Monday, June 02, 2008

Head Space

Pin It You can always tell a TRUE Anne freak. A true devotee has read not only Anne of Green Gables and Anne of the Island; she’s read all eight of the Anne books – even Rainbow Valley and Rilla of Ingleside.

Rainbow Valley is about Anne and Gilbert’s children, and also about the children of the widowed minister who lives nearby. (The book has its charms, but it’s always irritates me a bit, because once Anne and Gilbert become parents, they become almost non-entities in the Anne series.) The minister’s children are neglected, not because they are not loved, but because their father is lost in his books, in his thoughts, in his sermons, and in his head. He spends 80% of his time locked away in his study while his children run free.

His wife was the person who grounded him, who made him put down his books and connect with his children. Now that she's gone, he's dreaming his way through life. He’s a nominal presence who sees to some of their basic needs, but who isn’t present in any meaningful way.

I feel like that minister. I find it so hard to stay present. I spend my life daydreaming. I'm physically here - I take care of all of my kids needs, take them to their activities, try to spend time interacting with them and playing with them, give them tons of affection - but there are so many times when I resent their intrusion into my head space. In the car, with the music on, I want to drift off into my thoughts, not play twenty questions.

Between the time I wander around blankly (thinking about imaginary things), the time I spend writing for work, the time I spend writing not for work (yes, o.k., I’ll admit it, I’d like to write a book - well, books), and the time I spend blogging – I’m spending too much time in my own head. I do most of my writing at night, but I think about it all day long. I justify my distraction in all sorts of ways, but that’s the reality. I’m too much absorbed in my inner life. I don't want to daydream their childhood away.

And I guess I'm wondering - how much of your attention is enough? How much of your brain space do you need to give over to your children before you’re a good mom? How much can you keep without being selfish or negligent?

I don’t know.

64 comments:

  1. Don't stop blogging. Don't stop writing. Don't stop daydreaming!! Sacrificing your inner life for your children may benefit them immediately but will ultimately hurt them too. What legacy would you prefer from your own mother? A snapshot of her life, her struggles, her hopes, her talents, her dreams? Or forgotten memories of ad nauseum Dragon Tales discussions? You can be present in your children's life without losing yours. There is nobility and drudgery in motherhood. Don't swap one for the other!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. You need your sanity that is for sure. I know that if I spent much more time on my kids and not on myself I would be an emotional wreck. Blogging is a sanity saver for me :)
    I know other mom's who spend loads more time on their kids... but I'm not them. I'm me. And I know that if I don't read, blog, take time with the girls, I would be a horrid mom cause I would be an UBER grouch.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I think there's a fine line between me-time and ignoring my baby. ;-) I want her to learn to play by herself, so I have some self-imposed me-time on my computer, when she isn't allowed to take my attention. (Yeah, she's not two yet...so? ;-)) There have been a few mornings where I get lost in a book and suddenly BAM...it's lunch time and time for baby to go down for her nap and I realize I've been feeding her licorice and juice all morning, begging for just "five more minutes" to read. Those are the days when I don't tell hubs everything that happened and vow to get a little more involved.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have read all 8 Anne books. Multiple times. We can get together and talk about them and ignore our children together. It's good for them.

    Also, what is the deal with Rilla? World War I destroys her life at fiftenn. Hoo boy, honey, just you wait twnety years and see what WWII has in store. AAck.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Just find a good balance, Sue. There is no need to be "on" all the time for your kids. There is a lot to be said for absent-minded mothering. I do certain things with my kids each day, and then I don't feel bad the rest of the day if I say to them, gently but firmly, "Go away." If they don't listen, they can find something to do in their rooms. No human being can be totally at a child's beck and call. It's not good for the mother or for the child.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I worry about the same thing because I am also a very in my head person.

    What suburbancorrespondent said is totally right, and I think kids who grow up as the constant center of someone's universe have a hard time adjusting in the real world.

    Just figure out what works...some days you are more there than others and that's completely ok.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I just found your blog today and enjoyed this post.

