A pattern to repeat

Apple bread totally counts for extra credit, right?

This weekend Clay and I had a disagreement. Now, I know you're thinking I mean a fight but, no, I actually mean a disagreement. It ended with me saying, "I can see where you are probably right, but I'm not able to agree just yet."

We are totally mature like that. It's very boring.

It started with me announcing that I don't intend to take any more classes in the fall.

"It's just too much. Too busy, too expensive, too much time. Everyone's stressed, and all of this in pursuit of a degree that doesn't even have any earning potential. And I could be wrong, but I suspect our schedule won't actually be easier next fall. Hmm?"

And then he said all these reasonable and yet somehow unconvincing things about how life was never going to take a break so I could get my degree done, and we would make it happen (again) (somehow) with the money and the time and the driving duties. Plus, he pointed out, if it's important, it's important, even if it's hard.

I just don't know, though. I'm tiiiiiiired. I always say that it takes very little to tip a family's schedule over from "pretty full" to "aaaaaauUUUUUGAAAAHHH!*" We can be managing fine, then one kid's birthday party makes everything complicated. And we're smack dab in the middle of complicated right now. I swear, Clay and I spend half our lives on the phone, hammering out details. "So, if I pick up Tre you can take the dog to the groomers**, and is Mom taking Max to chess club tonight?"

So although Clay is probably right, I still am not sure. Tonight I gave a presentation on Anne Sexton (see also: Confessional poet, reframing archetypes, bat s**t crazy***). I think I did okay, despite the fact that I'm currently harboring a cold in my head, where it is repaying me for the shelter by trying to kill me by imploding my sinuses. You are welcome for the visual. After the class one of the other students caught me in the hall to ask how I did on my mid term. *cough cough* I got an A. *pleased smile* *cough*

She was TOTALLY IRRITATED because she got a B, and I suspect that she doesn't DO Bs. I would have given her an A, and I told her so. This was not as comforting as you might think. I truly think she would have felt better if she'd only gotten a higher grade than mine. Because if she can't beat the ancient breeder woman from the SUBURBS, why is she even getting out of BED IN THE MORNING?

I wonder how horrified she would be if she knew more about my life. If she could have seen me this morning, singing an embarrassingly enthusiastic rendition of "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" and engaging in intense negotiations over whether or not a Yu-Gi-Oh! tournament is a gift-giving occasion, she would probably be extra appalled that I got her A.

I'm just not sure it's all worth it. I may have an A in the class, but I feel like I'm barely scraping by with a C**** in my life. It just doesn't seem like a reasonable trade-off.

And yet, at the same time, I'm just a little bit tickled my spider-singing, decision-making, paper-writing, presentation-giving, archetype-busting self. Heh. I guess we'll figure the next semester out later.

(*I have never once in my life said "aaaaaauUUUUUGAAAAHHH!" That was poetic licence, also known as "making stuff up so it's a little less boring.)

(**This was also poetic license. The dog hasn't been to the groomers in months. I couldn't think of another example. I am tired.)

(***I actually really like Anne Sexton. Her work. Anne Sexton's work. I didn't know her personally, and she died when I was 3, but from all accounts, she was...whoo. Emotionally fraught.)

(****Maybe a C+. Not to brag, but I did bake apple bread last week. That's gotta count for something.)



Sooooo I kinda think Clay is ummm, how to say this.... right. Your kids are fine. In my experience you will be tired either way. Also, you deserve to have a degree, and how awesome are you with the kicking of the co-ed butt! So awesome! Don't let it go. If you do, you won't get back to it, because life will always be there. I suspect you are feeling like you are being selfish. In fact you are setting an example. Do it!!!


I love the KIND of disagreeing he's doing, which is, like....what's it like? Like, reassuring more than disagreeing.

I agree with both of you. Because he's right that life won't take a break, but there are also times that work a little better than other times, and as the kids get older there are some things that will shift in different directions: a kid will be able to help with driving, another kid will be old enough to be at home by herself for awhile, etc. So if right now feels TOO CRAZY, things might actually improve by waiting a bit for slightly less crazy. Or maybe not: I know sometimes we've charted out our kid-growth and found that just as we get rid of one crazy thing we'll have to deal with another crazy thing. In which case maybe DO keep plugging away at it is best. So anyway, I agree with both of you.


Clay is smart. This is about carving out a time and place that is uniquely yours. I know you're tired. (I feel your tired!) But you need to go back. DON'T MAKE ME COME OUT THERE. (Wait. Please, totally make me come out there....)


You don't know me, but I feel compelled to say this: get the degree. It is SO worth it. I know because I started a master's program when my twins were two years old, and by golly I FINISHED it, and it's a HUGE thing to have accomplished. It took me longer than I thought it would, but I am very very proud of having done it. (Not to mention: an English Lit/liberal arts degree opens doors in terms of earning potential, really it does.)

So yeah... take it slow if you need to, but don't stop.


You don't know me either.. but get the degree. I stopped when I got pregnant, went back again after my son was born, but stopped when I got a cancer diagnosis. I didn't go back after that.... felt like life is short, and I needed to spend the time with my family. Now, that son is 18 and I'm working full time and taking care of a 91 year old. There will ALWAYS be something to be done for others, do this for you NOW.


Heh... congrats on your A! That's awesome, and why shouldn't you be kicking college-girl butt?

I'm with... everyone. Stick with it. I have no doubt you're tired. I wasn't pursuing a degree, but I took a series of Spanish courses over the last two years, and there were MANY times that I thought, oh, I'm just so tired. I just want to stop. I just want to sleeeeeeeeeeep. But I stuck to it and I'm so glad I did.


APPLE BREAD!!!!! yum. +5 points


Way to go on the midterm, Kira!

Jan in Norman, OK

Don't forget that Tre will be able to help with the transportation issues before long.


I am taking most of my classes online and LOVE doing it that way. Is that an option for you? Or are the classes too high level-wise?


Linda Sherwood

Get the degree. I did in 2006/2007, and my life was insane during that time. However, my husband stepped up and was amazing. Plus, he started chores for the kids. I admit there are things that I don't know/remember from those times. My life was insane, but my kids survived and were stronger for it. My husband? Awesome. Did I mention life was insane? I met one of my best friends in class. I learned so much that I needed to know. It led to a new career. At the same time, I should go back for my PhD, but I am not ready to add that insanity to my schedule. Yet.

Get the degree.

The Mommy Therapy

The never ending struggle of balancing all the parts of our self while not completely screwing up other parts. I can't tell you what to do, but it seems you and your husband both have valid points...you'll figure it out eventually.

Baking apple bread counts for a lot! Food is good!

Carrie (in MN)

I just want to say "way to go" on kicking that pipper-squeaker co-ed's butt on the midterm! I won't tell you what to do, but I agree with Amy above - you are setting a great example for your kids about how important continuous learning is and about how you can have it all as long as you don't sleep...wait, that came out wrong. Seriously though, it's for you AND it's for them.


I've never met anyone who was sorry that they finished their degree, but lots who wish they had...

Angela Giles Klocke

Why why why why why does this all sound so familiar? Hmmm... :D

Angela Giles Klocke

To comment on Melody's thoughts for online classes - I will personally not take them anymore. The workload is almost 3 times as much as going to class. I loved them at first, until I realized how much more work it was, so much time spent having to talk to EVERYONE to get points, etc. Ugh. In class for me. If I go back, that is. Maybe. We'll see. Fall? We'll see.


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