Stumbling thru life w/Grace

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Kids Week-End

Thought I would try and write a quick post. Week-ends usually do not afford me too much time to do so. But kid's Week-end even less. The time on a week-end is so precious. It means my husband isn't working, and on kids week-end, I am with them more then during the school week.

Sometimes I feel like I am pulled into too many directions. My husband and I have been married a little over two years. Which in my book, makes us still pretty much newlyweds. We still crave (and hopefully always will) blocks of uninterrupted time together.

My children, are only with me, every other week. Which means I have to try and make the most out of the every other week-end time spent with them. It's nice having every other week-end just with my new husband, as we work at building a life together. But in some ways I feel it puts more pressure on me, to make my children's week-end extra special. Since overall they do without their mother half of the year. Except for various phone calls during my X's week, and a quick visit here and there, when they stop by.

During kids week, I have my daughter, who needs me more, as she enters into the melo-dramatic zone of puberty. My new husband, who always likes to bounce his workdays off of me, and Satan's Spawn, who instead of coming out and saying, I need attention, will act out, and up, to get it. So I feel like this rubberband, trying to fulfill all of their needs, by splitting my time with each of them. And maybe it's just my own mind, but I feel like they all feel they each are being shortchanged in the area of mom, and wife's attention.

And then there is the balance of trying to put together "family time" as a unit. Watching the delicate balance of my kids building a relationship with their step-dad. Which if I had to judge it, I think it would come thru with flying colors. And I think that is completley due to my husband's maturity, and patience. He watches as the X saunters thru our home, on a fairly regular basis, and handles the situation with grace, and patience. Far more then I would, if the roles were reversed.

So, at times I feel like this helpless bystander, trying to manipulate all of these various relationships, so that everyone comes out happy and content. Which brings me to working. If I worked full time like I have in the past, everyone is short changed even more. And topping that list would be me. Any alone time to myself, would be non-existent. Which means I am not in the right frame of mind to do all these other relationships justice.

So when my husband tells me, he would rather I not work fulltime, I whole heartedly agree with him. And my kids, they feel the same way, and have told me so in no uncertain terms. My daughter has come right out and said, "mom, when you work fulltime, you're tired all the time, and I don't get time with you like we have when you're not working." Pretty clear communication.

In the day, and age, when women are being told, we can have it all, career, marraige, kids, home. I'm here to say, I can't. I can't do it. I end up with this overwhelming sense of guilt, that leaves me thinking I have short changed all areas. And failed, in all areas. These feelings are not condusive with a happy life.

So, in my case, it comes down to choices. I cannot have it all. I cannot have it all, and feel good, content, happy. Being able to look each member of my family in the eyes, with any sense of joy shining thru.

There are so many conflicting points of view, swimming around in my head. Views that at one time or another, I have embraced. I've wanted to feel like an independent modern woman, who has it all. I have wanted to be "The Total Woman", whose marraige is successful, whose husband is content, with all his fantasies and desires fulfilled. I have wanted to be "mother of the year", who is sensitive to her children's needs, not just physically and mentally, but emotionally as well.

And where the hell is all this time going to come from, in order for me to fulfill all these lofty ideas?? Some women do it. They do it all, and look like the the most well organized, successful all around modern women. I wonder though, does this bring them that elusive sense of contentment? Probably so, although because I admit right off the bat, I can't, I don't want to believe it. I have my children only half time, and still do not feel it's workable. And these women are full time at all their positions, and even manage to look great while doing it all.

So I enter in to another kid's week-end, knowing I must do everything I can, to make them happy with their relationship with their mother. And a husband who puts in near 60 hours a week, who looks to the week-end for us to renew our bond, and refresh his spirit. With these thoughts always at the forfront of my brain, that makes sitting down at the computer to post, almost a sin in my book.

Although I am glad I have taken the time today, to puke up these feelings in my oh so precious blog. This blog, that is mine, where I can put all these conflictiong emotions, and feelings of ineptness. And I can do my best, to rebel against these negative thoughts. Before walking away from it, to fulfill my responsibilities, and create joy for myself in these precious family bonds.

Today, on the list, is first my daughter. This being in some ways easier then the one with my son, and even my husband during kids week. I have a fitting for my formal at 2:00 PM for the "prom" my husband and I attend. My daughter loves stuff like this. So I am able to kill the two proverbial birds with one stone. Time with daughter, and necessary errand. On this same frame, we head over to the nail salon, where I need a pedicure to make these old woman toes look pretty in delicate heels, for said "prom". She will get a pedicure as well, which she loves. Again another two birds.