    I can't count how many times I have read all eight Anne books. Every few years, I just have a need to start at the beginning and read all the way through.

    I think those of us who love Anne are just like her- dreamers. We also love words and want to spend our time dreaming and writing. I've prayed a lot about finding the right balance. I'm still working on it! : )

    Becky

    ReplyDelete
  8. I remember wanting more headspace privacy when my girls were younger...days spent on mental autopilot.

    Now I'm sure this is going to make you feel awful. On Friday I was in line picking up a moving truck, and the little girl ahead of me was chattering on and on to her mom. The mom was in her own headspace, and I felt this awful yearning to scoop up the little girl and go play for a while. How I miss that.

    Sigh. When it's gone, it's so freeking gone.

    angelawd

    ReplyDelete
  9. Every blogging mommy's eternal internal dialogue. How present do we need to be in our children's lives and how much do we need to be alive in our own fantasy lives to stay healthy? I don't know. I just try to find the balance, and know that if the scales tilt a little too far one way today I'll work to balance them better tomorrow.

    Now and then my kids tell me to go away and let them "be". They need time in their own headspace too. I love those times :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. aaaaaaand...how could I forget?

    This year they celebrate 100 years of Anne on the Island (PEI). Crazy, crazy celebrations. Anne on every corner. Anne festivals, Anne everything. I get the feeling you'd enjoy it. If you were to win the lottery or something.

    ReplyDelete
  11. The Anne topic pulled me from my lurking corner like your dying soul never could.
    I am starting the 3rd year of Anne of Windy Poplars on my ellevendy-twelfth time reading them all.
    I too ignore my children and occasionally feel guilty about it.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I think you should call Terri and ask her! I keep checking back to see . . .

    ReplyDelete
  13. That's why they have siblings- to entertain each other! Seriously, it's different for every mom and every child. Don't look at other moms and make your call based on what they're doing. Your kids will let you know if they need more. We try to take turns going on dates with our kids, (a bike ride, an ice cream cone, a movie, the local dollar store, fishing), and I think that one on one time is crucial for everyone and helps us reconnect. Don't abandon who you are to be a mom, be a mom as who you are.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Brilliant post, Sue. I struggle with this a great deal. I've learned that giving up the entirety of myself isn't good. A sane mum is a much happier and more effective mum. And to be sane I have to retain my sense of self. I've also learned that being too self-absorbed is hard on my kids. They aren't learning the few things I'm actually able to teach when I'm too caught up in myself. Like you though, I don't know what the right balance is. I found that blogging every other day instead of every day helps, but unfortunately I just find other hobbies to fill that time with. Have to attack the problem instead of just the symptoms I guess.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I don't have the answers to your deep questions, but I do LOVE all the Anne books. I read them all, some of them several times. Actually, I'm thinking I should read them all again. Afterall, I'm on bed rest... I have loads of time.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I think it is about balance - even though I haven't found it yet.
    I feel lonely cuz I'm always doing stuff for my family that there doesn't seem to be any me time. Even getting together with other people still involves a lot of effort. Blogging is an easy way to be connected to people without shoveling the dishes out of my sink before they come over.
    Not to mention my kids would suck all the marrow out of my bones if I let them.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I don't know either... It's all about trying to find a balance for me... If I'm all about kids all the time then there's no room for me and soon there's no me left, and they like me.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I've been having this exact same conversation with myself lately. I wonder if I stopped writing if I'd be a better mother, a better wife, more fit and healthy? More organized?

    I think I probably would be all of those things. But the real question is: would I be happy?

    And also, the other HUGE question is is it even possible for me to stop writing in my head all the time? I've done it all my life.

    I've read all the Anne books. I want to take a trip to PEI!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I guess that's the other thing I worry about, now that I've read everyone's comments: am I going to regret that I did so much trying to occupy my kids so I could do my own thing? I mean, I already am the travel agent of guilt trips...

    Sometimes I think, "Shouldn't I be enjoying this more?"

