Do you remember suffering from senioritis as a student: those final weeks when you couldn’t wait for high school/college/grad school to end so you could get on with the rest of your life?
I think I’m suffering from the parenting equivalent.
I know that unlike high school/college/grad school, the parenting gig doesn’t end (as my cousin once said to me “once you have kids you always have kids”) but the apathy that I have been feeling towards my parental duties is highly reminiscent of those days when I could not bring myself to finish another study guide or research paper.
Sure, eventually I would slog through the notes and the reviews and the essays in school, but I remember doing so with no enthusiasm and wondering when the drudgery would end.
Kinda how I feel about parenting right now.
I swear if I have to pack another lunch/drive another carpool/sign another form, I’ll lose my mind.
Which is why I have not been able to write a single blog about how I’ve sucked as a parent, because everything I’ve done kinda sucks.
The other day my 13-year-old’s dinner consisted of a Frappuccino from Starbucks, some Oreos and a large bag of Sun Chips (at least it was the veggie kind). He may have had a cheese stick, too, but I don’t remember…I was too busy reading People magazine.
I couldn’t even bring myself to yell at my 17-year-old for slacking off on his finals! He and his girlfriend were “studying” for physics and I heard a great deal of laughing. Laughing! Physics is not something to laugh about – unless you are on a roller coaster – and yet they were giggling and I knew that nothing was getting done. I could not muster up one “Have you learned anything yet??!!” because I was catching up on episodes of Lost.
The good news is, in school, if you succumb to the effects of senioritis there could be real consequences. A recent New York Times post listed the potential pitfalls of slacking off as a senior in high school: losing your spot, having to explain yourself to the administration or worse, losing a scholarship.
Thankfully, for me, the consequences of my slacking off are far less dire. First, my children are old enough so they really can fend for themselves. Eventually even my carb-loving youngest child would scramble an egg or eat some yogurt. Heck, he might even be motivated enough to get his brother to take him out to eat! And my oldest would eventually suck it up and do his homework, probably even more so because I’m not nagging him.
I also have a husband who helps pick up my slack, as long as it has nothing to do with talking to our kids about sex or telling our 17-year-old that he can’t have his girlfriend in his bedroom – at which point he will run away and is no help at all.
I assume this monotony will eventually end and be replaced with exciting parenting duties like driving to-and-from camp and planning college visits. Until then I will stock the fridge with heat-and-serve dinners and take the lock off my older son’s door. And, finish watching Lost. I only have four more seasons to go…