A nice long soak isn't the same with a potty chair next to the tub.

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Know what I can’t wait for? The day when I can do things right the first time. Good god am I tired of “doing what I can, when I can”. I want to be able to focus, to undo and redo something if it’s not perfect, to experiment and not feel like I am wasting precious minutes of silence.

Tom doesn’t understand why I get so flustered when I am trying to write (sew/paint/plan/sketch/read/design) and Ella is standing at my elbow asking for something. It’s not that it’s hugely inconvenient to get the juice – it’s just that I want to be able to sit and think for 2 minutes without being interrupted. So much of my creativity comes from being able to focus in on one thing and see it, and resee it, until it is finally ‘right’ and I can not remember the last time I felt like I could really do that.

If I am being honest, this is probably one of my main deterrents to having more kids – another baby means another 5 years tacked on until I can reasonably expect to be alone. And that of course is if I send the kids to school, which I am torn about. It feels so selfish to want them to just get out from under my feet, when I really do believe that homeschooling can give kids tools that public school can not, but then I have to ask myself if it is always a bad thing to be selfish. Is it taboo for a mom to be selfish with her time, with her energy? Is it unseemly to admit that being a wife and mother does not fulfill me entirely? Why do I feel the need to tack on “I really do love my life right now” when I would hope that those of you reading this know that. I feel so defensive about just wanting time and space to write, as if one passion cancels out the other. (It doesn’t.)

I keep telling myself that it will come. That eventually I will be able to use my degree for more than wall filler. That someday I will have time to sit and rewrite the same sentence 23 times, patiently waiting for boredom to bear fruit. Until then, I will continue to hit the ‘publish’ button long before the blog post is finished, and I will try and make peace with crooked seams.

8 Responses to A nice long soak isn't the same with a potty chair next to the tub.

  1. I totally agree. I keep thinking I should be able to come up with some equation: If I get interrupted by kids once every 7 minutes, everything is beautiful and wonderful. If it’s once every 90 seconds, I’m getting grumpy. If it’s less than that, I’m liable to loose it. It’s amazing how sometimes the kids can leave you with no room to put two thoughts together and the fragmentation can be very frustrating–like right now two kids have found me even though I snuck down here to the basement and they’re asking questions and complaining about their siblings and dialing China on the phone… :)

  2. Willow says:

    Send the kids to me for a few hours!
    Seriously – Thurs and Friday are my days off and I usually don’t have exciting plans. We could play with the dogs or some junk.

  3. there isnt a day that goes by that i dont considerer making the boys get on the bus tomorrow morning with a note that says *sorry! mom tried to homeschool me, you wanna have a go?*

    Its like a see-saw for me. when i see one of the boys finally get something that they were stuck on im so happily satisfied that we are doing the right thing and that i will love this for the rest of my life. or at least as long as they want to learn at home. But the same damn day ean will be momamamommamomma-ing me while i am trying to help eli, or i will specificaly say *we are finished with school and chores, i am going to go upstairs and read for 45 mins, i set the timer, leave me alone untill it goes off* and then every 9 and a half seconds one of the kids have to come in and see if indeed i am reading, if the cat is with me, did i want a lolly, can they have a lolly, could they go swimming, play video games, have some toast………. on and on and on until i want to give them to the nearest gypsy.

    Im pretty sure that if i would have never moved to AZ the boys would be public schooled. We are so up in the air still on when/if we will send them to school. Even if we moves some where that we enjoy the people and the system.

    I wish we had a big motor home and could just be real gypsy’s so i wouldnt have to choose.

  4. Meghan says:

    You would be of very little use to your children on an emotional, and creative level if you did not have passions and hobbies of your own. If you devoted all your time solely to thinking of them and supporting them without having any substance to your inner personal life how could they learn to be wholesome people? Who love and cherish their personal activites and alone time? I completely agree with you on the juice thing , Seth can’t get it either. I can’t tell you how frustrating the lack of creative time is, the fact that three years ago I was spending 12-15 hours a day ( yes that much) working on my art and now I have maybe three hours a week.

    The point is I personally think that it is okay to want more, I want more, I aspire, and I think it is okay. I think it teaches our kids something important; that they can always move forward, enjoy what they have immensely and still be ambitious, and dream!

  5. reallifeinsc says:

    I too understand where you are coming from. I couldn’t even post a comment without being interrupted multiple times by four of my five children. (And the fifth one isn’t here right now, so that’s why she didn’t interrupt me). So I’ve deleted the other two paragraphs I typed up due to lack of focus and simply want you to know that I understand where you are coming from and don’t necessarily think it is selfish to try to figure out a balance between motherhood and the other dreams and desires you have. You weren’t just created to be a mom…there is more to you than that! Not that motherhood isn’t wonderful, but it isn’t your only purpose in life either.

  6. michelle y says:

    Your blog today = me, too. Exactly.
    Thanks for writing it and making me feel better :)
    And hey, if everyone just keeps pulling their kids out of public schools (like I want to do, too, but grad school…is calling me), they’ll never get fixed, right?

  7. Veronica Mitchell says:

    The absolute hardest thing about motherhood for me is how it prevents me from really getting things DONE. I have so many projects or tasks that I want to accomplish, but they cannot be done while holding a baby, or fending off a climbing toddler, or answering “why?” for the forty-first time that day. It is so frustrating.

  8. Cheryl says:

    I had a grief counsellor once who said I should stop labelling things as selfish if they made me feel better. She referred to it as self-care.
    Meghan is right. A sane mom is better than a 24/7 mom.

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