    ReplyDelete
  20. No clue. Really, not a clue. So much of my existence is taken up with serving my children in that, that, and the other way, it almost seems unfair for me to HAVE to be present in mind all the time as well. But where is "fair" ever addressed in the parenting handbook?

    ReplyDelete
  21. I think that we all need to have a little of our own brain space. It makes us better moms. If all we ever did was think about our kids 120% of the time, then we would wake up when they are gone and not know who we are or what we want to do now.

    The only person who can set the line for us is ourselves. Only you can decide how much time to do things outside of your kids. Everyone is different. I work 3 different part time jobs and blog because it is my sanity. I have a sis however that has 5 kids and homeschools and never leaves her house. Not even for shopping. She sends her hubby. But she loves it and she is soooo happy. I think prayfully and with the council of our spouse we can each decide what is best and if you have to cut back, you have to cut back. As sad as it would be for the rest of us...

    Good Luck!

    PS I never knew about the other Anne books. Now I have to go to the library!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Anonymous3:35 PM

    Since I know you are Mormon I'm gonna suggest you go read "Good, Better, Best" from the November 2007 General Conference. I've thought a lot about what you posted here and I'm still trying to find a balance that works for me. I don't know what the right answer is but this talk really made me reevaluate my blogging addiction.... not CURE it, but reevaluate it. ;) Good Luck!

    ReplyDelete
  23. If you get a decent answer to that question, let me know.

    ReplyDelete
  24. You're in luck! There was a Wife Swap episode about this very subject. And we all know that Wife Swap is the crown jewel of parenting advice. Here's the synopsis: One mom spends no time with her kids and instead spends her days meditating, writing in her journal, coming up with new and creative ways to use tofu and becoming more self-actualized. The other mom dedicates every second of her life to her kids and husband, even going so far as cutting their food (her kids are teens). The lesson of this and every Wife Swap episode: moderation. Moderation is key to success at anything, including parenting. Let your mind wonder. Mine sure does. Just make sure you spend some dedicated time with your family and you'll be fine. And, best of all, you'll never be considered for an episode of Wife Swap.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Oh girlfriend, if you give your kids around 20 percent of your brain then I think you are doing a good job! It doesn't mean you're a bad mother it just means you're a mother to small kids. Sometimes if we didn't zone out we would lose our ever-lovin-minds!!!
    I've been following your story and my heart goes out to you so much with all you've been through lately. Give yourself a break!! When I have gone through my toughest times...and had a month or so of zoning out in my mind...that was what actually kept me sane. Hang in there!! I'm sending you some hugs and warm thoughts today my friend.
    dawn

    ReplyDelete
  26. Anonymous4:56 PM

    Your kids are only young once. Blogging will always be there. If you think you need to stop, then you probably should. Life will go on. Say goodbye to this aspect and hello to a new part of your life...dont look back

    ReplyDelete
  27. Bridget5:16 PM

    Motherhood=guilt.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I think you're doing just fine. If you're thinking about this, then maybe it's something you should be thinking about. Or maybe it's just that you're thinking and it came up. Only you know.

    Also, your kids are still pretty young. When I think about memories of my mother, I mostly remember things from after 10 or 12. Late night talks about everything. Letting my house the party house. My friends thinking she was cool. Shopping. I have a few memories from earlier, but they were big stuff, like my baptism day, or when my little brother was born.

    Bottom line, God only asks that we do our best. I think you are. And if you're not, then get over it and do better tomorrow. :o) You rock, Sue. Thanks for making us all think.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I can totally relate with what you've written here. Since we moved back to my hometown and I started to remember that I was creative once, I have been struggling with how the heck to find a balance between being me and being Mom. That's actually why I started blogging again - as an outlet to write since I don't feel I have the time to really work on my creative writing at this time.

    These blogs - my own, and the ones I read - somehow help me feel connected to the world again, as a Mom, but not ONLY as a Mom. Yes, sometimes I put on Blue's Room so I can write a post and my son watches it. I don't think that it's going to kill him.

    You just have to trust your gut. Give yourself some time to yourself, because you need it. But if you feel like it's taking too much time, take some time off and see how you feel. You'll find your own balance.

