Sunday, February 24, 2008

A (fragile) quiet moment

It's Sunday, and timeis unstructured. This always leaves me with a feeling of unease: I'm troubled by thinking there are things I should be doing; that I'd planned on doing during the week, and now I can't remember. I prefer to be writing anyway.

One of the more difficult things that I still haven't adjusted to about parenting is the being interrupted. I tend to love forward momentum in a seamless whole--start at my choosing, not pause until I choose to finish. Having children has completely violated that need--and the problem is the need hasn't gone away, even though (unless they're in school) it's been rendered completely unrealistic.

So when we're all home much of what I choose to do has a provisional feel to it. I live with the threat of interruption at any random moment. So there's a part of me that's keeping alert for that inevitable call for direct intervention in something.

Here's how I strategize: if the boys are otherwise occupied, that's when I do something that can involve sitting still: writing, reading, researching (and expecting to be interrupted). If I'm in the middle of cooking, housework, whatever, I stop the second they become occupied and grab my book. When they are with me needing my engagement I do chores. I figure, why waste a quiet moment with chores? I'm always alert for these openings.

Still, they are like quick sips of air, not luxury. I just can't let down to do some serious thinking or writing. Luxury is when they're in school. So I'm a little sad every time I feel my familiar anticipation that tomorrow's a school day, and then remember that I'm going to be staying in the classroom for a couple hours. Since it's about a half hour commute to and from the school, the window I'm left with is pretty small (as I already whined about ad nauseum).

Writing this down a couple things come to mind: 'Geez, why'd she even have kids?' And a bit of shame at my 'strategy'--reserving my chores for when they're occupying themselves with me is hardly 'being here now' with them. And they deserve my full presence--

Uh oh. Tears and shouts. I'm being interrupted.

1 comment:

Lori said...

I counted eight "Mo-om"s while I was trying to read the post.

I have my activities divided similarly. I never spend time on things I can do WITH the kids home (dishes, fold laundry, etc) when I'm WITHOUT kids.

I'm going to try your strategy.

I'll be thinking of you tomorrow....XO