put them?)

Does the rest of your family also turn off, tune out, drop out? Do you, too, wrestle with whether to just shut up and do it yourself?

At least 75 percent of what I say seems to fall on deaf ears these days. And lately it’s giving me a complex.

I don’t know what other moms do, but at least I have Jazzercise — for 60 minutes a couple times a week, people listen to me.

It’s amazing.

I say, “Chasse left.” They do it.

“Lunge.” The whole class lists left.

“Stretch your hamstrings.” Son of a gun.

Four bars of freestyle wiggle and shake in the middle of “I’m Sexy and I Know It“? Most of them will do exactly what I’m doing anyway.

Which is not to say that class is a complete refuge from the land of  unanswered pleas.

Give them a tough glute routine, as I did tonight, and I get the same stink-eye my back is graced with at home.

And if I make a corny comment, the class adopts the same “you are nuts” look I’m all too familiar with.

So it’s not perfect fix, but I’ll take it. Great head-to-toe workout to today’s greatest hits in the company of some of Fairfield County‘s most incredible listeners.

About Terri S. Vanech

Wife, mother, communications specialist, Jazzercise instructor and recently reunited adoptee. I'm living out loud -- and trying to make it all work -- in midlife. Having a sense of humor sure helps.


4 thoughts on “Can you hear me now?

  1. Unfortunately, I have created an atmosphere of “Huh?” when I need something done. It’s all my fault. I needed things done my way so it was easier to do it myself. I’m doomed to a life of cleaning my entire house by myself.
    Great post, Terri. Funny stuff.

    Posted by Celia Taylor | April 13, 2012, 8:35 am
  2. Oh, excuse me, were you saying something?

    When the kids were little, I had days when the first thing I would say to Bill when he got home was “Please, do words come out of my mouth when I move my lips?” because, for sure, no one in this house heard a word I said all day — and that included people on the phone! I’d call my mother-in-law just to be sure someone could hear me.

    You’re not alone, Terri! But, my grandkids listen far better!! So there’s hope.

    Posted by Karen Waggoner | April 12, 2012, 10:46 pm
  3. yep, it’s gottabe a mom thing. While I only have one person in my household who is actually old enough to listen and understand me, I feel the same way. A lot. Unfortunately, I’ve decided that if most of the stuff around the house is going to get done, I have to do it. I’m not a big fan of the “I’ll get to it” philosophy of work. Procrastination doesn’t do the dishes, nor does it put the laundry away. *sigh* Being a working mother is also tough because it’s yet another thing to add to the list. At least you have people who will listen to you. I am a teacher. I have a job where all day no one listens to me.

    Posted by beachmum | April 12, 2012, 10:21 pm

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