    ReplyDelete
  30. You could do worse than John Meredith, really, if you're looking for literary characters to resemble. Better him than, oh, let's say Jane Stuart's grandmother.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Oh, and I've lost some of my interest in blogging lately, so what have I done with my spare time and emotional energy? Devoted it selflessly to my children? No, I found a really, really good book to read and that was FAR worse for my day-to-day functioning than blogging ever was.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Sue, you have always been a dreamer, reader, and writer. It is who you are. I think you are a great mom and very involved with your children. They usually seem to be busy with thoughts and projects of their own. Your writing helps you deal with the pressures and demands of the rest of your life; and much of what you write would be a wonderful diary for your children to read when they are adults. Maybe for a few days you could actively keep note of what they are doing while you are blogging and determine if they seem to be wanting more attention or if it just your normal mom-guilt digging at you.

    ReplyDelete
  33. I loved the Anne series, and just found out so does my Grandma! She rereads them every few years too. But you know what I hate? The third Anne movie. It is so dreadful! Let's take Rilla of Ingleside and mangle it and make it be about Anne and Gilbert! Ugh!

    ReplyDelete
  34. It is so funny that you wrote about Anne of Green Gables today, I was just thinking the other day how much your remind me of her. You share all her best qualities.

    I have had the same feeling about being distracted to much. Even as I type this my youngest is bugging me to help him with his workbook. I have started to believe that I am ADD and might need to be medicated. I know the feeling of being so preoccupied in my own head that the kids talking to me feels like an intrusion.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Monica, I think that is the best compliment I've ever gotten in my life. I am going to have it printed on a t-shirt.

    ReplyDelete
  36. You do have to strike a balance. It's not necessarily cool to have a mom who's a perpetual space cadet but if she is occasionally and she's also a published author well, I think that's cool. And your kids might too.

    ReplyDelete
  37. That was a really great post and it really hit me hard, because I do that. Thanks for the wake up call.

    ReplyDelete
  38. It is hard for me to separate blogging or writing from family life too. I have to constantly remind myself to "live in the moment" I put aside my blogging and say "Hey, now is time for Jonathan, Hubby,...whatever" and the blogging can be done when one is at work and the other is asleep. It seems to work well. Or I set up a schedule like "I'll only blog on these set days." I never hold to it, but hey, it's a good idea right? I would hate for you to stop blogging. I've been reading your blog for months now and I love it. Your honest and humor is priceless. I read it for months and never commented because you had like a bizillion comments and I figured you didn't need anymore, but hey....one more never hurt right? OK. I really need to stop typing now....

    ReplyDelete
  39. Anonymous7:13 AM

    I think it's great to daydream and have our little fantasies of dancing on broadway or joining the NASA program or whatever. We need time to think to stay sane. It's when the fantasies begin to interfere with everyday, necessary activities that it becomes a problem. Ignoring your kids once in a while? Meh. Ignoring your kids all the time, every day? That's a problem. One I've known personally. And one I eventually needed therapy for to even realize what I was doing was damaging my kids. When I finally started to come out of my head and into the real world, my kids' transformation of being on "autopilot" themselves to real little people was amazing--and heartbreaking. I thought they were normal kids before until I saw the way they were supposed to be. I still feel so awful looking back thinking of the times I truly ignored them just so I could get out one more email or read one more article online. I cry just thinking about how much I missed, mentally, because I was busy in an imaginary world instead of in the real world, watching them grow into little people.

    Yes, it will be great that your kids can be proud of your legacy. It's also true that waiting on them 24/7 will turn them into social idiots. But you do need to be there for them, mentally. You can still daydream and fantasize about silly things, but not if it comes between you and your kids in the long run. How will your kids think of you years down the road? Will they think, "I wish my mom had been there a little bit more--played with us and talked to us. But man, she sure has a freaking awesome blog! Go mom!" Yeah.

    Trust me, I feel your pain. And it'll only get worse without turning it around at some point.

