Girls Write Out
Wednesday, December 01, 2010

I think the most frustrating thing about parenting is seeing your children struggle in the same ways you've struggled. When you're pregnant with the boy genius, you think it's going to be different. Just like you dreamed of Prince Charming, you dreamed of the perfect, little children. But God says, now what fun would that be? I mean, would you play "Chutes and Ladders" if there was no risk? God must feel the same about life. If it's smooth sailing all the time, what's the point? If Judas wasn't poor and greedy, would things have been different? Like Judas came against Jesus, life comes up against you and just like in a video game, you have to learn to avoid the pitfalls. We think we can protect our children from all the bumps and bruises, but really, we can only prepare them, armor them up for the game.

One of my sons has Aspergers, and his report came through saying that his grades suffer due to his lack of organization. That he is a charming, amiable and respectful young man who does everything he's told, but he forgets to turn stuff in when it's due. And his backpack is a mess. And then, comes the killer...maybe Mom could help??

I am an excellent organizer, believe it or not. Why? Because I am terribly disorganized by nature. I can find anything you need in less than two minutes. Now, if I'm dead, I pity the poor soul who has to find it after me, but *I* know where everything is, because I have to use my own system. A system that I'm trying to pass on to the poor souls who inherited my madly-rushing brain. It's called, quit listening to the experts and do what works for you.

My system includes crazy file folders that all mean something to me. Animal print folders? It means taxes or money garbage that I hate to do. Because it's a jungle out there.

The Amalfi Coast Painting file folders? For my business because great art, nor Rome were built in a day. The kids are color-coded by their favorite colors. Let's say that you need to find the plumber's bill from six months' ago. That would be in the household file that does not include any of the regular household bills and it's green because it's money wasted (or money not spent on cute shoes or purses.) The recurring bills in the bill-paying folders, sorted by month and category (Utilities, Insurance, etc.)

Legal mumbo-jumbo? It's under the heading "Taxes" because it all makes no sense to me, so why not put that all in one place in the hopes that someone else will make sense of it? It's kind of my way of red-flagging something and saying, 'not my problem.'

If you think that's convoluted, you should see my phone book. "Oh they're under N because they were our neighbors back when we lived in Mt. View. Or that's under E because she's Elle's friend."

Do you navigate the world in a way that you would hate to explain to a professional? What traits did you pass on and ho you see your traits in your kids and feel guilty for passing it on? Work with me here. We'll file it under "Tips & Tricks" and give it a nice, pink, rosy folder to show our happiness and health when we work together.

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posted at 2:33 AM  
  Comments (8)
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At 7:42 AM, Blogger Diann Hunt said...

Oh my goodness, what a great post!! I loved your filing system technique! LOL!

It's like that deal where you're supposed to remember someone's name by some distinct marking or whatever. When I try that, I always get hung up on, "Did his name have something to do with that mole on his face (which might lead to Moe, which could lead to Curly or Larry--yes, Larry, that's it!) , or was it because of the scar (which reminds me of car and--who had that new car?--oh yeah, that was Greg--or was the scar for someone else I know with a scar, Bob has a scar, but I don't think his name is Bob . . . ."

At 9:19 AM, Blogger Denise Hunter said...

Whatever works!

At 9:48 AM, Blogger Kristin said...

That's why we're soulmates Di. LOL Denise, you can't comment Your brain is a computer, and I'm jealous. I want to have a real mommy brain, like the other mommies. LOL

At 11:45 AM, Blogger Tricia said...

I am dyslexic, I have passed it on to two of my four. Interestingly enough, they've really overcome it with much work on their part through various remediation programs. The thing is...there is not a remediation program for math issues related to dyslexia.

My 16 year old son is in 10th grade and making an A in College English at the local community college, yet he's working his rear off and making a D in a Developmental Math class. (It's probably equivalent to pre algebra). It breaks a momma's heart. He's just like me in the math department.

I know it builds character, but it sure is hard to watch them struggle so much, especially when you can't help them. I look at his homework and get twitchy and tell him to go to the tutoring center or wait till his dad gets home! :)

At 11:53 AM, Blogger Denise Hunter said...

Tricia, I have serious math disfunction too, and I'm not even dyslexic. Passed it on to my oldest and yes, hard to watch. I've never cheered so loudly as when Kevin fired me from the check book. The real question is, why was that my job to begin with? Like putting the color blind in charge of a fashion show.

At 1:11 PM, Blogger Kristin said...

Tricia, that's hard. I was a natural lit, and I just assumed all my kids would be, but they all hate it. And their grades reflect that. That's difficult too! Because you want to pass on your love, and they're like, nah Mom. No thanks.

At 7:13 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

I pay the bills for both household and our LLC, but only if I leave them directly in front of the calculators on their respective desks--did I mention we have five desks in our household of two? And I don't file the paid bills until, like, maybe six months after I pay them, so when I need to find something, I have to dig through the pile. But I can balance the checkbooks, and I love adding numbers all day on the calculator. Very soothing. To each her own.

At 9:59 AM, Blogger EJ said...

I could so relate to this post! Before I became a full time mom to 4 adopted, special need kids (one has Aspergers also & they all have messy backpacks); I worked in banking because I love numbers & finance. One of my positions was in Commercial lending. My manager hated my "creative" filing system because he could never find any client files. He use to compare my system to Radar's from MASH. One day I came to work & noticed that my boss had ordered a new nametag for my desk, it read "Radar O'Jordan" (I still have that nametag)! - Elaine Jordan


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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