Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Naptime Inefficiency and Nagging Guilt

It is naptime.  Finally.  Waylon just recently dropped his morning nap (most days anyway), and I had forgotten how long the distance between breakfast and naptime is (or can be anyway).  June had a fever yesterday, so I kept her home from preschool today.  She has so rarely been sick that it feels good to take care of her in this way, to baby her a bit.  She is equal parts lethargic and thrilled to discover that sickness at our house sometimes means you get to watch a lot of TV.

Rule-abiding nerds that we are, though, Waylon is TV ineligible.  Without June as his playmate, his foil, I have lost the ability to keep him entertained for hours on end.  It is brutal, and I get testy.  Leaving the house only once a day to go pick Georgia up from kindergarten is not a good recipe for my mental health.  So I took June and Waylon to the grocery store to pick up a few essentials and feel like part of the world again.

Now it is naptime, and I'm sitting here in bed, using the computer, when I should be doing so much more.  From where I sit I can see closets in need of weeding, papers to be filed, and as always, thank-you notes to be mailed.  That hardly scratches the surface.  If I walked a lap, I'd discover dozens of messes to pick up, meals to cook, Halloween costumes to finish up, maybe a resume to write, and as always, outgrown children's clothes to sort and store and give away.  All day - everyday - I have the best intentions of tackling these things as soon as everyone is asleep, but then I just want to sit down.  To waste time on the Internet.  Or maybe read a book.  Sometimes when pining for a vacation it occurs to me that what I really need to catch up around here is for the children to be on vacation, not me.  

[linking up with ...just write]


Stephanie Precourt said...

Ohhh yes.


Danni said...

If I were you I'd just not worry about all that. Does it REALLY matter?

Kate said...

Danni - in my opinion, you're kinda right, and you're kinda wrong. You're right - on any given day, none of it matters. They are all little things that I can afford to let slide, and I often do - without beating myself up about it. But you're also wrong in the sense that it's easier said than done to just "not worry about all that", because it's unrelenting. The more I let things slide, the more backed up I feel. It's like any other form of procrastination or work - when it starts to get to you, it's time to do something about it, and ignoring it is not always best. Sometimes it does actually start to matter. Clutter affects the children and me. Bills need to be paid. Halloween costumes for kids are not optional in their minds. The difference between this and other lines of work that I've previously procrastinated on, though, is that I frequently do it out of exhaustion (physical or mental), and the feeling that I just do not have it in me to get the job done, so to speak.

This "just write" thing is sort of a free form writing exercise that I'm trying out on Tuesdays, so maybe I didn't explain myself very well, but I think that's supposed to part of the point - just writing, without worrying about clarifying or unifying with a theme.

Aside from these nagging to-do's, the other feeling I was trying to convey (perhaps unsuccessfully) is just how hard it is for me to entertain a one year old by himself for hours on end. Waylon's newfound nap schedule has revealed just how out of practice I am.

Emily said...

Caris is napping and I am supposed to be doing work for school but am reading your blog instead. So, uh, you're not alone. Also, for what it's worth, Waylon is going to start entertaining himself a lot more soon, making your job easier. Although given your recent posts about his escape tricks maybe that's a daunting prospect! This is a good blog post to remember in the future what having little kids is really like (e.g. it's not all family vacations and jolly trips to the playground).

Sarah said...

I hear ya. It can be an exhausting, isolating, draining, frustrating job. And then sometimes more satisfying than any other job , hands down. Having a sick kid doesn’t help. It probably would have been easier if you had more options for taking him out, but it’s hard to nurse one and entertain the other. Hang in there! These are the underappreciated moments of being completely engrossed in motherhood for better or for worse. At least most of the time everyone’s happy and healthy, right? You can’t do everything all the time. And even Waylon will learn that eventually.
How did SAHM's do it before the internet? I'm pretty sure they just pushed the little ones out the door and hoped for the best when dinner time came around. We're way too hard on ourselves.