Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Fragmented

Feeling fragmented lately.  Not sure how to make it any different, though.. Comes with the territory of being a mom, I suppose.  Having children in school does not make parenting easier (not for me).  On days when I have them both at home, we often follow a certain rhythm.  My children often find a groove where they can play happily for hours, so on those days I can get what I need done (well, it is never done, but at least get enough done so I feel good)  Other days, we go on trips together and spend "quality large chunks of time-interacting and experiencing something together (or playdates, etc..)"  I also feel good about that, because on the days I am "working"  I can (sort of keep up with home chores) and the adventure days, I am giving the kids lots of attention.  I can feel good about my role as a "homemaker and as a parent" 


Public School vs. Homeschooling
But, when they are in school, much of my time with my kids is "transition"...and there is very little time in between those times to get much done or to spend time with them(or myself).  Then when they are both home, there is homework to do and dinner to cook..and it seems that they never quite get into a groove of "good old play" in that after school time..  It is full of conflict and being tired. They often need me much more during that space of time...  So, I am spending time putting out fires... Right now, my son is in first grade so he is at school for 6 hours and my daughter is in preschool and spends 3 mornings of 3 hours each week at school.  (Some people comment to me that I have time to myself now..)  Well, not exactly...I may have a 2 1/2 chunk of time a week if I am lucky, because often I am either helping in my daughters classroom, or my sons, or attending a field trip...  It is all part of "my job"---and I love being a mom...but I don't like it when my role becomes more of a "cattle driver" or transporter than a nurterer.  Transtional time is not my favorite time and the past 2 years, most of the school year, I find in an almost constant flux of transition..  In order to get things done (or blog), I have to "steal a moment" here and there..  (and I'm lucky if I get to finish the task) 

Limitations
Feeling a little bummed.  I somehow, marked the calendar wrong. I was supposed to be the alternate at my daughters preschool today and I thought it was tomorrow.  Someone had to cover for me.  Not feeling like I was a good parent or "team member"--How did I miss that one?  Juggling 2 schools has not been easy.  Next year, they will both be in the same school.  That could be a good thing, but I have to say, I will really miss the preschool co-op we have been a part of for 4 years...I'm kind of struggling with feelings of loss for that community already..  (and failing in my duties today did not help that feeling)...like I failed a friend right before moving away..

Sometimes, I really long to homeschool my kids---then we could find that "rhythm" again..  and not be so fragmented.  At least it seems like it would be less fragmented.  We could create our own learning rhythm..and perhaps my children could learn to play together again.  But, I also think that having them around other kids for 6 hours each day, could be good for them too. And some hardships can help them grow.  My decision has been to be involved in their schools as much as I can..  (but this has been hard for me to do with 2 schools)  Next year, perhaps, I may be able to be more involved. 

I suppose I have high expectations of myself...ones I can't always live up to...and it is hard when I feel I "fail" at something..  But the rhythm of these past 2 school years, I have not entirely felt good about...and it makes me wonder if sending them to a school is the best thing or not..  It's like the school gets the best of my son..His best hours of learning/creative time..and I mourn that..  But it isn't about me.  I need to determine if the time he spends at school is truly the best FOR him..  He's learning..but he's not always happy about going there. Still, there is much there I can't provide for him.. I wouldn't want to hold him back.  I never really questioned sending him to school...  And this year, he has had a great teacher.  I think my own experience with school was mixed..some was great, some really awful stuff..  and some was simply routine and busy-work.  Perhaps school is a mixed bag like life is...and it is really about making the best of it..  and the hard stuff can be confronted and learned from..I'm starting to lose my train of thought..."fires going on in the background (as I described)..  but should I "settle" with "reality" and outdated pedagogies that P.schools are based on..Education can be so much more..  (however, his teacher this year has been wonderful and has done extra art, etc..)

Well, the fires are taking over now and I have to put them out/cool them...


Entertainment
Ok. back again..maybe I have a minute more.  I also feel "fragmented" by having one foot in the door of changing our lifestyle of being a "consumer" and into living a little more sustainably...  but that is one foot..  I can "see" how I want to be, but I still have one foot tied to "consumerism life"--(I still like to watch movies and Star Trek sometimes, I still buy "toys" and make some "impulsive" buys..  I like my ipod.  I buy "some processed foods"--I don't always like to cook or have the time..my home is quite cluttered.  I am needing "time and courage and detachment" to do some good purging.  I am "striving" to live this way...and taking one step at a time. Sometimes it is fun and easy and sometimes it is hard and laborous.  I am realizing that I can't have it both ways, though,...have one foot in and one foot out...  "fragmented"--life is often so fragmented..  and interrupted..can't have the time to really cook and make things..if I'm putting too much time into TV or FB).  (although, I haven't been watching much tv these past few months ...but a part of me wants to get rid of the TV...as long as it is there, my children feel the "pull of it"...but I can't see how I can give up "Star Trek"  (-;  I want to live more simply but having some difficulty "with some of the giving up" TV and "other screen time" (computer) are a challenge to find "moderation" with..  Recently my children have been devouring PBSKids online..and although it keeps them "entertained and not creating fires" for a time...I can see the impact on them is similar to TV time..  and it is hard to have the media and keep it at a very moderate level of "screen time"..  Sometimes, I long to be media-less...  (but how can I blog w/out my computer/internet?)  It is useful in many ways..so how do I keep it at a level of only using it for its usefulness..and not to "escape"--It can be a huge time eater.. and letting my kids experience it, but not overdo it... 

It is nice sometimes just to "go somewhere" where there are no screens..  Perhaps, having "screen-free days" can help?? 

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