And then homeward to try and make some meaningful contact with Riley (aka; Satans Spawn) Which is much harder to do. And I admit, I rely on my husband to do a good deal of this. He will take Riley to get a haricut, and along on a few errands with him. My contact with Riley is much more minimal. I try to chat with him, watch his latest yo yo trick, clapping at his expertise. And just snuggle him, which he loves so much, although 50% of the time he will pull away and try and act manly. The week is spent trying to help him be sucessful in his school work, usually at the expense of time with daughter and husband.

Riley and I usually get to chat more, on monday nights while Tayler is at girlscouts. And it really does astound me, how bright, and intellegent he is. I don't manage to see it, when we are a family as he is usually busy acting out in one form or another. When we are alone, one on one, he is much calmer, and usally tries to impress me with his knowledge on various subjects. It pulls me up short, and makes me wonder how I can connect with him more on this level. But again, where is the time going to come from?

Maybe I am too serious about these different interactions. Maybe I am just too damn co-dependent in my own way. I do always manage to find time for myself, and I always know how to pamper myself. Much more then most of the women I know. This fact flies in the face of any image of the self sacrificing mom, and wife. My torture is truly mentally and emotionally, and doesn't really manifest itself in any short changing of "my time." (Except I try NOT too spend more then a few moments either reading blogs, or posting on the week-end) This only "sacrifice" I make, would make most of my friends laugh. As they know what true sacrifice is.

Will I regret this someday? Who knows. I know I feel guilty for NOT being more self sacrificing. But obviously not enough to change things......

There is an article this week, in Newsweek, in fact the cover story, called The Myth of the Perfect Mom. Why it Drives Real Women Crazy, by Judith Warner. With a related article, Moms Shouldn't be Martyrs by Anna Quindlen. Just these titles, allowed me momentarily to experience a sigh of relief. I haven't read the articles yet, as I don't want the moment to fade, with anything that it might say, that would contradict how I defined these titles.(I do plan on reading them this week-end.) You can find these artciles at www.newsweek.msnbc.com if you're interest. (Don't know if this link is going to work, until I post this, but I'll check it at that point. And correct it if necessary.)

I am hoping these articles validate my life, and relieve some of the guilt. I'll let you know. I know, what a hypocrite. I live my life as I see fit, but can't handle the guilt for my choices, and look outwardly to have it relieved. Part of me, feels I have the right to enjoy life, and some time to myself. And I have no problem taking it. So why do I continue to feel guilty? Is it just the whole closet bitch mentality? Wouldn't I be better off, standing up and embracing the bitch in me? Instead of hiding it in the closet half of the time, and be like "other mothers" self sacrificing and lovin' it.

I just can't seem to fake it good enough. It isn't me. It was my choice to have these beautiful children, so why am I not falling in to line, and fulfilling the roll of self sacrificing mommyhood? I love my babies, and I want them to be happy, healthy, contented, well-adjusted children. But I want to keep me, and who I am too. Obviously I want this more. Or, I want both. And am just bitchy enough to demand it. Now would somebody please fucking validate me! And my wayward mentality.

Well, I need to hop into the shower and get ready for the day. The guilt is already setting in, as I sit here and write this self absorbed post, I hear the vacuum running, as my overworked husband is busily cleaning up.....LOL, fuck me. I suck. And still they clamor for my attention. I can't wait until February is up, and I quit beating myself up, and succumbing to life's little mishaps.

It's time to put on my happy face, and be the mother everyone says I should be. Wish me luck....

12 Comments:

  • Well, I already emailed you, then I went into the bathroom as the girls were bathing. I washed their hair, we talked and teased.... quality time ya know?? As soon as they're out, I'm going to put sponge rollers in their hair.

    It's the little things that mean the most, I have to remind myself of that time and time again.

    By Blogger Sis, at 3:01 PM  

  • I came through from Sis' blog. I'm gonna blogroll you if you don't mind!

    By Blogger Andi, at 12:17 PM  

  • Sis, thank you for your words of encouragement. I think all moms, need a few words of encouragement, from time to time. And especially thanks for the e-mail along that lines. You are a great new friend. I am also very much enjoying your posts!
    Andrea, I left you a comment on your 100 things about me list. You are bookmarked, and will be on my daily read list! Thank you for reading me. And I look forward to reading your life as well!

