Thursday, March 10, 2011

Sometimes I just want to be me

In an alternate reality I live in a world where I am completely selfless, well-rested, and perfectly healthy. In that reality, I have the energy and enthusiasm to devote hours of my time to my children. I would play with them, do enrichment activities with them (cooking, art, music, physical play, literacy, etc.), and make sure that Ava and I get at least 30 minutes of direct, targeted therapy time every day.

In this reality, our household has spent more time sick this winter than well. This makes everyone tired and cranky in addition to the actual symptoms of the current illness (stomach bugs, colds, sinus infections, pink eye, etc.). I seem to be operating on a constant sleep deficit which is being exacerbated by Ava’s desire to wake with the sun. In our area, the sun is currently beginning to show up before 6am. And, to be perfectly honest, I am selfish. I want some time to call my own. I want some time separate from my children. I want to read, or blog, or play a game, or do a craft activity, or have a quiet moment where I do absolutely nothing. As a stay at home mother, I am with my children from the moment they wake till the moment they go to sleep all seven days a week. As much as I love them, that is a lot of time to spend with a two year old and a three year old who don’t know the meaning of independent play yet.

Each day, Ava wakes from her afternoon nap at least an hour earlier than her brother. This is supposed to be her therapy time. It’s the perfect time to do it in theory. She’s well rested and with a small snack, well fed. Sometimes I just don’t want to. I’d rather let her watch tv while Michael finishes his nap. This effectively extends my afternoon break from about one hour to about two. But I feel doubly guilty about this desire. First, tv is the root of all evil (ok, not really, but how many articles do we read about how bad tv is for our children?). Second, it’s her THERAPY. It should be non-negotiable. I shouldn’t even be considering letting it go. It doesn’t matter that she’s getting it elsewhere anywhere from three to five times a week. I have the skills to supplement her therapy myself. I should be doing it. Boy do I hate the word “should.” Anyway, sometimes I just want to be mama (and an imperfect one at that), instead of being a therapist.

And that’s my confession of the day.

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