Today has been a breaking point for me in my mothering. I am not a good mother right now. I don’t have control over our days. I’m left feeling empty and lost. I raise my voice at Deladis too much, and I find myself angry. There, I’ve laid it out honest. Both girls are at a stage where they seem to need me every waking moment of the day. Deladis has made whining and crying a habit (part of that is my fault too for giving in to make it stop). She doesn’t have the skills to think things through, yet wants to do things on her own. Ivy – well she’s the dare devil that I’ve written about before and still such a baby. When we are home they don’t seem satisfied, or maybe they seem to need me too much.
Me – I’m at a stage where I feel like I need distance. I need time to be me. I want to exercise (I’m interested in more solitary forms of exercise lately like kickboxing and yoga.). I so desperately need time to write. I want to be productive as a person alongside of my mothering. I feel like now is the time for me to use my skills in writing for the benefit of my family and for my personal need for creating things. I figure I need three hours of mostly uninterrupted time to accomplish those two things. I can deal with minor interruptions during writing times.
Then, there are my other responsibilities. We just got word that our food budget has dropped to $269 monthly for four people. This is going to mean even more time in the kitchen for me, as even more things (like Deladis’s rice milk) will be cheaper made from scratch. This means more dishwashing, which I do by hand. It also means that the success of our garden is more important than ever. So, getting it fully planted and maintained will fall mostly to me. There is the normal housework – sweeping, laundry, dusting, and cleaning the bathroom. Also, gathering our week’s worth of cooking/drinking water.
Organizing our cabin is a must. Deladis’s room is nearly impassable, and she can’t clean up alone yet. I’ve taken three boxes of toys to Goodwill and it is still too full. I need to get clothes together to go to consignment. We need to put our Christmas decorations in storage at my mother-in-law’s.
These are all my responsibilities. John is too busy to help much with any of these things. He would if he could, but an artist’s work never ends it seems. Especially when he is a one man show running his own business. Notice I haven’t even mentioned the responsibilities of taking care of the girls. Diapering, bathing, nurturing, feeding, and discipline (of which I am horrible with).
Deladis is acting out more and more. I have been planning to homeschool her until I received word that the state is reforming the standardized testing, doing away with writing portfolios. Now, I’m seriously considering sending her to school. Maybe she needs some time apart from me. Time to be with children – her peers. Maybe I need that time too. Am I horrible for thinking it? So, I looked into preschool, but we don’t qualify for public preschool here, and other than that the only other choice is a childcare center which I don’t want and we can’t afford. The only other real preschool opportunity we would have is one where I would have to drive her 30 minutes there and another 30 minutes back. It would be outside of our community. It looks like I will be with her primarily until she goes to kindergarten, if and when she does. That is fine. I want to be her teacher. I want to be her guide. That has always been the plan. I have to find a way to make it work for the both of us.
I’ve decided our only solution is to develop a rhythm. I’m horrible with being spontaneous. I awake each morning with a list of things I want to accomplish and I just go about it as quickly as I can. No rhythm at all. No predictability for my girls. When we lived in Louisville, we attended a Waldorf Parent/Child Program where developing a domestic rhythm was emphasized. The Waldorf inspiration is something of the city that I miss, and the community of mothers it created. Our neck of the woods would benefit so much from that kind of influence. I would still benefit from it.
The goal of the rest of the week is to plan a rhythm that is open-ended. I want to keep all of our needs in mind. I want our goals to be met. Mine, my husband’s, and my girls’. I don’t even know if it can be done, but I have to try. It is my hope to redeem myself and my relationship with my girls. I want to feel that my days are meaningful and not one running into the next with building frustrations. I want to enjoy mothering.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be posting about my developing rhythm and whether it is working for me or not. I’m also going to be posting about working with our food budget and what that will entail as I know we are not the only ones dealing with the economic downturn. I’m going to add a recipes page that you will find linked at the top of the main blog page where I will add recipes and other food ideas. If all works well, I hope to post more about the progression of my writing as a career. Today, I will be attending Evening with Poets and tomorrow workshopping with the state’s poet laureate Gurney Norman!
I have also decided to post my new blogs at night as one of my final activities of the day. You can look for the new ones then… or the next morning. 🙂 Click by on May 2nd to find out who won the pink wool soaker by AngelLuvz.