Friday, August 12, 2011
Last night, when I went to tuck the girls in, they (Sariah mostly) informed me that I ignore them all the time. Sariah said I spend too much time on the computer and the phone, and that I don't hear them or help them when I'm "busy." I tried to rationalize my behavior but ultimately gave up because really, they're right. The last few days I have been on the computer quite a bit, trying out the new google calendar Ben swears is going to make our insanely busy lives better, preparing for the coming Joy School year, catching up on email etc. Sariah even asked me with big sad eyes why I don't talk to them anymore, "like when you're getting ready in the morning?" That question made me face the bitter truth. Now I know that I'm home all day everyday, giving myself to my children, caring for them, feeding them, loving them, but somehow, the present-in-the-moment-mom I strive to be has slipped away briefly without me even realizing it. I'm tired. Really really tired. My body hurts. My patience level is low. So I nag the kids daily to clean up, internally focusing on surviving until bed time, and have retreated to my own thoughts, forgetting to verbalize the oh so many wonderfully positive feelings I have about the kids, to them. I remember when Meilani was born, I read that I needed to talk to my baby. Back then "talking" to an infant felt so unnatural to me. I had to consciously remind myself to run a narrative through out the day so she had social stimulation. I guess I need to do the same now. Over the years I've come to realize that I'm a thoughtful person. Thoughtful in the way that while I'm making 5 pb&j sandwhiches (4 no crust), I'm also thinking about how late we are for the park, the schedule for the rest of the week, how I need to do a load of whites before I have no clean underwear again, and on and on. I don't verbally say all that out loud, but maybe I should, so my kids know I'm not purposely ignoring them. I'm thinking. I try to make myself feel better about this temporary motherhood failure, thinking that maybe the reason the kids feel the loss of the present-me lately is because on a regular basis, I do a fairly good job of being in the moment with them? As a general rule, I do pride myself on experiencing life with my kids. I'm definitely not a "side-line" mom. I swim, I dig in the sand, I get down and dirty with them. After returning from the lake last week, Ben and I both felt the weight of the world pressing firmly down on us as we were bombarded with phone calls and emails reminding us that summer was slipping away, and the reality of our regimented school year schedules were looming. I think that's the moment my internal retreat began. The contrast between the care free summer mom and the overwhelmed (at the moment) school year mom was obviously apparent to Sariah as well. Ultimately, I'm thankful I have daughters who keeps me in check. I'm glad they know that I don't want to be detached and oblivious to their needs and feelings. They push me to be the mom I want to be.