When your best isn’t good enough

Posted: October 1, 2013 in Family, Personal
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Have you ever felt helpless?  I mean, have you felt as if no matter what you did you could not affect the outcome of something really, really important to you?  For me and I guess for most people it’s a horrible feeling.  I’m going through something with my daughter right now and I’m doing everything I can think of but it doesn’t seem to make a difference.  The sad thing is it has always been this way with her or at least it has been this way since she was 16 months old.

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you will know that I won a long, drawn out custody battle for my daughter.  The “win” was only temporary depending on a review 6 months after the judgement to see how she was doing.  The court indicated that her grades would be crucial to whether the judgement in my favor is made permanent.

The judgement was decided back in the Spring of this year and this Fall she started a new school and in a new gifted program.  Now going from 4th to 5th grade is a big leap in responsibility but she also had to deal with transitioning to live with me more than before and adjusting to the fast pace of all day gifted classes.  Since she started school she has struggled.  She has missed many homework assignments (both during the time she is with me and the time she is with her father) and the teacher has been relatively lenient, letting her turn in things late for partial credit.  About a month ago we got her caught up and she was able to get her grade average back up to an A.

About two weeks ago she missed one day to go to a funeral with me.  I begged her father to switch weeks with me or at least just keep her the one night but he refused.  After all, why would he show me any kindness whatsoever?  Never mind had the roles been reversed, I would have helped him out.  Anyway, she missed working on a group exercise that day. She told me the teacher said she’d allow her to work on the assignment and catch up.  She then said the teacher never gave her that opportunity.  So she failed that assignment.

Then last week, while she was with me, she got a 20% on a Reading Check Log, which I know she brought home.   So she either didn’t complete it or she didn’t do the reading, which is nuts because she reads voraciously.  She also didn’t turn in a homework assignment and got a 0 on it.  I know she didn’t bring that one home.  Of course, my ex immediately emailed me to document that she was screwing up and that she was doing so on MY time with her.  This is bad, really bad.

I’ve talked to her until I’m blue in the face and I either get an “I don’t know why” response to why she forgets or I get “It’s too much pressure doing school, soccer, etc”.  She can stop soccer any time she wants….the court explicitly said that it’s her decision to play or not.  And I know she’s conflicted.  She begs me not to have to go to practice every Monday and Wednesday, but she loves playing the games.  She doesn’t want to disappoint her grandparents by quitting soccer and she doesn’t want to lose the part of soccer that she loves.  But it is all too much.  I think she’ll want to give up on the gifted school before she gives up on the soccer but that’s the wrong decision.  And I have little or no say, it seems since her father and his parents will NOT allow her to quit soccer and they didn’t want her in the new gifted school to begin with.  Why?  I have not earthly idea–it makes no sense whatsoever.

The gifted school will prepare her to go to the best colleges in the nation and that will ensure that she is set for life.  Make no mistake about it…if a kid goes to Harvard, they are truly set.  Soccer?  The odds of her being able to play in college are low much less go pro.  Don’t get me wrong…she a damn good soccer player.  But the reality is she is too petite and that is not going to change.  She already gets the crap beat out of her and has some serious long term injuries that plague her.  It’s only going to get worse as everyone else gets bigger and she doesn’t.

I’ve got a meeting tomorrow morning with her teacher and the principal–who I involved because the teacher was not responsive to my attempts to communicate and I don’t have time to mess around since the grading quarter ends next Friday.  Meghan will also be there because her teacher insisted and, of course, her father will be there.   I’m worried that Meghan will think she’s in trouble. She’s not unless she’s been lying to me–which I’m 99% sure she has been.  Primarily I want to understand why this is happening and what we can do to fix it without my having to lose custody of her.

I’m so stressed out about it–it’s literally making me sick to my stomach.  At this moment I feel that being a parent is WAY, WAY overrated.   I want to go get my son out of daycare so I can sit down and play with him.  We’ll play with his train set and I’ll tickle him and kiss him and all this worry will go away for a little while.  That’s what I need.  What I get though is work.  That’s the life of a single mother.

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Comments
  1. Ah, shit, sweetie. Sounds like your daughter just wants take the tests and not do homework (something I did, out of boredom as I didn’t NEED to do the homework to pass the tests). That’s now extended to not wanting to practice soccer but just play. Could it be the gifted program isn’t hard ENOUGH? Or does she – sorry to ask – just have a lazy bone?

    • drangedinaz says:

      She’s not bored and is challenged for the first time in her life. Actually I think it’s two things. She’s never HAD to work before. It all came so easy. That can make a person think that everything should come easy and it’s hard to adjust when it doesn’t (I had the same problem as a child). It’s also pure ditziness. Unfortunately, she’s just like me. I’m pretty smart but I get distracted VERY eas…..squirrel!!!!

      🙂 I had a meeting with her teachers this morning and have discovered that Meghan is the problem and it comes down to study habits and time management. I forced myself to have the habits and I still suck at time management so I sympathize with her predicament. The principal even said that it takes a couple of years for students to really incorporate the kind of study habits they need to have to be competitive going into High School. So she needs to start now.

      I hope I don’t sound like some Tiger Mom, but I, like most parents, want my child to achieve as much if not more than I did, not to assuage my ego but so that life won’t be as hard for her as it was for me.

      I feel better having taken some action and understanding what is expected of her now. We’ll have to see how it goes over the next few weeks.

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