Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Slow down, Sparky

This is how it feels to be in Sebby's carwash
Having given some advice, I now request some.  I've heard lots of people say to "enjoy the moments" with your kids because they're only little once (etc.), and that's good; I DO enjoy my kids a great deal of the time.  But my problem is, lately I always feel this sense of urgency, like I should be doing something else.  It doesn't really matter WHAT I'm doing, if I do it for more than a couple minutes I start feeling anxious inside.  I still do continue with the activity, and enjoy it, often for quite awhile, but the whole time my nagging feeling is that I should be doing something else.  I feel the next mealtime or naptime or pick-up-Abe time or feed-Daisy-time hanging over me, and I get all nervous and worried-feeling until I get to that thing.  After which I start getting anxious about the NEXT thing.  It's so weird.  Even when Daisy is sleeping, I'm thinking, "Is she about to wake up? I better hurry with the next thing [even if that thing is take a nap] before she wakes up!"  I don't feel like I am taking full advantage of "the moment" at all---but I don't know how to!  There are so many times when we DO need to hurry, that I find myself telling my kids to "hurry up" even when we DON'T need to.  I don't like it.  I can think of some specific times I feel really truly relaxed (most of them take place in the summer, and outside, interestingly: the playground, the swimming pool, lying on the grass while the kids run around) but they don't come around that often.

So what's the deal?  I really do have a lot of "next things" that happen every day (Daisy's next feeding is always only a short time away, and church stuff, and meals, and cleaning, and Abe getting to and from school is a factor every day, and next year Seb will start kindergarten, so that will be even worse), so am I stuck feeling this kind of vague urgency for the next several years? [Or perhaps this is February-induced, and the warm weather will cure it?]  I can't just live so much in the moment that I let time get away from me altogether.  Is there a way for me to keep on schedule with everything (and of course I have to keep track of not just my schedule, but everyone else's too) while still "savoring the present"?
A carwash.  Not related to anything; just thought you might enjoy it.

8 comments:

  1. My aunt recommends doing 5 jumping jacks every time anxiousness starts getting the upper hand. Just enough endorphins to slow things down.

    You're doing great!

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  2. Read Daniel Amen's book Change Your Brain, Change Your Life.

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  3. Well, that's easy enough to solve: Just don't have a schedule! Ha ha!

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  4. I love that carwash!!
    I know the feeling that you're talking about. I get it too. I used to get it especially bad when I was working from home and doing school at night. Since there was always a zillion things I hadn't gotten to, I just couldn't sit down and focus and spend good time with Max.
    It's gotten better since I got done with school and work is gone, but I still feel it, and at first I was just lost, thinking I should be doing something, but there was nothing to do!

    Anyway, I'm thinking that with more kids that feeling would intensify. I'm not sure what to do about it exactly....but you've made me think. If I come up with anything interesting I'll let you know.

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  5. Yes, I DO love the carwash.

    You have entered into the anxiety period of mothering. This happens when the kids' lives start splitting off from yours - they have places they have to be, logistical deadlines for each one - and you have your own set. I have spent thirty years at a banquet table, running from plate to plate, never able to savor the bite in my mouth because I've got to go over and eat the veggies - but while I'm eating those, I can't savor them, because I've got to get over there and eat the meat -

    Whatever you do from now on, there are ten other things you should also be doing - things of varying import, but of fairly constant reproachfulness. In any one minute, you will never find yourself doing the single one most important and significant thing. By the very dent of your doing it, the thing you are doing becomes not as important as the thing you have to do next.

    You are, in short, a normal mother with a multi-tasking brain and a multi-demanding life. You are managing five lives - no. Six lives that are all crowded into your house. And they will each keep growing and needing (not the kids, the lives) and having to accommodated and planned for and treated as if they are the only life you have to be responsible for. Something like the way your HS teachers gave homework as though their class was the only one.

    Which is one reason I educated my own children at home for so many years. TA_DA!!

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  6. Totally homeschool! ;)

    I hate it when elderly people give good advice that is impossible to follow--like enjoy the moment. What exactly are you supposed to do? Sit there and ponder the greatness of the moment? Become filled with ecstatic euphoria that the children have pulled 40 books off the shelves, the cushions off the couch, and dumped 14 buckets of water onto the carpet???? The more children you have the less you can enjoy anything--except choco covered raisins. I enjoy those by the armful.

    I like the jumping jacks suggestion. At least it's humanly possible.

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  7. Oh, I don't know if you'll read this because I'm posting so late. but you totally captured how I feel MOST of the time. Some things I've found to help it: deep breathing, playing with my kids for 15-20 minutes and then leaving them to do a household chore or two, quickly running around and tidying a room up before leaving the house, putting on some relaxing music. Maybe that'll help...I think it's just a result of having kids and wanting to be there for each of them while finding time for ourselves. A challenge, eh?
    w.v.: terstic (like terse and sarcastic)

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  8. My sister just gave birth and named her boy Sebastian. Now all my kids want a Sebastian. Can't blame them--the baby is a cutie!

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