Saturday, August 30, 2008

A Hault to my Hiatus

I guess I have had a little vacation, of sorts, from blogging lately. I haven't felt inspired, nor have I had anything to report, so I have put it off in favor of curling up in my bed with a book each night while my husband watched the DNC (gag me with a pompous, self-righteous speech - am I the only one who can't stand to watch it?). Well, my husband is gone until Monday night, my baby is sleeping, my girls are gone, and I just remembered that I have a whole bag of Snickers in my cupboard, so all signs point to blogging! No more excuses! Let's for a topic...

I declared today National (or at least Shumaniol) No T.V. Day, because frankly I'm sick of feeling like the worst mom in the world (okay, Ty would make me rephrase that because there ARE worse mothers out there, like the ones that drown their children...we won't have any of my black & white thinking in these parts, now will we?) because I let them sit in front of that black hole for hours each day just so I can have my revered "peace and quiet." Lately I've been wondering what it is I'm doing in this here world. I chose to be a mother - in fact I wanted it more than anything, and now it seems like all I ever try to do is get away from those little beings I prayed would be sent my way (Sharlee, thanks for the reminder yesterday)! I treat them like intruders - intruding my space, my time, and my thoughts. Granted, I don't shoot them as I would any normal intruder, but I do shoot plenty of annoyed glances their way. I'm sick of myself. Does anyone else ever feel that way? When am I going to be perfect? I'm growing impatient of imperfection - I've been in that state for ever-so long, and I'm ready to move on! So, moving on: as I mentioned, no t.v. blah, blah, blah. It was in a sudden burst of energy and motivation that I proclaimed the day t.v.-free, after which I was suddenly panic-stricken with trying to think of something else to do (am I REALLY this used to never playing with my kids? Nauseating!). The only thing that came to my mind was to go for a walk. So we walked around the block and noticed grass-hoppers and ants and rocks. That took a whole 15 minutes, so I was suddenly a deer in headlights again. Art! The ol' stand-by. I broke out the markers (a rare treat, as I am too mean to let my kids play with them EVER) and copy paper and let them go at it. While I retreated to the bathroom for a few private moments Sylas had a hay-day:

A bundle of paper, 20 minutes, and ten trips to the sink later, and I'm asking myself, "Now what?" Luckily my mother-in-law called in the nick of time to ask if she could take the girls on an adventure. Could she ever! Now I'm blogging in hopes of prolonging the anguish of trying to think up more things to do with my kids for the remaining 6 hours before bedtime.
Here are other highlights from our week:

Sylas realizes the wonders of manhood (even from behind the bow, Ty's pride shines forth like a dozen back-lit jewels). Now Sylas keeps begging to, "Shoop...bow...Daddy..."

Saylor's first day of school (Wednesday). She is one school-sick puppy! On friday, upon plucking her from the droves of students awaiting homeward-bound shuttle service, she declared, "I wish they had school on Saturdays!" Oh to be young and in love with school. I know, I'm the best parent ever, what with forgetting to take the all-important before school photo and all (that will be the second year in a row, by the way - although last year I had a good excuse: living out of boxes at my mother-in-laws, etc.). Here I came, screaming down the stairs after we got home from picking her up AFTER school for her to stop getting undressed! Snap - Whew! All was not lost. Hair a little worse for wear, but you get the idea.

Side note: I don't know as I've ever bragged on Saylor's hair? For my own information (what with this being my journal and all) it is incredible. Every time I lay my hands on it (which is far less than I would like to admit - poor girl goes around looking like a bedraggled ragamuffin most times) I giggle with astonishment that she's my child. It is everything I ever wanted mine to be! Thick, shiny, long...did I mention THICK?! Too bad I'm not accomplished in the art of hair-maintenance (has anyone ever seen me - and if so, will you repeat after me, "ponytail", which is, sadly, something Saylor's hair refuses to do - weird, I know), for I'm sure there are possibilities beyond my wildest imaginings.


sharlee said...

