Wherein I rethink prose

I’ve been in need of a break for days. Each day I’ve been stumbling through in survival mode, trying to make the most of things, but just getting the bare minimum done. I’ve had no patience for the incessant repetition of questions, for the complete lack of disregard for me as a living person instead of a piece of furniture, and for the absense of tranquility. All of this I know to be aggravated by my own ability to show up to “work” ready. In short, I haven’t brought my “A-game” and they have been eating me alive. But instead of fixing things I’ve been allowing it to make me feel worse.

Finally, last night, after 10pm when they were finally asleep, I chose to take a couple of minutes out of my own precious sleep to read. I had tried before bedtime. I turned on Star Wars for them, let them eat supper on the couch, and tried to find a few minutes to gather myself. What I wanted were two little couch potatoes. But what I got was two lively little boys, acting out the scenes, wrestling, and jumping all over the place to the soundtrack of Star Wars. I was frustrated: why couldn’t they just sit there and watch tv? (That’s all I want to do…)

As I read through the pages I had selected to read last night I happened to be in the middle of a brain development passage that explained exactly why so much movement is so important for children and how modern children are simply not getting enough of it.

OKAY! I get it. I did a terrible thing by WANTING them to be little couch potatoes. I know what I did was wrong. (But where does it talk about the sanity of the mother who hasn’t had a break in who knows how long and just can’t be asked one more question or be expected to do one more thing and just needs a few minutes of peace before the next catastrophe?) But why is it that the few pages of text I read in a day that isn’t part of a picture book has to be a major chastisement of my parenting decisions in the previous couple of hours?

Maybe non-fiction isn’t my favourite type of prose after all. Loosing myself in some trite story would have been much easier on my conscience.

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6 Responses to Wherein I rethink prose

  1. onemorequirk says:

    maybe it isn’t necessary to take it as “major chastisement”… maybe you can take it as a gentle nudge that they are where they are just as you are where you are. please don’t internalize it was “bad” or the wrong thing to do when it clearly was something you needed. it’s a moment. or a fleeting series of moments in their young lives where you need to breathe for you. it’s a lesson they will do well to learn, and only taking time for yourself can teach them. that we all have to take care of us before we can take care of anyone else. besides, there will no doubt be precious moments when what you need is what they give… probably by accident, and probably not often, but when the are settled in those rare moments when it is all that you really need, then on the other side of that, they have a renewed mama who can give more than she could before.

    of course, i have pets. what do i know? lol

    breathe. in any moment you can steal. šŸ™‚

    • Zen Mama says:

      Thanks. We finally had a quiet afternoon and while I didn’t get time to myself (I was teaching) it was rejuvenating. I think I’ll be feeling more like myself by the end of the week. Piano lessons are good for my bank account as well as my soul.

  2. sleepyfrog76 says:

    If you were reading the material I think you were reading… well, it goes for the classroom. Ignore it for the home/parenting stuff. Because you are an awesome parent and there are times where we just need our kids to veg for a few minutes so we can get something done! I only let the teacher in me pay attention to those kinds of admonishments, not the parent in me.

  3. mcinsane says:

    I think you are an amazing parent! As I’ve had the WIC people telling me that Sophi is too small, and then asking about her activity level (which never stops), I too wish that my kids would just sit still for a while, when I want them to! I refuse to believe that means we are bad parents! If our children were fighting obesity and sitting in front of the PS2 for 6 hours a day and then watching TV for the rest of the waking hours, I could see feeling guilty. However, I am almost certain that is not the case! You are awesome…don’t let some book change you! BTW, I love my fiction fix every night before bed!!

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