Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Time Time Time Time Time

The other Dooce published this post about dreading the weekend.  While I am working hard to keep things light on my little slice of the internet, her post really resonated with me.  These lines actually bolded themselves just for my benefit and then began flashing in a series of un-ignorable shades of pink:'s hard for me to sit still knowing there are a million projects I could be working on.

I can start to feel the anxiety creep up early Friday morning, and by dinner time I'm pacing.
Because slowing down doesn't feel right. In fact, it makes me sick.

I urge you to read her post and as many of the hundreds of comments as you can, especially if you also have an inexplicable dread of downtime.

I have that dread.  I start making plans for the weekend by Tuesday.  I have to. Or my head will explode.  Weeknights can be like this too. I cut back my hours at work so I could devote more time to helping my daughter with her homework and also to offer her more downtime at the end of the day. All that did was make me feel like a failure as a parent. It is ridiculously difficult for me to focus on the things that Emily likes to do for fun.  How can I pretend to be a mermaid pet-shop owner who sells horses when there is laundry to fold and a thick layer of pollen dust on all the furniture? How can I keep up with the ever-changing rules of playing secret agent when my brain is full of what needs to be done for dinner tonight and lunch tomorrow? Also, these games are boring for me.  And hard. Evidently I've lost my imagination. And all this umimagitiveness, boredom, and inability to focus, not to mention Emily's frustration, has made me feel awful.

My best solution is to set a timer on my activities both with Emily and about the house.  Somehow knowing I have such-and-such time to do such-and-such thing gives me better ability to focus on the task at hand. I alternate Emily, house, Emily, house. This has the added benefit of helping Em learn to entertain herself. Still, it feels unfair to all involved despite it lessening my anxiety a bit.

I know so many of my friends are talented and dedicated parents.  Any suggestions for me?

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