Tuesday, September 30, 2008

My kids in the afternoon

Liam: always mellow, happy to snooze whenever the moment allows. Except then I won't fall asleep at night so my mom won't let me nap! Aoife. Sleep? Why would I want to do that?

Oh, my.

Is anybody out there?

There is great joy in letting go. I don't understand why as a parent I sometimes cling to the things that I do, firm in my belief that this is how I do things and it makes my life better.
Oh, my, how wrong I always am.

Raising children is like following the dripping wax down a candle, you just don't know what shape it's going to make at the bottom. There's a point where you can sometimes tip the candle so there isn't a drip, but then the wind starts to blow, or the wick gets too long, and you just can't really do much but watch it fall.

So lately my moment of RELEASE has been around afternoon sleep, which we don't do anymore. At all.

The mom who was so rigorous about the sleeping schedule for her little son (because he was a GOOD sleeper!) has realized, in raising her little daughter, that not everybody follows the same schedule. And my attempts to have my children "rest" in the afternoon left me feeling pissed off with a sour taste in my mouth because I hadn't gotten a thing done during the "rest" time-- unless you count 63 laps up and down the stairs to try to tell them to rest quietly.

(First of all, what I must quietly interject, is what I am defining as getting done, because is it more important to hang out with my kids, or wash the kitchen floor, think about this)

So I silently surrendered, and now, after lunch, I just let them wander around the house. We stay in for an hour or so, and I read to them, and we do something kind of quiet with blocks, but it's a whole lot quieter than standing up in bed yelling every request and excuse you can think of for 45 minutes. And I cannot tell you how much happier I am for it. As sad as I was (and am, truly, what I wouldn't give for just 30 minutes to breathe in the middle of the day) to give up that time, I am so much happier to not have that excuse to feel irritated with my kids.

Because if I'm irritated? I need to change something. Maybe it's my routine, maybe it's my own tone of voice to try to calm things down. My close friend just described to me that when she's really, really mad at her kids, she tries to pretend like she's really stoned. So she sets herself back into super-mellow, out of it, disconnect and addresses the situation like such. Calm, groovy, and to the point.

This is all to short to really get your panties in a knot about. But boy, I have had some tough knots to unravel.

1 comment:

Meg said...

I have found the same to be true. I used to stress about clutter from the kids playing, and I just decided to stop and just get down there and play with them and clean it up later and I am so much happier! You are such a great mom to keep re-evaluating and changing to fit the needs of your kids. Thanks for sharing it with us so we can so the same.