    ReplyDelete
  40. I feel like that all the time in Canada. Like I am not really living, I am physically present, but my mind is elsewhere. I don't know why I feel this way, but I do, and I know it takes my time and my focus away from my kids.

    Blogging is a great escape from reality. I don't think it's a bad thing, as long as it doesn't become all-consuming. For me, it is a place to organize my thoughts. I only post a little bit of what I write, most of it ends up as drafts. The personal stuff. But I love having a space to get those thoughts on paper. I like to think that because I have the blog to play with when the boys are at school, I'm able to focus more on my kids when they're home.

    Heidi

    ReplyDelete
  41. I know exactly what you mean! There are many times when I feel like I'm there, but I'm not THERE for my kids and I feel horribly guilty about it - though usually not until they've gone to sleep.

    ReplyDelete
  42. I don't have an answer to your question.
    It's one I ask myself a lot.
    I think it's the asking of the question and seeking to do better that is the essential part of mothering, not necessarily ever finding "the" answer.

    YOu also know you are an Anne Freak if you have read all 8 books more than 10 times.

    ReplyDelete
  43. The eternal question. Finding the balance is a difficult thing, made more difficult by the fact the answer is different EVERY day! You must take care of your children, you must take care of yourself.
    One of the ways I dealt with it is to have my minimum daily requirement. If I do THESE things, then I don't feel like a complete failure as wife and mother and once I have done them, I give myself permission to do what I WANT to do.

    ReplyDelete
  44. I LOVE Anne - I read the entire series through every year!

    I'm struggling with the same things - it's hard not to feel guilty. Hang in there!:)

    ReplyDelete
  45. I'm constantly surprised at what my kids pick up from me when I'm not paying attention...no, not the swear words or anything like that. They've learned all about the laundry but I didn't teach them. You'd be surprised at the affect you are having on them, even when you are lost in your own thoughts. And that's a good thing.

    And? Write your book! I'd buy it.

    ReplyDelete
  46. I am so glad you wrote this. I am sorry you are struggling, though. It is a very personal mommy's struggle: Fill my own cup so I have some overflow? Or fill theirs constantly until I'm on fumes?

    BTW, Anne is da bomb. I spent my entire 8-year-old summer in a tree, reading books one through eight. So glad to hear about the PEI thing!

    ReplyDelete
  47. You have a great header on your blog! I love the Anne of Green Gables books. Would love for my daughter to read them one day.

    ReplyDelete
  48. My personal opinion of MY blogging, is that it's MY outlet, it's MY thing for ME, and we need those things to stay sane enough to be "good moms" to our children. As much as I often feel guilty about the time I take to blog, I also realize that my whole life can't be about the kids, just as their whole life doesn't revolve around ME. They have school and activities and playdates and birthday parties, etc. I have blogging. I do try to budget my time to when they are eating breakfast, or when my eldest is at school and the boys are napping, but there are times, like RIGHT NOW as I type this, that they are perfectly content playing together and don't need or want me, so I'm blogging.

    I think it's a personal choice in how you feel about it, or how much time you spend doing it each day, but I, personally, would hate to see you cut back, or stop altogether. I enjoy what you have to say! We all need things that are OURS, and those things are what refresh us and make us ready to tackle the rest of life, and make us more emotionally and physically ready to be THERE for our kids. Just my thoughts...

    ReplyDelete
  49. If it makes you feel any better, I was so engrossed in your blog it took me two minutes to notice my two-year-old standing next to me with poop all over his hands. Whoops. Bad Mommy. Bad blogging mommy.

    ReplyDelete
  50. I think you certainly need your own head space. You are NOT a bad mom because you have a creative outlet. You can't bottle yourself up for your own sanity so that you are the wonderful mother that you are. That's not to say that you should be selfish with your time and head space... Balance is key to nearly everything in life.

    I saw your comment on "rocks in my dryer" and I completely understand what you mean about your little boy growing up. I feel that same way.I wish he would cuddle and give kisses to everything he loves down to his blocks and bath water forever.

