I Can’t Do Everything


I can’t do everything but I can try. Stress seems to be an ongoing theme when I write a Talbert Zoo Story. It seems like it controls my life. Now that it is 2020, I need to try harder to prevent that. I always feel pressured to be the best at everything. I need to be the best sports mom and make sure Monkey is registered for wrestling tournaments every weekend. I need to be the best music mom and make sure Kitty and Parrot practice their instruments every single day. I need to be the best special needs mom and get Kitty and Bear to their therapy appointments on time. On top of all of that, I still need to be the best me, for me. I need to take care of my health, be successful in my businesses, and be a perfect Catholic.

Sports Mom

I am trying so hard to do all those things, but I always feel like a failure. I suck at being a sports mom. This is Monkey’s third year in wrestling. I promised him and myself that I was going to sign him up for more tournaments this year. This was going to be the year that he won more awards and he would peak at wrestling. His football coach and another sports mom friend of mine told me that they were confident that Monkey would be a different kid this season. He will be on fire as a wrestler. I believed them. After all, his football team won the Superbowl. This really boosted Monkey’s confidence.

We were all wrong. He has had four tournaments so far this year. He won two matches at the first tournament, and only one match for each of the other tournaments. This has been his worst season yet for wrestling. I blame myself. Monkey is trying so hard. It breaks my heart to see him lose match after match after match. I see my other sports mom friends post all the awards their sons are getting at the tournaments on Facebook while I witness my son lose over and over and over again. Still he manages to keep his head up and stay positive. I don’t know how he does it. Maybe I made a mistake by signing him up for more tournaments than usual. Maybe wrestling really isn’t his sport. Maybe he isn’t as athletic as I thought he was. I am getting depressed just thinking about it.

Music Mom

I am a professional flutist so you would think I would be great at this one. Ha, ha, very funny. I can’t do everything. When was the last time Kitty practiced her guitar? I have no idea. When was the last time Parrot practiced his baritone? I think it was a few days before they had their band concert. He still complains about being in band, but he is a very talented musician. Getting those two to practice is like pulling teeth. All Kitty wants to do is sit around and watch YouTube. Parrot hides in his room all afternoon playing games on his phone. I have tried to take away TV and electronics in order to get them to practice, but they don’t seem to care. I guess I have given up on this.

Special Needs Mom

I am THAT special needs mom. Yes the one that requests the school for a new IEP review if anything goes wrong with my children’s behavior or grades. It can be something as small as a couple of referrals to the office or as big as a suspension. The schools know they will hear from me if ANYTHING goes wrong. Appointments? I really messed up on this one. I can’t do everything. Tomorrow Kitty and Bear are seeing their therapists. They go to the same clinic. Bear always sees his at 2pm on Tuesdays. Kitty just started therapy. I scheduled her appointment at 1:30 knowing that I pick Bear up from school at 1:30. Crap! Now what do I do? The only thing I can do is contact Kitty’s therapist and tell her that she is going to be late. I can’t handle this either.

Taking Care of Me

I laugh at this one too. I am trying so hard to take care of me. But again I am failing. I can’t do everything. I enjoy running but just haven’t figured out how to schedule that in. I tried running early in the morning, but then winter hit. It is cold and dark at 6:30 am here in Chicago. I tried running indoors at this time, but something always came up. This morning my husband woke earlier than usual so I felt obligated to spend time with him instead of doing something for myself. My mother told me she does the same thing with my dad. She said, “I know that someday he won’t be here anymore.” She is right. I need to spend as much time with my spouse as I can. You never know when God will take him home. I went for a walk after taking Bear to school instead.

If my kid gets sick it only takes me a split second to take him to the doctor. Parrot had a sinus infection over winter break. Chris didn’t think he needed to be seen at the time, but I knew better. When I get sick I turn to over the counter remedies and anything we have at home. The doctor can wait until I feel like I am on my death bed. Recently I had a terrible skin rash around my bikini line. It was in a very sensitive area so of course I wasn’t going to show it to a doctor. I suffered with this rash for about three weeks. After trying several different home remedies it finally disappeared. I am having trouble with my vision. Instead of spending money to see an eye doctor (I don’t have vision insurance), I wear over the counter reading glasses. They are not the best, but they will do. I have had a broken and rotten tooth for a couple of years now, but just haven’t had the motivation to spend the money to get that removed either. Is this going to change in 2020? I doubt it. My family comes first.

The Perfect Catholic

I will never achieve this. I can’t do everything. I listen to the priest every Sunday. I seem to receive the same message each time. Pray every single day. Learn from the Saints. Go to mass as often as you can. Receive the Sacraments, especially Confession (Reconciliation). I try to go to daily mass, but if my husband is home, I feel guilty about leaving him. If I don’t go for a run by 6:30 a.m, I feel guilty about not exercising. If my child is sick, I feel guilty about leaving him. If my kids are home from school, I feel guilty about leaving them as well. Why is it that Catholics always feel guilty? If I don’t go to daily mass, then I feel guilty about not going. It is a vicious cycle. I have failed at going to confession regularly. I thought about scheduling it in my planner this year, but just haven’t done it yet. I have no idea what is stopping me. I try so hard to be a good Catholic but it seems like my other responsibilities get in the way. I know that isn’t a good excuse. This has to change. I did say that you never know when God is going to take you home. I need to be ready.

I have tried and failed at many different things. I am certain this will be the theme of the rest of my life. At least I am still trying. That will never change.

Cascia Talbert is a Catholic mother of five special needs kids. In 2018 she published the book, "Taking Care of Your Family's Health and Well-Being, Saints to Turn to and the Catholic Faith," available anywhere books are sold. She is also a professional flutist and an Avon Independent Sales Representative. You can learn more about Cascia on the following websites, cjsfunandgames.com and avoncrystallake.com. She lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband, children and Baby, the playful black kitty.

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