Oh, Andrea, how I relate to your every feeling of motherhood failure and strife. I wish I had the answers but what you did today (or was it yesterday) was inspiring. And I'm the same as you when it comes to hair. It's a good thing I didn't get a girl. Saylor, by the way, is too cute for her own good. I hope she never knows it.
Thanks for blogging your mothering experiences. I love it!

Crowther Clan said...

Again, you just know how to put things into words! I think every mom has those feelings, but either won't admit it or just doesn't know how to say it without sounding like a horrible person. But you say it in a way that we can all relate. I found a book at costco called 501 Science Experiments. I got so excited because I knew it would be the answer to me being a good mom and doing productive things with my kids:) It really is a cool book and Bjorn LOVES every time we do something from it. There are some that are really complicated and take lots of materials, but a lot of them are just really simple things. We even use them for FHE activities, which is something else I stress about. So anyways. I love your blog. You're not alone!

Amber said...

First (and you might need to whip out the Snickers because this is going to be a long one), after reading your comment on my most recent blog, I was headed over here to chastise you for not doing your part to provide me with bloggish reading material as of late. But I arrive to find this little treat. Treat mostly because you always say what I am thinking or have been thinking. Almost nightly as I lay in bed trying to fall asleep I go over the days happenings and almost immediately regret my selfishness. Why did I shew Claire away when I was balancing my account online instead of welcoming her onto my lap. Why did it take Cora five "Mommy, look what I drew you"s before I ever looked up. Do I tune out my kids that much? And would it have killed me to stop doing dishes for a few minutes to appease Claire's "swing me,swing me, swing me?" Every night I am plagued by guilt and every night I vow to do better, be better. Then the rooster crows and the complaining begins and the spilled milk tries my patience before I ever get my teeth brushed. And all is forgotten. My children are my whole world, yet I am annoyed 99% of the time that they are my whole world and I dream daily of hiring a sitter and relaxing at a day spa. And last night, for reasons I will email you about later, I found myself sobbing for half of the night because of a realistic thought that their lives are a temporary gift to me, and the responsibility to raise them right is enormous. If that gift was revoked and I was left to carry on in this life without them, would I be content knowing I put my selfish desires aside to offer them my undivided attention. They rarely ask for more.

Okay I have to stop because I am now on a rant and before I get too off track, I have to say that Saylor looks shockingly like her beautiful mother and Sylas and Claire could open a face painting business when they are older. So there you have it.

Matheson said...

I too understand. For years we couldn't have kids and I would day dream of all the many things we would do reading, playing, and singing songs. But now I find myself relying on the t.v. for their entertainment and a few minutes of peace to get some things done. But then I am reminded to stop, listen, and pay attention over and over (of which I try to not let it bother me) as I am tugged at at the pant leg by my baby and asked to help color the picture by my 2 year old and I then feel guilty of all the promises I had with my Heavenly Father if He just would send me children I would be the best mother. I have failed in some respect as my baby knows how to turn on the t.v. and my daughter cries if I turn it off. I wish I had more time to do all the other things needed of me but haven't figured it out just yet. Hopefully soon. You have inspired me to have a no t.v. day- I'll let you know how it goes. **Saylor's hair is gorgeous just like yours.

Anonymous said...

Andrea, it's always like that during the summer! Every mom on planet earth will admit this awful truth! And I don't think there's anything wrong with engaging them elsewhere while you take care of other priorities and responsibilities. They need to know that you have business, and they have their business, too; you'd go crazy if you taught them that they were completely dependent upon you to entertain them every hour of the day!! You'll find your balance - stop kicking yourself!

By the way, you have the amazing gift of writing! I love reading your blog!

Rindee said...

Don't worry. I didn't take first day of school pictures of my kids at ALL. No excuses. Just bad mom.

I love the picture of your men shooting the bow. I have a bow and have been tempted to get it out, but I don't have any bails of hay to shoot at and am not very excited about searching around the alfalfa field for my arrows. What did Ty do about that?

Saylor is a cutie! And I love the picture of Sylas. It's classic.

Marianne said...