    ReplyDelete
  51. What I needed to do was to figure out these neutral times during the day when I COULD disengage without it being at my children's expense - but whenever I feel guilty about how much time I'm spending with my kids, there's a reason.

    ReplyDelete
  52. You just spoke my mind on the struggle I've been having for the last few months. I can't say as confidently as some other commenters that you need to do both for your sanity. For me, it's not that simple. Resenting your children for infringing is so normal and so painful all at the same time. This season of motherhood is entirely about sacrifice. Maybe every season of it. And maybe selflessness is one of the hardest, yet most necessary parts. Maybe there is freedom from the tension by choosing one or the other. Even that you're considering it shows your selflessness. I'm confused too about choosing one or the other, because maybe the reality is that you kind of have to. And fighting this choice is really draining and distracting too. Ugh, I don't know either.
    Thinking out loud,
    Heather

    ReplyDelete
  53. I can totally identify with you. It's hard, huh? It's funny because lately I've really been feeling more and more exactly how you describe feeling. Then today my post was sorta opposite of yours. Maybe I'm just justifying it. But I know that I DO need blogging in my life. I also need to enjoy my kids more. I wish you the best in figuring out how to balance. Please post if you do come up with a good way. I'm sure lots of your devoted fellow addictee readers will appreciate it! I know I will.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Wow! Great post! You put my own feelings into words. My daughter has recently entered the "why?" stage, so I get what you're saying about the constant intrusions. I can't finish a freaking thought! My husband says she's just being inquisitive...yeah, I get that, but you try being questioned every 30 seconds times infinity! Sometimes I tell her "stop asking mommy questions for five minutes"...doesn't work, but I keep trying! Then I feel guilty for ignoring her. Ah, motherhood...constantly trying to find the balance.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Ah, Anne... I've read all 8 books several times. I've also read all the books Lucy Maud Montgomery wrote and own almost all of them. They are such a great escape from today's complicated world. Totally agree with a previous commenter about the third movie - a travesty!

    Anyway, about the head space thing - I struggle with this all the time, but for me, I know I am ignoring my kids too much. I don't even have my own blog, but I love to read others and check out my email and my family's website several times a day. I am too addicted to the computer. I'm trying to set limits - checking email and such when I first get up, then not allowing myself in the computer room for more than a couple minutes at a time until my youngest goes down for a nap.

    I also tend to tune out my kids even when I am off the computer. My daughter is in the constant talking and asking questions stage and it's hard to not be able to even finish a thought. Today I made a conscious effort to disengage from my thoughts when my daughter was talking to me and it seemed to make the day go by so much better. Anyway, it's something I think about a lot and need a lot of improvement on. Like some have said, I think it's all about balance and moderation.

    ReplyDelete
  56. I was browsing some friends' blogs and clicked on yours - you sound like someone I'd love to know! I've only got a low-key family blog (though can it really be a family blog when I'm the only contributer?) where I spill my thoughts when they start building up enough to distract me. It's only just recently hit me that for some people, the whole blogging thing can be a gigantic black hole! I had no idea. I guess it's a great way to clear one's head and make new pals, but it could totally turn into a major time trap, for sure. And it's definitely a day-to-day struggle to find the balance; may the force be with you! I'm all about making sure I'm happy and sane so that the kiddos will benefit from having a mom who's not running on empty all the time.

    p.s. I've never read the Anne books. Please don't tell!

    ReplyDelete
  57. Don't be so hard on yourself. I think we all worry about this. I'm sure you are doing fine! (I'm really screaming inside: "Don't quit blogging!!! Who cares about the kids!!! I NEED YOU!!! HAHAHAHA!)
    Just kidding!

    My mom was never home. I think I turned out ok. ? :))

    ReplyDelete
  58. Funny, you don't lOOK red-headed...

    Rainbow valley= snoozefest. Maybe I'd like it better now that I'm older, ie, not 11.

    It isn't one or the other. We all have things we love and should make time for those things. You know when things are out of balance, and you fix them.

    ReplyDelete
  59. Are you in the "depths of dispair"? :)

    Mommy guilt, UGh. You do need time for yourself though. You need time to refresh and vent, ramble or just write to get it out.

