Tuesday, February 9, 2010

New You?

As I was driving around town today I noticed that there are an amazing number of signs proclaiming:

New Year New You!

And perhaps because I had just dropped one child off and was on my way to pick up another - and thus was ALONE in the car..........I began to think.

Is a new me what I am searching for?

My initial thought was it is not a new me I search for, but rather the old me.

The me that was spontaneous - who did not make decisions based on bedtime and the day of the week.

The me that was confident - who did not question every moment of her day - who did not wonder if she was doing life "right"

The me that was sexier - or at least felt that way - the me that did not spend her day in yoga pants with an elastic waistband, or the one who could really enjoy a good pair of jeans (it helps that "the me that was sexier" was also significantly smaller)

Perhaps if there were more hours in the day, I could find that me?

This Washington Post article investigates the theory that mommy people have more "free time" than we ever have before. The researcher shares that women have more free time now than they did in the 1960's - even considering that more women are working moms outside the home now.

You think?

I wasn't sold.

Then, because God knows I am a terrible listener (he probably laughs every time I tell my own kids to turn their listening ears on - "pot calling the kettle black there missey?") today I read this.

I will forewarn - her message is not for the closed minded.

The main point she makes is that in trying to claim all this free time for ourselves, we are asking for frustration.

Picture how this plays out in my house:

I arrive home today after a long day of tutoring, errand running, teaching the pumpkin, dropping the pumpkin off, quick run in to the Walmart (why are they still out of zhu zhu pets? come on people - quit buying them up to sell on ebay!), picking up the Bubbe, two grocery stores (frugal shopping will have to be a post all alone), pick up the pumpkin, and home.

All I want to do is sit in my comfy chair and check my email.

In peace.

I sit.

Pumpkin: "MOM - he is the second most annoying thing in my life" (I did not ask what the first was in fear it is me.........some things, I don't need to know)

Bubbe: "MOM - she isn't being kind to me - TALK TO HER"

Me: "Please let mommy do computer for a minute - then we will have dinner"

rinse, lather, repeat

I end up frustrated - and late starting dinner because checking my email didn't move as smoothly as originally planned.

The Me Time Myth author insists that if I just embraced my day - lovingly began dinner promptly with the knowledge that is rare that we will all be home to enjoy it, embraced the children's need for my attention by involving them in cooking or setting them up with their own activity, and even played a little praise music while we trucked along that my evening would have been better.

My favorite passage from the blog post is this:

But, it will never be enough. The more you indulge the thought that you are somehow owed Me Time, the more you will seek after it. The more you seek after it, the more every little opportunity afforded you to "take a break" will seemingly end too quickly. The everyday life of being a mother will become drudgery.

I must admit - chick is on to something.

Last week, I participated in a fast from all things frivolous relating to my computer - facebook, blog reading (yes, even my beloved blog reading), and other internet wanderings. I will confess that Thursday was calm, enjoyable, ...........and yes, almost drama free.

So much so that I have determined that Thursdays will be Tangible Thursday! A day of embracing the role of wife, mother, teacher, friend - and living it, rather than stalking other people's lives via their blog post or their status update. A day to enjoy those things tangible to me, the things I can touch, ...........like my clutter????

I don't have a nifty conclusion to these thoughts. I think all people, even mommy people, need to spend time focusing on their own needs. I always think of the analogy where if you are on an airplane and it is in trouble - put your own oxygen mask on first, then start helping those you love.

However, after today's reading I'm wondering if I can reach that place where loving my roles as wife, mother, teacher, friend become my oxygen mask.

What do you think?

1 comment:

  1. great blog, a little food for thought on this snowy day :)