Thursday, February 14, 2008

Two Steps Forward...One Step Back

Remember the positive energy radiating from my last post? This is the polar opposite.

When I said Ward Camp Director would be the worst calling ever, I lied. At least I would get to work with the Young Women...where I truly feel my talents lie. Plus, there are a lot of great women serving in young women. And camp is only one week out of the year. It's not looking so bad any more.

The three of you who guessed primary teacher win the prize. I could barely hold back the tears during my interview. I didn't even make it to my car before I was sobbing. Not just any primary teacher...but the four year olds. Seriously. As if I didn't deal enough with preschoolers during my week that I need to spend my only two hours away from my own preschoolers with somebody else's. In all honesty, I look forward all week to those two hours away from my kids. I feel like I need those two hours to stimulate my mind on a different level. I need conversation with someone taller than 42 inches. I barely struggle through sacrament meeting with my crazies before I rush them off to their respective classes and can breath a little easier for the next two hours. But now, I rush them off to their classes only to babysit a room full of someone else's crazies. No thank you. I'd rather have my own kids. At least I love them unconditionally.

I just really don't deal well with small children...and by small I mean anyone younger than 12. I look forward to my kids becoming teens. I think that's when my strengths as a parent will kick in. So far I've dealt with three infants and we all know infants are not my strength as a parent. I've gone through 2 toddlers...again, no strengths showing up yet. And one preschooler...nope, not good at preschoolers either. So I guess I'm really hoping my strengths show up with they're teens. Other wise I'll never be a good parent. I'm just impatient. I lose my cool real quick. I 'm not creative with small kids. I'm not good at teaching small kids at their level. I don't enjoy small children. Not that my kids and I don't have fun and I love them incredibly. I just convince them that the things I like to do are fun. I'm too selfish I guess. My kids love to shop. They like my music. And they of course love to wear costumes and run around the house...but they're my own kids.

I really struggle to love other people's children. Some people are so natural with kids...Abbey, Amanda, Kelly and Tiffany all come to mind. It's just not in my nature and I wish it were. I'm so grateful for people who are good with children...that's why wards function well. It takes all kinds of talents to fill all the positions. My kids have been blessed with phenomenal primary teachers. I'm grateful that they can love my kids. I think this class deserves someone better than me. Someone who can love them and who would be happy to spend those two hours with them. I just can't be happy to spend two hours with a room full of four year olds. I have found that I can love my friends kids, but mainly because they belong to my friends and I love my friends. I don't even have a problem watching my friends kids, but probably because it gives me a break from playing with my own kids.

I'm very obviously not dealing well with this. It's only been like 14 hours since I got the call and I can't even tell you how many times I've very seriously contemplated calling this counselor in the bishopric to tell him to find someone else. I'm afraid I'm going o be stuck here for three years or something. I felt like I made huge strides to be happier in D-Town yesterday with this playgroup and now I feel I've been shot in the foot. My lengthy strides have now changed to a gimpy hobble. Like I can make friends when I don't associate with anyone over 42 inches tall.

I've been looking into getting my master's degree lately. I've been itching to go back to school. Maybe this is what it will take to get me there. I just need adult interaction and something to stimulate my mind above the level of a preschooler. Not to mention a break from the own and now the four year olds in my ward.

I was going to post something ooey-gooey, lovey-dovey for Valentine's day, but I'm too depressed to think about anything else.


Lauri said...

I remember years ago preparing a YW event where we had a mother/daughter panel discussion. One of the questions we asked the girls was, "what is something your mother taught you that she may not even know she taught?" There were wonderful answers of compassion, service, strength,testimony,etc.

If someone were to ask Katie that question, she'd have to say, "my dislike for working in Primary." Although I know Katie and I have never had a discussion on this, my feelings mirror hers exactly. I have taken my turn in Primary over the years but most of my adult life has been spent working with the youth and that is where my heart is.

I wish I had some profound wisdom to share but instead all I can say is, "I understand."

Kelly said...

My heart aches for you, Katie! I feel awful that you will be unhappy in your calling! I can, however promise you that it will be okay! You will learn to love them and have fun with them, and you are a wonderful mother with little ones!! I would've loved to have had a mom like you growing up in those formative years! You do way more fun stuff with your boys than I have ever done- I'm serious!! You don't give yourself enough credit- you are amazingly creative and talented, and you have much to offer those 4 year olds! I have faith in you- it will be better than you think, I promise!
Plus, I don't LOVE primary, but it really could be worse- think about could be! You will be fine, and it will turn out to be a huge blessing in your life- I know it!
Hang in there, and remember, in Primary, you can always play games and have snacks!! There is always fun in that!

