Thursday, March 21, 2013

Being Present

Just last  night I was talking about how much I love what I do every day, and how important it is to me, and how I think it is absolutely the right thing and I can't imagine doing anything else.

And yet I spent all day yesterday complaining about it.  The truth is that it's always hard, even if it's always wonderful, but it's been harder lately.  Our friends have all been sick, and while we've mercifully gotten away with mere colds, we still haven't seen anybody but ourselves for quite along while.  And it's cold outside, so with the exception of desperate trips to the mall or the science center, we've been stuck in the house. 

This is compounded by Willow's severe case of the mommies (so severe I have to get out of the shower to help her go potty, because Daddy can't possibly be allowed to do that.  So severe I have to spend fifteen minutes comforting her for the ten minutes I was in the shower, and then again after I have left to hang up my towel) which, unfortunately, serves only to make me say "AAAAAHHH I NEED MY SPACE!" internally, and externally say "That's wonderful sweetie, I'd love to help with you that, just give me one moment to go do anything else surely there are dishes to be washed."  And I know this is a vicious circle, that my pulling away (to go in another room!  For three minutes!  I'm here ALL DAY!  How you can possibly have separation anxiety from somebody you're never separate from?) is only increasing her desire to be near me and reassured that I want to be with her (I do.  I do, sweetie.) and I know that I need to suck it up and just glue myself to her if that's what she needs.

And what am I doing right now?  Taking advantage of a moment's distraction and typing a blog post while my beloved daughter makes a monkey catcher, whatever that may be, until she calls for me.

Yesterday, after a very short nap, I just didn't have much in me.  It wasn't that I couldn't watch her or play with her, I just reeeaaalllly didn't want to.  I had absolutely no interest in reading that book for the fifth time.  I could not muster up enthusiasm for an outfit that looks like something she'll wear to a Rocky Horror screening in ten years.  I did not want to pretend my name was Eeyore, or Muddle, or Raggedy Ann, or I'iwi.  I didn't even want my name to be Mommy.  Willow wasn't even being particularly difficult; I just wished she would be interested in something other than me. 

I resolved this morning to do better.  And so far I have--instead of being driven mentally insane by the boredom and repetition of tucking in this doll or that doll or reading that book again, I came up with an activity.  I did my best to stay off Facebook and to come when I was called (not "in a minute") and to applaud and squeeze and just be present.

And I gave myself permission to go do something else if I genuinely wasn't needed at that moment.  I'm not allowed to run away, but if she is happily playing in a room, I don't have to go sit in there with her, unless she asks me to.  And so I'm typing as fast as I can until I hear that sweet little grating voice call "Mooooo--oom!"

I am Eeyore.  I am Muddle, and more than anything, I am Mommy.  And I am so glad to be.  Most of the time.

2 comments:

Chris Malia said...

Nikki. That was a wonderful read. You truly have a gift. I often feel the same way and I'm almost certain that my beautiful and overly patient wife Corynne, feels as exact as I do.

Anonymous said...

I have four kids and they have all gone through this stage. I am sure that you are given much advice and much of it is good. The best i got for this situation is to lead. I get tired of being a super hero every day. So, sometime i set the game - today we were on a submarine and my child got missions. It gave me the little breaks i needed to stay sane. Good luck!