There is a packet of papers from the middle school  laying on the coffee table. They are the forms  parents of eighth graders need to fill out if we want to  have a special message printed in the yearbook for our graduates. My daughter brought it home right after Christmas vacation.

She handed it to me as I was fixing dinner on a weeknight. I read the forms quickly, made a mental note of the due date which was over a month away,  and set them aside in a  place where I knew I would remember them. I really wanted to write something special for her, but I also didn’t want to interrupt the flow of my work in the kitchen. I was tired from the work day and  knew I needed every bit of concentration I could muster to get our meal on the table.

After a few days, I honestly had completely forgotten about the forms. In mid-January this same daughter represented her school in the prestigious All County Orchestra and I did the things any mom would do to support her child in this endeavor: driving, shopping for her concert attire, dropping everything to  bring a forgotten violin to the rehearsal venue an hour away.  A week later, I received word from the high school of an attendance issue involving her sister.  We (the vice-principal’s secretary, the school social worker, my older daughter and I) resolved the problem on a Thursday.  On Friday, I was in the pediatrician’s office with the eighth grader to get medical clearance for an endoscopy scheduled for the following Monday.   A Nor’easter  hit our area that day so I rescheduled  with the doctor and shoveled snow instead. Right around this time, I started hitting the snooze button at 5:30 a.m. instead of kicking off the the covers for a workout and morning prayers.  Despite the weather, report cards were delivered home through the mail. Consequently,  I talked with my girls about  managing stress and responsibility as one  daughter took the B+ she earned in Math as shameful failure and the other was content to get by with a D.  “That’s still passing, Mom,”  she argued.  Deep sigh.

Another week went by.  I made the nightly dinners and shoveled more snow.  On an after-work errand run, I held my hand on my car horn and yelled angry words at the driver of a black Mercedes-Benz when she slipped out of nowhere into the parking spot I had been waiting for. I spent the next few days worrying about this uncharacteristically reactive behavior.

The Saturday before Valentine’s Day each of my girls invited a friend over to make Oreo truffles, a new tradition in our home. My job: pulverize the Oreos in our blender and clean the melted chocolate mess when they were done. During the week that followed I kept up just the basics of my routine: wake up early, go to work, come home, make dinner, clean kitchen,  zone out in front of Pinterest, say a short prayer, go to bed.  I might have also done a load or two of laundry. Definitely ate a few truffles.

Remember the yearbook forms?

I didn’t. They were due February 14, the last day before a week-long vacation.

Dang it,

I’m tired.

A Month in the Life of an Overcooked Mom