Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Judgment

I spoke too soon about the kids having a week of school. It started snowing around 2 yesterday (it stopped by 5) and they closed school 45 minutes early. Then they announced a 2 our delay for today and then this morning at 6:30 they cancelled school.

*sigh*

Then I was cruising the interwebs last night and I learned something

It seems that those of us who were and still are hoping that our kids return to school sometime in the near future are, to some people, terrible mothers. Why did we ever have children if we were going to bemoan having them around and talk about how we can’t wait to get them out of the house so we can have 5 minutes to ourselves again. Children are a blessing. What’s the point of being a mother if you are so selfish you want to eat your lunch in peace?

What is one of the biggest pieces of advice mothers are always being given?

TAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF

You read it everywhere. Experts, friends, family, strangers, they all tell moms “you should take some time for yourself. It makes you a better person and a better mother.It recharges you. It gives you some balance”

But woe unto you who have that and dare complain about losing it!

If we were good mothers we would want our children home with us all the time. We would revel in 24/7 togetherness, cherishing every passing second because it will soon be gone.

It will be replaced by something else, maybe even something better as your children mature and you learn to relate to one another on different levels but that is something some people can’t see yet.

The idea that the problem is routines being disrupted with the consequent mess that can bring doesn’t occur to them because that is not where they are in their lives I suppose. I love my children. I enjoy having them at home. But right now is school time, not home time. The pattern of our life calls for education and interaction with others during the day followed by sports a couple nights a week. It’s hard switching gears from having nothing expected of you to having to sit still, pay attention, do work, follow a different organization of events, practice, interact with 15 people instead of 2 and have to do what the group does rather than do what you like when you like.

Planned vacations are natural breaks. Expected, with start and end dates. They are part of the routine. An occasional snow day is a blessing. A holiday. A fun break from that routine.

Nearly 2 and a half weeks of “will we have school or not?” followed by cancellation after cancellation, messes with your head. It breaks up the pattern. My kids had school yesterday and it was drama without end getting them to the bus. Apparently it was fairly chaotic in school as well. 2 weeks had been missed, everything had to be gone back over to remind the kids what they had learned, tests and events rescheduled causing more stuff to be moved.

We are now losing days from Spring break with this and future absences. Which throws a wrench into the families plans for that week. Two days have been added to the school year so far with more to come. It’s messing up the kids plans too. Summer sports camps & VBS have to reschedule.

And yes, I would like a couple hours to myself. I have things to do that I do best when the boys aren’t around distracting me. I have work to do that can't be done with kids coming up to me evry 30 seconds to tattle on their brother.

If that makes me selfish then so be it.

10 comments:

Cheri said...

Guess I'm selfish - in line right behind you! My girls are back for the first time today (in high school) and I know that getting up at 6 a.m. had to be hard for them when they've been sleeping til 10. Routine is important. Silence is important to my mental well being. I love my kids, but I love ME too.

Carrie said...

Wow, I didn't realize out for that long. Sending you a hug! Count me in with the selfish. Love my kids but I am looking forward to them spending time with Grandma this weekend!

humel said...

I'm a bad mother too - don't you worry, there are plenty of us who are selfish enough to rely on a bit of routine, to value the time to ourselves (and the way the children develop socially etc through being in school), and to realise that actually we are better mothers to our children during the time we DO spend with them because of being able to have some time NOT with them! xx

Meghann said...

Well said!

SciFi Dad said...

Kids? Hell, my wife can't wait for me to go back to work after anything longer than a three day weekend.

Cindy said...

Ok, first of all, AS IF!

Obviously you are not a bad mother. In fact, you are likely to be a better mother, and person, than the sort of inflexible doof who would say something like that.

Second, some of us, myself included, and I would guess it's about half the population, need time alone to re-energize. Every take a Myers Briggs test? They seem to hand 'em out right and left in management classes. If you fall on the introvert side of the scale, it's not that you are shy, it's that you need more time alone than time being social in order to stay healthy mentally. Some of us need a little more time alone than others, but that doesn't make us poor nurturers. In fact, if we can get some of that time alone, we are better nurturers.

Last, routine is important for everyone, especially kids, and while change and breaks in routine can be for the good, they are ALWAYS stressful, just like any other change. Having also spent many days confined with my family because of that set of storms, I can totally sympathize. If you can imagine, I normally telecommute, and that didn't stop while we were all home, either.

We are ALL glad to be back to routine (almost) today.

You don't live your life the way everyone else does, and that's just fine. Do what works for you, 'cause not doing those things is, by definition, not going to work.

What's that saying? "If Mama ain't happy, ain't NOBODY happy."

I'm with you, sister.

Too Many Hats said...

Honestly, no matter what we choose or complain about or marvel in about parenting someone somewhere will have something negative to say. I personally could not imagine trying to keep up on the snow day situation you all are having it would drive me bonkers.

Kim said...

lol, you aren't a terrible mom for wanting them to go to school. I can't imagine being stuck in a house and not even able to send them out side. And I really hate snow. I think that is why I live in South Texas! ;)

Kim said...

lol, you aren't a terrible mom for wanting them to go to school. I can't imagine being stuck in a house and not even able to send them out side. And I really hate snow. I think that is why I live in South Texas! ;)

Carrie said...

Wow, I didn't realize out for that long. Sending you a hug! Count me in with the selfish. Love my kids but I am looking forward to them spending time with Grandma this weekend!