"The thistle is a prickly flower, aye, but how it is sweetly worn."

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Confessions: On Giving Time

"Let the little children come to me, and do not forbid them, for such is the kingdom of heaven"
 Confession:  I struggle with giving of my time as a mom.  I've got a plethora of excuses, and most of them are pretty darn good.  The single mom card trumps a lot of 'time' arguments.  But when you boil it down, its just pretty ways of saying the same thing.  What little time I do have I want to selfishly hoard for myself.  I don't want to share my time with the person I love the most.

I like my quiet time.  I like to sit near dim lamps and read and think and just be alone.  I'm a loner and a decompressor.  Jude is all about people all the time.  He can play well by himself, but he would choose people any day.  I'm just not like that at all.  I like my time alone.

It sounds so hideously ugly to even admit that, but it can be so true.  I like my time for myself.  By the time 5:00 rolls around, I just don't feel like I have much left to give.  I am physically and emotionally spent.  And there's not enough time in the weekend to make up for all the time I've robbed Jude of the other 5 days out of the week.  I am selfish with my time.

It's difficult for me to find the balance.  Because on one hand, I need self care.  I need the time to relax and unwind and just breathe for my own sanity.  The times I try to give to exhaustion just leave me overly anxious and sometimes panicked.  So that's not good.  But there are also times that when I get home Jude just wants my attention.  He hasn't seen me all day.  He should want my attention.  And the last thing I want to do is hurt his heart simply because I am burnt out from a days work.  It's hard.  And I confess there is much room for growth.

And there is the reality that whatever things around the house need to get done aren't going to get done unless I do them.  There's no one to pick up my slack.  So the question becomes 'when is ok to take a break for yourself and when should you give of yourself sacrificially'?  'when is it time to take care of responsibilities and when you should you let the pile of laundry go'? 

I don't know the answers to that.  I do know that this is something I need to work on.  I need accountability in this to be honest.  That little boy up there loves me so unconditionally and is so happy and forgiving.  And I'm far from the perfect mom.  These little moments pass all too quickly, and I am scared that I'm going to miss out on the important things of life.

For now, I'm trying to catch the 10 minutes that my eyes are opened to the moment and sink my feet into them and soak them up for all they're with.  Amazingly in those moments I would give anything for an excuse to not have to leave his side.  But life doesn't work that way.  It just doesn't stop when I ask it too. 

This past weekend I threw myself into the moment of tent building with Jude.  It was full of the magic and wonder that only a child can have when you assemble sheets and chairs into their own kingdom.  I recalled the moments in my own childhood where I had been taken to another world, similar and fantastic.

But mainly I just breathed Jude in.  Breathed in his desire to tell stories about ogres and banshees.  Tonight I breathed in his desire to sing Bible songs like "Jesus loves the little children" several times in a row.  I just want to breathe him in more.

How do you manage to give of your time even when you desperately crave quiet?

Will you hold me accountable to stopping for the moment?


Shannon @Imperfectly Perfect Grace said...

I relate to this alot..even though I'm at home with Jay, we homeschool and so our day can easily get caught up in technicalities and getting our to do's done. I honestly miss more moments with him than I'd like...it's something I'm working on also. I'm sure you're doing great, if you recognize that things arent quite the way you'd like them..you're on your way to changing them. :)

Falen @ Upward Not Inward said...

I think most, if not all, moms feel exactly like this. It's the ten minutes of wonder here and there that will add up and make memories. He is so adorable!! I just love you girl. Hang in there. Don't beat yourself up too bad. Like Shannon said, if you are recognizing a change needs to be made, your first steps are huge ones! Huge hugs girlie!!

DaisyGirl said...

I don't know how parents do it! Especially single mothers! I consider myself an introvert. I enjoy time to myself with a book, a project or even just the silence. So, I can understand that part! I'm sure it's hard for you as a parent to figure out the right balance. Good luck!!

Jen said...

That tent looks so fun! I really don't know how you do it as a single mom. I REALLY like me time too and it is hard to come by now with a needy (but lovely and fun) toddler. I am thankful for the times when my husband is able to watch her and I get an hour to myself.