Thanks for being so honest about how you feel as a mother. You say everything we want to say but don't because we either don't know how or we want everyone to think we have it all together. I think entertaining your kids is one of the hardest parts about parenting! Most of the time I would rather do anything else in the world than play another game of dinosaurs with Noah, and I feel so guilty for that! I'm trying to find the joy in those moments because sooner than later I'm going to wonder what happened to my little boy and wish I could sit down one more time and make roaring sounds as my dinosaur attacks his. Good job on the no T.V. thing. So brave! I think Noah would have a heart attack if he couldn't watch a movie for a whole day (or maybe that's me that would have a heart attack). Since he doesn't take naps I depend on a movie or two to give me a moment of peace. I try not to let him watch more than one movie a day, but I'm weak.

By they way, don't feel back about the whole home schooling thing. I completely agree with everything you guys said! I am surprised I'm even considering it. I think I could do it, but I'd get burned out really fast (like, after the first week). My kids would probably end up being the illiterate, socially backward weirdos.

You're a great Mom! Your kids are so cute- I love the picture of Sylas and the markers, and Saylor is gorgeous.

Emily said...

My girls' learning to read has been a life-saver for me. Hours of guilt-free peace & quiet while they're occupied with books. I don't know if Calvin & Hobbes comic books -Bethany's favorite- are much better than T.V., but oh well.

You're not alone in your worst-mother-in-the-world feelings. We all feel like that sometimes. You're just brave enough to admit it. Thanks for being so candid. How did the rest of your day go? :)

Oh, & I don't know how to do hair either... my poor girls.

Lena said...

Where to start? I'm SOOOO glad that you found my blog!!! Yes--we definitely need to have a little cousin get together. I love it that you don't hide the truth about motherhood...if you have it "all together", then it is time to take a deep breath, relax, admit that you feel like checking into the looney-bin on a daily basis and let your house get a little messed up!

And, about the "big, black hole". I swear it makes my kids onery!! How can watching Dora and the likes (and yes, my kids are only allowed to watch Noggin, land of happy voices and no TV commercials) create contention! Isn't that the reason I turned it on--so there would be no fighting and no messes!

Christy said...

haha! oh dear blogging friend, how your blogs are the truest thing to "real life" for me and probably all mothers! I just can't say it in those eloquent words. I have been feeling exactly this way for the past... well, since Madi was born actually. I don't know how to entertain my kids all day long! So once we have done the usual... drawing and playing animals for ten minutes, I resort back to my good ol' trustee friend, the TV! I think your friend, Amber said it perfect. You vow everynight you will do better and then wam! It's morning and the chaos starts all over again.

Palmer family said...

Yesterday and today are "no tv days" in the Palmer home and it's about killing me to be honest! We aren't even that big of tv watchers but Mason made some bad choices (ugh) on his FIRST day of preschool (so help me ....already!) so I banned him from the tv= the rest of us too. We've survived and it's been good I think. The nice swingset in our backyard and hours of coloring (which he loves to do anyways) have helped Mason survive (and me)!

You are the best writer...I hope you write a book someday! I love to read your blog.

So, to answer your ?'s---I am due in February. The panels I made (I still need to post a pic. of) are called the tailored linen panels in PB. You can look on their website to see them. Simple but cute. The ones in the catalog were $159 for a 96" panel and mine are longer then that and I didn't pay THAT much for them! I love having them up (finally after 2 yrs of living here) too! And, I will post a pic. of the swingset soon. Our computer has been having probs. and will hopefully be fixed this weekend! I hate posting on my blog after reading yours. You are SO good at this!!! :) oh, and yes, I am going to AZ at the end of this month for my sisters wedding in Mesa. I am excited!!!!

Paige of Pearls said...

This sounds like me the entire summer. I really need a break sometimes, and when I'm constantly surrounded by kids who take turns bickering, whining, and playing quietly, it's frustrating sometimes. I admit that a lot of their summer was spent either picking out movies to watch or playing computer games, even though we'd all planned on doing more reading during the warm months. I've tried to get them to go outside and enjoy the sunshine, but they would rather copy my example of staying inside for their activities. It seems that even though school has only begun, the kids seem to already find more interesting things to do than bug each other. They seem to always somehow find trouble without me listening too closely, though.

By the way, your oldest daughter is stunning!