I think one of the most difficult things about being a mother and a housewife is, that there is never any way to gauge how well you're doing. The only markers that can be seen are the ones They are always telling you to ignore. "Don't waste time cleaning while your children are small! You should be enjoying the moment with them!" Never mind that having dirty floors makes me feel like a terrible wife, a terrible mother, and a terrible housekeeper. Oh look! Monkey3 is snacking out of the dirt pile I still haven't swept up! Again! Well, I must be doing something right! (HA). The All-Knowing-and-Ubiquitous-They aren't very helpful when it comes to motherhood. Or housekeeping, for that matter.
That's what was so great about college and high school. You always knew where you were at. (Of course, this comes from someone who never really studied for tests, but managed to get mostly A's anyway.) I always said that if I needed to cram before a test, I obviously didn't know the material, and cramming wouldn't fix it. Mostly it worked. There was a time, in Geometry, that I got a 14 on a test. Which was actually really shocking, because a) I had NEVER gotten such a low score before, and b) Geometry was the only branch of math that I actually enjoyed. Euclid was my friend. And I loved proofs. (If it makes anyone feel better, the teacher let me re-take the test, and I passed with a 65).
So, I was a really good student, and I appreciated having markers of my progress and success. And now? Now I have nothing. Of course, not all tests come with a grade. There are the pass/fail type, which always drove me crazy. I mean, seriously? I want to know HOW I DID, not just that I passed! Did I pass by a little? A lot? barely by the skin of my teeth? HOW CAN I KNOW WHETHER I NEED TO RELEARN THE MATERIAL, IF ALL YOU TELL ME IS THAT I PASSED?!? Those always bothered me. Except, of course, when I knew I barely passed, and I was grateful no one else had to know. There's always an exception.
And then there were those random tests, where nothing was right or wrong, and the purpose was merely to gather information. Example: When I started college, all the incoming freshman had to take a personality test. This was supposed to reveal things about ourselves that would help us do well in our future at the school. (If you want my opinion, they should do those tests BEFORE they do roommate assignments, and take the results into account.) The results came back in four quadrants, each labeled with a letter. My results? I was pretty much right down the middle. Nothing outstanding or remarkable at all, nothing really to take note of. Frankly, I didn't find it very helpful, and I'm not sure it was really very indicative of my personality.
It turns out that the information-gathering types of tests are the only ones that continue into later life. Also, they get much more clear-cut, and (apparently) more accurate:
Oh, look at that! It's positive! :-) Surprise! Monkey4 will be arriving in early May.
(This has been a test of my family broadcast system. You may not pass this information along to anyone else. They should be reading the blog themselves. You may, however, mention that there is a post up they may want to look at.)