Thursday, March 13, 2008

Nervous Break Down

Okay, you remember all that lovey stuff I just posted about our son? Well, the sentimental feelings that happen at 2am have given way to the harsh light of trying to put the kid down for a nap.


As I speak I am ignoring him coming out of his room for the bizillionth time and pleading not to have a nap. I don't normally ignore him, but truth be told right now it is for his own good and to perserve my own morality. I have reached the point where I may not be able to spank within reason and nothing else has worked so I'm having a mommy time out. I have been trying to put him down to nap for the last two hours. THATS LONGER THAN NAPTIME. And here's the thing---we don't even make him sleep during nap. He just has to play quietly in his room with the OPTION to nap and today he won't even do that. Because he wants to play with his new birthday presents on the kitchen table not in his stinky old bedroom.

Life is so unfair.

And now I am going to admit to you one of my deepest-darkest-mommy secrets. Some days, when it has been especially rough, I fantasize about sending our kids to public school. I would love-in times like this-to shove my child onto a school bus and let him be someone else's problem for 8 hours a day. I even think about what it would be like to put BOTH of my children on a school bus someday and have the whole day to myself someday before they reach the age they can stay home alone.

And yet, even in my fantasies I run into two problems.

What, exactly, does a stay at home mom do when they have no children with them to mother? I mean, you can clean the house sure....but a house only gets so clean. And you could get all the errands done and the bills paid--but that would only take one day since you wouldn't have to do it in short bursts individualized to your child's attention span. And after that.......what? I mean, school is 8 hours a day so after cleaning and errands what do you do with the other 6 hours? I suppose you could spend them on yourself, but-and this is my opinion, so no body get hurt feelings-why be a stay at home mom if you're kids aren't home? I mean, I would feel like I should go out and get a job or something because sitting around watching daytime TV doesn't sound to me like doing my best for my family-and that's the whole reason I stay home.

Which brings me to problem two. No matter how upset I am, even in my wildest fantasies, I can't justify putting my children in public school. I am just so morally/philosophically opposed to sending my children there. I mean, there's a REASON that we're not only homeschoolers we're unschoolers. I have a philosophical problem not just with the teachers, and curriculum, and social situations, but with the system of public education itself.

So every time I think about sending my children to school I find myself feeling guilty for being even partially willing to fantasize about subjecting them to something that I find so emotionally damaging just to give myself a break.

Still, there are days-the ones where it's a constant up hill battle, which has usually been proceeded by a night of little to no sleep-where I just need a break. Or maybe just a nap. Unfortunately, hubby must work his hinie off (that whole four people one income thing-you understand) and we have no family within 8 hours that I would even consider allowing to watch our children for the day. Not even on my worst days.

So, if there are other homeschoolers reading, what do YOU do to keep your sanity on your crazy days at home?

Okay, I'm off again to try to arm wrestle my child into observing quiet time.


Wifey said...

Ok, I'm not a homeschooler, but definitely respect your choice. So, I guess I don't have any advice for you, but perhaps a little comfort. You're frustration is so valid. No one is truly meant to spend every waking moment of every single day together. No one. Even moms need a break. I hope a postitve homeschooler chimes in and offers some much needed relief ... smiles!

And, thanks for stopping by my blog. Congrats on being a newlywed and your family - smiles!

Marianne said...

All day, every day, with kids is tough, no matter where they are on the age-spectrum. It's totally acceptable and necessary to find a few minutes for yourself as a mom every day.

I just read your "unschooling" post; our kids are in our Catholic parish school. I think public education is a machine -- and I went to public school and did very well (because I love learning).

What I like about Catholic education is the right-from-day-one message that we're here for a reason on this earth, to be children of God. That guides everything they do.

And there's no "everyone is equal" subtext going on; as we're all made special and unique by God, each child is seen as that unique individual with their own talents and strengths.

I know the structure of Catholic education goes against the unschooling idea, but we kinda like structure. :) It gives you a "home base" to leap from as you try new things.

Insightful post! And hang in there with quiet time. Sometimes, you just gotta surrender the battle; you spend so much energy trying to get them to stay quiet, then your frustration mounts as you realize how much time you've wasted. Just ride the wave!

Person(Also Known As Mommy) said...

Wifey-thank you so much! I don't think I realized how important it is just to hear "your frstrations are so valid". It's nice not to feel like a cruddy mom because I want a break.

Marianne-I am constantly telling mysel to pick my battles. Problem is my son's stubborness had to come from somewhere! LoL He really is MY kid.

And actually, I do realize it seems contrary, but we do believe in structure. Hence trying to impose quiet time, we just try to make our structure more individualized for our kids so that it is more natural for them. For instance--quiet tim is NOT negotiable. However the actual timing of quiet time was set by watching our son's natural sleeping patterns as a baby and the content of quiet time (not necissisarily requiring sleep but allowing the opportunity for it) was decided because we like to encourage him to self-regulate his time and energy...within the bounds of our structure of course!

I'm sorry if I came off as rude--I didn't mean it that way. I do avidly believe to each their own :)

Marianne said...

Oh, you absolutely did not come off as rude!


Anonymous said...

Person- I actually laughed out loud at the notion that a stay at home mother of two school age kids has nothing to do during the day. :) Someday, you'll know. :)