    By Blogger 3rd Times a Charm, at 9:45 PM  

  • I'm a Mother of three who works full time and let me tell you, kids do suffer in some ways. Don't let the 'other' Moms fool you, very few have it all. I know the Moms you talk about and on the surface they manage to get everything looked after but something has to be lacking and usually that is time for themselves. I love my kids but I also love my time and if I don't get it, I'm a bear! Ideally, I wish I could be a stay at home Mom but I can't so I have to make the best of it.

    Kim
    Bacon and Ehs

    By Blogger Kim, at 2:20 AM  

  • ~great post (just popped in via blogexplosion.com) - it's honest, and not full og fluff, two qulaities I enjoy discovering while surfing via be.com...here's wishing you all the luck in the world~

    By Blogger btezra, at 6:11 AM  

  • There are plenty of unhappy kids out there who are the products of full time parenting, and plenty of unhappy kids out there who are the children of working moms. Know what? They're not going to be happy all the time. And why should they be? Are they going to be happy all the time when they are adults?
    We all have to make compromises. Our kids come first, but they are not the center of the universe, and you have needs too.
    Enjoy the time you have with your kids. Don't worry about the big splashy things. Your kids are a big part of your world and they know it and they will know you love them. Sure, they'll complain. But kids complain no matter what!!
    And they'll know they are loved.
    Hang in there!
    Elizabeth

    By Blogger Library Lady, at 6:33 AM  

  • I myself wasn't impressed with warner's articles. She made some valid points but drew on a lot of old cyclic psychology, and totally made her assumptions based on class and age. To me having it all means being happy. If you know having a job outside of the home would make all of you miserable, then that's not having it all. I've quite trying to be a perfect mom. I've decided I'll settle for being a good mom. That means accepting that i can't give my kids everything, and that I'm bound to make mistakes. I still get overwhelmed. i still use my blog to whine, but it's a far better approach than feeling guilty because I'm not juggling as many balls as all of "those other women" out there. It's not about being a SAHM or a WOHM... it's about just being a mom in the best way that works for you and your kids. Everyone else can take a flying leap. Some women are not cut out to balance family and work. Some women are doing their kids a favor by working. It comes down to your kids well-being and your own, no one else's.

    By Blogger Square1, at 6:41 PM  

  • Kim, I agree with you, moms need time to themselves, or I do. It makes me a happier mom, which has got to be better for my kids. Getting over the guilt of all the psycho babble thrown at mothers today though, is sometimes difficult. Thanks for commenting!

    btezra, thank you so much for commenting! I plan on checking out your blog tomorrow. I am assuming your a mom too, and I like to have blogs along those lines.

    Elizabeth,
    Thank you, thank you, thank you!
    For a dose down to earth logic and reality!

    square1,
    Thank you for taking the time out to comment, and on the article. I know what you mean, I came away from the article feeling like she didn't really cover all that she could have on the subject. And I like the flying leap thing. Guilt is such a waste of time....it just tends to creep up on you. And I am swiftly coming to the conclusion, that working anymore then part time outside of the house, would not be good for my family. And while at the moment it is possible for me to do this, I should. (As one never knows what tomorrow will hold. And I may not always have that option.) Thanks for taking the time to comment. I am going to come around and check out your site tomorrow! (Is there good stuff like your comment in it??:-)

    By Blogger 3rd Times a Charm, at 11:09 PM  

  • You should never feel bad about taking time for yourself. Having a happy, healthy, well-balanced mother is the best thing you can do for your kids.

    By Blogger Jay, at 4:23 PM  

  • 3T, What are we going to do with G-man? Perhaps it is time we list all we know about his kinks? hehehe

    By Blogger Brat, at 5:45 PM  

  • And, Brat, just what does that have to do with the post at hand?

    By Blogger The G-man, at 11:07 PM  

  • Jay,
    Thanks for commenting, and especially your words of encouragement. I will do my best to fight guilt, with those very words.

    Brat,
    I agree that G-man needs to list HIS kinks on his site;-) The problem with listing HIS kinks, as he may well go on the attack, along that same line....whether it be true, or his imagination....just can't risk seeing that in print.LOL
    He is also very aware that you came over to plot with me, as his post right next to yours shows.... I think we may have to retreat, momentarily. But I do think he probably has a lot more to say about his own past, that would make for interesting reading...maybe if we ask nicely, he'll share;-)

    By Blogger 3rd Times a Charm, at 5:24 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home


<< # Bitch Club ? >>

« ? dry heat! # »