Saturday, October 26, 2013

On Scheduling.

I realized this week that when I have a "day off" that means that I spend 11-12 hours out doing things instead of 14. And that every weekend for the past 4 months has included babysitting. Except for conference weekend. And that I have yet to really start my homework despite the fact that I've already taken a midterm in one class and a final project in another. And yet I keep shaming myself for being "lazy".  That assessment isn't done yet. You are behind on notes and homework. You don't spend time with people. You didn't memorize that music. You don't have a job.

I called out sick one day because I couldn't walk and I had a fever, and I felt guilty for it.

No wonder I'm dreaming of Paris.*

*Important side note. I plan on going to Paris next summer. I don't know how. I'll swim if I have to, but I'm going. It's time to go back. 

The thing is, and I said this to the students a year or two behind me in the same program, just because something fits in the hours of the day that you have doesn't mean it fits in emotionally or in any realm that could be remotely considered physically "healthy".

Let's take, for example, the job thing. I was working. Subbing at my old place of employment. And during one of the first few weeks of my internship I went directly from the internship site (a rehab facility that works with parents and children who have suffered trauma as a result of drug use) to the uppity up fancy schmancy school where doctors and lawyers and really really rich people bring their children.  I had 30 minutes to make the transition. Easy since it was just 3 miles up the road, right? In actuality, I had to transition from hearing about severe childhood trauma the likes of which most of you couldn't imagine and wouldn't want to know about to trying to talk to a nasty entitled woman about whether or not her son was going to get into the right private school kindergarten. One of these individuals was direct, matter of fact, and working on coping with her difficulties, the other was coming apart at the seams.  I'll let you guess which was which.

See what I mean about the difference between emotional space and physical availability?

Given that, I have something to say to all you parents that I know. Please don't make jokes to me about how you are a "bad parent".  If you are my friend and not my client, you are probably doing quite well. Also, whatever is going wrong and you feel like you are failing at, take it easy.  Take it slow.  Its not the end of the world. I PROMISE you, children have survived worse.  It matters less what school they go to and when they go than you could possibly imagine. Read to them. They will learn what they need to know. It matters less whether you feed them Whole Foods all natural grain crap or pure unadulterated corn syrup than you could possibly know. Make sure they eat a vegetable every week or so and they will still grow out of everything you buy them. It matters less what extracurricular activity they attend, if any at all, than you could possibly feel. Talk to them about their day, their friends, and their feelings and they will figure out who they are.

Lighten up.
I'm telling you to, because I need to, and I'm not sure if I can.

So I am giving myself a present this week. I'm putting a plea out there. Who wants to play?  Who wants to go to lunch?  Or dinner? I miss my friends. And with a Sunday birthday, I have to reschedule the playing for more appropriate days. Call me. You have my number.

1 comment:

Ann Marie said...

Nancy I love you. Thank you for putting things into perspective for me. I've been worried these past couple of weeks that I'm already a bad parent. The black cloud of "Doing it all" looms over us constantly, especially while you are in school. We need to get together some time, I need some sunshine! Also