Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I dropped a ball

As a working mom, and more importantly I think, as a working freelancer, I am constantly juggling dozens of balls at any time. I have many clients, and have to keep all their issues in my head, all their tasks on my to-do lists (and I must have to-do lists!), and I have to remember to account for my time and bill and so on.

As a mom, I have to keep track of everyone's schedules, book lessons and playdates, sitters and daycares, summer camps and carpet cleaners, and so on.I live my life by the watch and the calendar, constantly trying to get everything done on time, kids to bed at the right moment, dinner served right at six, and so on.

It's a seriously difficult juggling act. And this week I dropped a ball.

I missed a key deadline. Not for a client, but for my son. I missed the Thursday deadline to sign him up for little league this Spring. And because I was two days late getting the application in, the league we've played in for two years (and I mean "we", since I've been coaching his team all this time), the one we really felt a part of, the one his closest friends play in, the sport he loves above all others, says they won't let him play this year. Somehow, if I'd gotten the application in on Thursday, they'd have had a place for him, but by Saturday, they didn't.

Now, it's not as dire as it sounds, because the league in the next neighborhood over from us is not as uptight as our old league about living within their boundaries, and their registration deadline was Sunday, and he will know a few kids from school who play in that league, and it's not that far from where we live. And they guaranteed him a spot. So he'll play there, and I will coach.

But of course both he and I are very upset about our old league. They had really made us feel a part of the community, of the little league association, or something important. And for two days, they've tossed us to the curb (and I begged, all weekend, but their exact words were "We're full. He's on the waiting list, but don't hold your breath."). I feel like I've been duped this past two years into belonging to something to which I never really mattered.

And we'll have to go back to the first league next year or the year after, because the in-boundary thing matters the older the kids get and the better they play (for all stars, etc.). But I won't coach for them again. I've been burned.

Anyhow, this bad thing happened, along with all the bad feelings, because I dropped a ball. I forgot about the deadline.

My son has forgiven me, but I haven't. I went out yesterday and bought a new wipe-off calendar for the fridge, with colour coded markers to write down everyone's schedules. And I held my first family meeting, telling everyone to take responsibility for their own schedules, and stop expecting me to remind you every day of swimming lessons and vet appointments.

I don't know how long the new system will work, especially because my husband hasn't bought into it. But at least it makes me feel like maybe I don't have to juggle everything alone.

Still, I dropped an important ball, and can't let that happen again.


Anonymous said...

The pet is supposed to remind you about the vet? Get real.

Carla S. said...

Hey, my cat is terribly smart. He always knows when it's time for me to wake up and starts whining at my door. If he can tell time, who am I to assume he can't read the calendar? ;-)