Trying to find the person inside of the parent

We’re well into January and I only now think about the resolutions that maybe I should have thought about before the year began on January 1st. But vacation was so nice and relaxing, I just didn’t feel like sitting down and thinking too hard. So it comes now, with the kids back in school, that I have a moment to process some of my thoughts and jot them down. I feel out of sorts, in some ways, and figured maybe if I officially make some resolutions, maybe it will help me gain focus.

For starters, I resolved to not battle small, less-important things related to parenting. I fight too many battles which leave us all spent and pissed off.

It’s not worth it. But. I’m having a hard time adjusting to ‘letting it go’ though. Turns out it takes practice, this parenting thing.

Take tv. Instinctively, I know or have read or heard that too much tv is bad for a developing brain. Fine. I can cut out or cut back tv for all of us, but frankly, it’s winter, and cold and dark early on, and the kids actually enjoy watching some of the sitcoms along with me now (that’s my first excuse). Besides, we spend most of the warm weather times away from the tv all together (second excuse). We’re readers more than tv-watchers (true, but irrelevant now). But it is winter in Canada and if she wants to watch tv, so be it. It’s a battle to turn off the tv all of the time, and didn’t I just resolve to not battle so many battles?

Sonja loves tv. She is compelled to turn it on and watch it all the time. To date, she still loves the children’s shows, the ones that have less commercials interrupting them (unlike YTV which is AWFUL for commercials). She watches Treehouse and TVO and sometimes PBS. It bugs me, and I often think I need to just pull the plug and make her do something else, but this child is so different from her brother. He used to set up emergency situations with his cars, lego and associated toys, for hours, nearby where I was sitting or doing something. Perfectly happy to just play. Sonja on the other hand needs and wants me to interact with her when she’s doing something. And I like doing some of it with her, but just not all the time, you know?

Take colouring. I like colouring with her. I listen to her talk endlessly about everything that pops into her brain. She’s artistic and imaginative and very active in her colouring. But then I need or want to do something else, encourage her to keep colouring while I step away just for 10 minutes, and she wants to stop too. Can she turn on the tv?

Sigh.

Of late, she watches a lot of it. And you know what? Whatever. Right now, I’m feeling tired and hormonal and if she wants to watch tv, so be it. I won’t be feeling like this next week and we’ll be out and about doing things together. Maybe.

So what. Don’t sweat the small stuff, I tell myself. This will pass again, and the weather will get better, and we’ll be out and about without a passing thought to the idiot box.

Parenting is tiring.

I also resolved to lower my voice. They don’t listen anyway, regardless of what volume I administer on them, so I am learning to step back and stop talking all together. Either that, or rephrase things.

It’s not always working, and sometimes, certain people push my buttons, but I’m resolved to TRY.

Wish me luck. I need all the help I can get.

I feel myself edging closer to the threshold of accepting that preschool aged children will be vacating my life shortly.  Part of me wants to hang on, but it comes less often. I find myself surprised at accepting and liking their independence, their personalities that are so different from the previously needy, clingy and often whiny characteristics that prevailed for so many years. I’m enjoying the fact that both kids sleep through the night most nights and that they can get themselves a yogurt or milk with cereal without my help.

I’m feeling older both in good and bad ways. Good because I am able to let go of the very hands-on parenting that comes with toddlers and preschoolers, and bad because I feel like I’m not spending enough time, yet, on things that make ME feel better about myself.

I need to focus on my appearance somewhat (I really need a haircut), my clothes (I’m sick of wearing tights and an oversized top), and my interests (I have hobbies, why can’t I make time for them?).

I would like to go shoe shopping (I hate shopping, especially for shoes) because I need something pretty and comfortable to go with the new clothes I want to buy that fit me now, the over-40 person I’ve become, not the diaper-bag-stroller-pusher 30-something I was.

I want to become a person again. And I want time and space to do this. THEY, the kids, they get plenty of time to pursue their interests.

Now it’s my turn.

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2 thoughts on “Trying to find the person inside of the parent

  1. I’m late to comment here, but just wanted to chime in and say, I completely understand. My oldest and youngest are reasonable about TV – even tiring of it after a while – but my middle daughter, oh boy, could she ever marathon it all day long. She loves her TV and asks every moment of every day for more…and sometimes, it’s just the easiest thing.

    Plus, Phineas and Ferb is FREAKING HILARIOUS.

    We do try to keep it reasonable but yes, probably too much TV watching goes on around here. Ah well.

  2. We got a guinea pig. Because I’m a lunatic and don’t have enough stuff to do already. However, tv watching has reduced significantly since then…and this is still without being able to pick up and pet Charlie Chaplin…:) Let’s hope it lasts. And if not….sigh.

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