    I hope you find a balance that feels right for this time in your life.

    ReplyDelete
  60. Love Anne. I actually want to go there on Vacation...

    Anyway. Interesting that you have been thinking about this too. I am such an "in my brain person"... I carry on conversations with people-- sometimes saying what I *wish* I would have said... complete with facial expressions.
    I think the trick is remembering to not shut my kids out of my little world. I have started including them in it... telling them the stories I am writing up there in my weird head...

    I need "my" time... so that I can be a better Mom. Its a fine line though, the whole not neglecting our kids thing...
    But. Really. Why is it that we feel we need to censor our hobbies and replace them with family and house only? If you were an over the top runner-- would you be having the same conflict? probably not. People are hard on us bloggers--- because they think we are wasting our time sitting at the computer. And, they just don't understand what blogging is really all about!
    However, couldn't one argue that running marathons is a selfish waste of time too? What good comes from marathon running?(no. really? I want to know...) At least you will have something AMAZING to pass on to your children... your journal.

    It is a very fine line. But, if it makes you happy. Then who cares?!

    ReplyDelete
  61. I was just reading Anne of Ingleside yesterday. Remember the part where the obese widow comes to Anne and asks her to write her husband's "obitchery", and then goes and adds on extra lines Anne would never write? Anyway, Anne originally tells the woman that she USED to write, but now as a mom of six children she doesn't have the time. (But she had time to garden for hours on end? And she had Susan to do the housework. Whaa..??) I always thought it was such a waste for LMM to relegate Anne to the dusty, boring corner of perfect mom instead of struggling author juggling dreams and family.

    I like to think that feisty Anne continued to write, continued to dream, and lots of times lived in her head. We moms need time to daydream, set goals, and talk about more than Disney movies and potty breaks. Plus, you're setting a great example for your kids: "I may be a mom, but I also have my own interests. Don't forget that when you're the parent!"

    Great blog! I hope everything works out with your house. :)

    ReplyDelete
  62. Anonymous8:22 AM

    Hi, I stop by here every so often. I think you are a great writer and really enjoy your blog. Thought I would risk life and limb and comment on this post.

    You asked how much attention is enough? How much can you keep?

    We only have one chance to raise our children. One. There's no do over. There's no Oops, can I try that one more time. We have one chance to teach them to be good people. To teach them about love, our love for them, the Saviors love, and Heavenly Father's love. Nothing in life is more important. Nothing. And I'm sure you agree.

    So why do you write so selfishly sometimes? And why do we all complain so much?

    I think about the Savior. Gosh, if I can't give up MOST of my time for my kids, I've got no hope of becoming like Him, who gave up His life, in death and in daily living, for all of us. So how much can we keep if we are using His life as an example? None.

    Someone suggested reading good, beter, best from conference. I think that is great advice. I also think it would behoove us all, including myself, to reread Elder Ballard's talk, particularly the part about not being addicted to certain online outlets (ie blogging).

    Guilt it great. Guilt motivates us to change. Or if we ignore it, it sinks us into a deeper and deeper pit. Guilt means you feel you are lacking somewhere, and its okay to feel that way. But do something about it. Fix it to make the guilt go away, don't rationalize your way into feeling better.

    My universe, as a wife and mother, shouldn't revolve around me. It should revolve around my family collectively and my kids. In the end, it won't matter what things I do for myself, it will matter more what I do for others, including our children.

    You need to get happy about your life. Seriously.

    ReplyDelete
  63. Sounds like you could use a day or a weekend away at a spa or something to recharge your batteries. You're right, you don't want to dream away their childhoods, you'll regret it more than other thing. You need your "you" time to blog and read and email, but I guess you just have to select your priorities and align your focus. Have a set time where you can do your thing, and spend the rest of the time with your children. When you're in the moment, be IN THE MOMENT (I'm channeling Hitch here, with a twist of course) You just gotta take a moment to recharge and find your balance. You'll be just fine, I'm sure. :)

    ReplyDelete