Traci Elizabeth said...

Okay.. I am going to be a "negative nancy" here. Call the counselor and tell him your feelings. Explain how you need a break from children that young and see what he says. The bishopric doesnt want you to be unhappy, they want to put you in a place where you will love to go and strive to do your best. I understand completely, Sunday was my first time dropping Olivia off at nursery and I havent enjoyed church that much in forever--the thought of them calling me to serve in the nursery would send chills up my spine! Good luck and don't put yourself last!

Lisha said...

I agree with Traci Elizabeth, I think you should call the counselor and tell him how you feel.
I understand how you feel. I love primary but I am reaching the point where I would just love to be able to sit in RS and listen to a lesson instead of trying to teach a lesson to 8 naughty 6 year olds.

Katie said...

Traci...I told him how I felt. He said they really felt that was where the Lord wanted me to serve. So I said I'd be willing. I'm not sure if I really am willing. But being new to a ward, it's hard to say no to a calling. They'll have no other impression of me than that I'm the kind of girl who says no to callings. It may be worth it. I have some serious thinking to do before Sunday. If I don't get that same confirmation that this is where I'm supposed to serve, I will have to say no before I get sustained.

I hope Olivia is doing well at nursery. Taking a kid to church before that age is're just like me...barely a break before you'll have another one to bring to class with you. Good Luck!

utmomof5 said...

I am so sorry!! I truely feel your pain!
That has happened to me before. We had just moved to AZ. I knew noone except my husband so where do I get called to? The nursery, I cried after church every week. I knew nobody. Finally one time the Bishop asked how we were doing and my hubby told him how miserable I was. They didn't release me just gave me a new calling on the Homemaking Comm. (When they called it that, I am old) It was a good way to met other women but I still had to deal with other people's little kids. Just keep your chin up and maybe some really great and unexpected blessing will come from this.

I am with you on having teenage kids I am hoping that is when my parenting skills will shine.

I did you wedding pictures tag, it was fun to look back!


Jeffrey Benson said...

That was my calling not long ago...sunbeams. I wont lie to you. I hated it.

SHIRLEY'S said...

WOW!! Katie... you are way more than what you give yourself credit for! Im sure its hard, but you will love them soon enough!

jeanine said...

Good luck! At least it's not sunbeams! As far as teaching callings go primary is the easiest because it's so basic. And those kids just love their teacher! One tip... always have an activity for them at the end of class... even if it's coloring a picture. That always worked for me in primary. I'd tell them, "oh if we get through the lesson we'll have something fun (game, coloring, etc) at the end." It usually kept them in line.

Pedersens said...

Katie, I have always been in primary and I can understand where you are coming from but I agree with Jeanine, it is the easiest! The kids can pretty much tell the lesson, even at age 4 and you can get a disc at the church book store that goes along with your Manuel to print out activities for them. The Lord called you to this calling for a reason, you will do GREAT and will learn and grow and hopefully look back and say "it wasn't as bad as you thought". Hang in There.

Amanda said...

Hi Katie- I feel your pain- though you are better with kids then you think- I have always thought of you as better with kids than me. That was such a nice comment about me! :) But I know how you feel- that is 100% how I felt when called to YW!!! :) And that turned out alright.....(someday, maybe I will get called somewhere else....maybe?...) So I think you will do better than you think and you probably won't have to do it too long. Good luck! I do understand and feel for you! Love ya!

Betheny & Jacob said...

Oh, Katie! I totally sympathise with you. I have ALWAYS been in primary and my dream is to be in YW. I loved it when I had the 9-10 year olds because you could get actually some good feedback from them. Ever since I moved to UT, I've gotten the 4-5 year old group. I actually learned to love the kids but was not really enthusiastic in the calling. I was a much more effective teacher in CA because I think I was just happier there and I really threw myself and everything that I had into my calling. I wanted to really teach them the building blocks that they needed throughout their lives. Since I had a desire, I recieved the passion and enjoyment that I needed to be an effective teacher. They also called me to be the Webelos Den Leader!! SCOUTS! Are you kidding me?! I am the girliest girl ever and I was horrified about scouts. It worked out, it was fun for a while but when they released me, I was glad to go.
I am now called to be a "Partner Primary Chorister." (Whatever that means!) I would LOVE to be primary chorister but I'm not excited about it because I have to share the calling with someone and my theory is: If I'm gonna do it, I want to do it my way. Maybe I'm just being a brat.
Like I said...I sympathise with you... my advice would be to pray for the desire and pray to be able to teach these kids what they need to know. I would love to have Sis. Smith as my teacher!